Hello, Monday. It's been about two months since we launched in SLC! Hope you've enjoyed the ride so far.

  • ☀️ Today's weather: Sunny, with a high of 92° and a low of 67°.

Situational awareness: The state senate has launched an investigation into Sen. Gene Davis following new sexual harassment claims made against him by a former intern.

Today's newsletter is 912 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Utah senators reject national insulin price cap

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee were among 43 Republicans who helped block a $35 monthly cap on insulin costs for people covered by private insurance.

  • The Sunday morning vote was just three votes shy of passing the 60-vote threshold.

The latest: The senate parliamentarian ruled that the insulin cap couldn't be part of a pending inflation-reduction bill that requires only a majority vote to pass.

  • Sunday's vote was to overrule the parliamentarian's decision and leave the insulin cap in the bill.

Of note: Lee's vote against the insulin cap came one day after he quoted a constituent on Twitter as saying, "It's either food or my medication and I have to do without one or the other at this point," in a thread blaming Biden for inflation.

Context: Utah, like several other states, already has a $30 monthly cap on insulin for some patients with private insurance.

  • But state caps don't apply to patients on self-funded plans — about 40% of Utahns. Only federal law can regulate those plans.

What's next: Democrats are hoping to keep a ceiling on insulin costs for Medicare patients in the pending deficit reduction package, which includes climate, tax and healthcare measures.

2. VP Harris and Rep. Romero talk abortion

A gathering of Latina state legislators protecting reproductive rights in their states, convened by Vice President Kamala Harris. (AP)

Vice President Kamala Harris met with state Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, and other Latina state legislators on Friday, to discuss fighting for abortion rights in their own states.

State of play: Harris has met with state lawmakers, health care providers and activists to discuss reproductive rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. This was her first meeting with Latina state legislators, Axios Latino's Marina E. Franco reports.

What she's saying: "[Harris] really wanted to address abortion and abortion access and how it impacts the Latinx community," Romero told Axios. "Even though we have a Republican-controlled Legislature — doesn’t mean that we shouldn't be talking about issues that impact Utahns, like access to health care."

Context: Utah is one of 13 states with an abortion trigger law.

Why it matters: Hispanic women in Utah are "far less likely" to have access to health care, according to an analysis by the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University.

Flashback: Utah's abortion ban was put on hold after the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah sued the state to block it from going into effect.

What's next: Romero plans to sponsor a bill that would eliminate criminal penalties for health providers who perform abortions.

Read more

3. Fry sauce: Flavors of news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🪧 Salt Lake City west side residents rallied against gentrification this weekend. Speakers described being unable to find new housing after they were evicted from their homes amid new development. (Salt Lake Tribune)

🦝 A Salt Lake man was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping two people he thought had stolen his pet raccoon and threatening them with a gun bedazzled with plastic jewels. (ABC 4)

  • Police found the raccoon in the man's RV.

🖤 More tattoo shops can open in Roy now that the city council has unanimously voted to eliminate a city ordinance allowing just one for every 10,000 residents. (Standard-Examiner)

⛷️ Utah ski resorts are phasing out their old howitzers, used to trigger avalanches before skiers arrive in their paths. (KSL.com)

4. A vague Mormon rebuttal

The clouds clear after rain at the historic Mormon Salt Lake Temple on Temple Square on Oct. 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said an Associated Press story "seriously mischaracterized" its protocols for child abuse reports — but officials did not say what precisely the AP got wrong.

  • The church statement said the AP story is "oversimplified and incomplete" and "a serious misrepresentation of the Church and its efforts."

Catch up fast: The AP on Thursday reported that sealed court documents show the church used its 24-7 sex abuse "help line" to stop a bishop from reporting a confessed child rapist to police in Arizona.

The latest: The church on Friday refuted the AP story, but without pointing to any specific inaccuracies.

  • The church said the help line "is instrumental in ensuring that all legal requirements for reporting are met" as states have varying laws on the obligations of clergy to report information they receive, especially in private confessions.

What's happening: The church repeatedly posted and deleted its statement on Twitter that "Abuse of a child or any other individual is inexcusable."

  • The church tweeted its entire statement in a thread and eventually blocked replies — but only after someone had responded to the first post, "You are full of s---."
  • The church deleted all of its tweets on the AP article and reposted its entire statement with replies blocked.

What's next: Rep. Romero plans to revive a 2020 bill requiring all religious leaders to report child abuse, she told FOX 13.

Full story

New jobs to check out

💼 See who’s hiring around the city.

  1. VP, Business Strategy at Bigfoot Biomedical.
  2. Business Project Advisor at Cigna.
  3. Communications Senior Manager, Consulting Solutions at PWC.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

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5. 🤦🏾‍♂️ It's too soon for Halloween

Halloween decorations inside Ross in Salt Lake City. Photo: Ross Terrell/Axios

👋🏾 Ross here. I went into Ross in Sugarhouse (no, I do not get discounts there) the other day looking for some cheap finds.

What happened: Instead, I was greeted by Halloween decorations.

State of play: Suffice to say, I was confused. Angered even. It's August people! We still have the dog days of summer to get through, float trips to go on, beer to drink on patios and Labor Day weekend (not to mention my Oct. 19 birthday to celebrate).

The bottom line: Halloween decor shouldn't be a thing until at least early October when you can leave your windows open during the day for a nice crisp breeze.

  • Please, let's finish the summer and get to football season before we start thinking pumpkins and ghosts.

Erin's thought bubble: Don't listen to Ross. It's never too early for pumpkins and ghosts.

✍️ Erin is trying to write an interactive mystery story for neighbor kids to solve during Halloween.

  • But it's fast becoming a multi-part epic supernatural scandal spanning centuries and probably won't work for a simple treasure hunt.

🎭 Kim was lightly roasted by Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Redd during his stand-up show at Wiseguys.

Share this newsletter with the best holiday decorators you know, and tell them to subscribe!