1 of 34
Steve Griffin, Deseret News
House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, addresses the House of Representatives during the start of the 2019 Legislature at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

The 2019 Utah Legislature opened Monday, Jan. 28, with two new leaders at the helm — Utah Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson.

Key issues during the first week of the 45-day session included Utah's sales tax laws, education funding, digital drivers' licenses and SB96, a bill that is pitched by proponents as a more financially responsible way of expanding Medicaid coverage than the voter-approved Proposition 3.

Here's a brief look at five major legislature stories from last week that you won't want to miss:

Steve Griffin, Deseret News
FILE - House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, addresses fellow representatives during the start of the 2019 Legislature at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

Newly sworn-in House Speaker Brad Wilson began his first few minutes on the dais Monday calling for an even larger tax rate cut than Gov. Gary Herbert gave lawmakers in his budget proposal.

Wilson said he's suggested legislators now working on writing a tax reform bill shoot for a bigger cut to the sales tax rate while broadening the tax base — one he said would be the "largest single tax cut in Utah's history."

Read the full story:New Utah House speaker calls for even larger tax rate cut as Legislature convenes

The Utah State Board of Education announced its priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session — along with several massive asks for funding — amid a year the state is seeing more than $1 billion in budget surplus.

Among the board's top asks: About $176 million to increase the value of the weighted pupil unit to 5.5 percent. The WPU is the basic building block of per-pupil education funding.

Read the full story:Utah State Board of Education requests more money for school safety, big IT upgrade

Gov. Gary Herbert delivered his annual State of the State address Wednesday night to the Utah Legislature, describing 2018 as a year fraught with drought and wildfires but teeming with faith and courage.

Read the full story: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in his State of the State address: Greatest challenge for Utah? Growth

Gov. Gary Herbert's plan to slash the state sales tax rate to just 1.75 percent was shot down Thursday by the lawmaker working on what's expected to be the GOP legislative leadership's tax package.

Ravell Call
FILE - Susan Stewart, left, and Caroline Gleich talk with Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City, at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, while encouraging clean air legislation.

Read the full story:Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's proposed sales tax cut 'not going to happen,' lawmaker says

2 comments on this story

Backers of the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative approved by voters in November are spending more than $100,000 to run TV commercials pushing back against a replacement plan advancing quickly through the Legislature.

Additionally, more than 40 Utah faith leaders have signed on to a letter released Thursday urging Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders to oppose efforts "to delay or limit" the full Medicaid expansion approved by voters.

Read the full story:Prop. 3 backers set sights on Utah lawmakers in new TV ads