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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Tuesday - January 13, 2015

Obama to meet with Congressional leaders. Lawmakers set to fight over tax hikes and budget cuts. Ryan not running for President.


  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 13
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 58
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 210
  • Days to the 2015 election - 294
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 370
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 665

Tuesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. President Obama is set to meet with Congressional leaders today. It's the first meeting since the GOP took control of both chambers in Congress [PBS Newshour].
  2. Rep. Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney's pick for vice president in 2012, says he will not run for president in 2016 [Bloomberg].
  3. The 2015 session could see battles over tax hikes and budget cuts [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  4. Utah lawmakers are bracing for a big fight over SB 54 during the upcoming session [Utah Policy].
  5. Sen. Curt Bramble says former House Speaker Becky Lockhart is suffering from an "aggressive disease" [KSL].
  6. Poll shows Utah Republicans are mostly opposed to a tax hike to provide more money for Utah's schools [Utah Policy].
  7. Utah residents favor giving tax breaks to companies that convert their truck fleets from diesel fuel to natural gas [Utah Policy]
  8. Members of Gov. Gary Herbert's committee tasked with reviewing Common Core say the education standards are either equal to or more rigorous than Utah's standards [Tribune].
  9. A judge separates the criminal cases against former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff [Tribune].
  10. Centerville officials are considering making changes to regulations governing political signs [Standard Examiner].

On this day in history:

  • 1794 - President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.
  • 1966 - Robert C. Weaver became the first black Cabinet member as he was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • 1982 - An Air Florida 737 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., after takeoff and fell into the Potomac River, killing 78 people.
  • 1990 - L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, the nation's first elected black governor, took the oath of office in Richmond.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utah Residents Favor Tax Breaks for Companies that Convert Truck Fleets to Natural Gas
A large majority of Utahns say they want the state to provide tax incentives for companies to convert their truck fleets from diesel fuel to natural gas....

Money Fueling Legislative Fights in 2015
Expect some “lively debates” coming in the 2015 Legislature, now just two weeks away, over restructuring the gasoline tax, increasing the state personal income tax and cutting the state’s corporate income tax, GOP legislative leaders told a tax conference M...

Transit Ridership is Up in Utah and Nationally
Despite lower gas prices, public transit ridership is increasing nationally and in Utah. ...

Poll: Republicans Oppose Tax Hike for Education
Utahns do not favor increasing the state personal income tax by 1 percentage point, the money going toward greater public education funding in the state....

Legislature Set to Duke It Out Over SB 54
The sponsor of 2014’s SB54 tells UtahPolicy that he sees the need for only “minor, technical” changes to the law in the 2015 Legislature, and he doesn’t believe the GOP-controlled Senate will postpone the law, repeal it or make major changes to it....

Some Utah GOP Concerns About SB 54 Are Off Base
Ever since leaders of the Utah Republican Party a month ago began saying that SB54, the grand compromise election reform bill of the 2014 Legislature, was hopelessly flawed and must be changed, postponed or repealed in the upcoming general session, interested parties have be...

Poll: Utahns Oppose Tax Hike to Pay for Schools
A majority of Utahns oppose a proposal to increase the personal income tax rate by 1% to provide more funding for schools....

Featured Items

Fracking Can be Path to Energy Independence
On our journey toward increased reliance on renewable energy, the United States has taken an unlikely detour back to traditional oil and natural gas production. The reason is that recent advances in hydraulic fracturing—commonly called “fracking”—have...

Health Care the 'Utah Way'
MarketWatch at the Wall Street Journal once called Utah the “brightest star” on the American flag. ...

Which Member of Utah's Congressional Delegation Will Have the Most Impact?
The 114th Congress got down to work last week. Our "Political Insiders" think Sen. Orrin Hatch in his role as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is poised to get the most done this session....

Outlook for Utah Economy Positive in 2015
A group of leading economists released a consensus economic forecast predicting positive performance in 2015. ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Rolly: Check your legislator for Count My Vote flip-flop

Op-ed: Don't put Utah County foothills at risk

Op-ed: No more lame excuses for not funding schools

Op-ed: Utah hunters must know a coyote from a wolf

Editorial: Law has a role in clearing the air

Editorial: Weapons-on-bus argument takes the cake

Aloof senator at odds with his voters on prison

New bike paths key in long-range transportation plan

Romney tells donors he may run again

10 key players in the Swallow-Shurtleff scandal

Utah insists wolf-coyote confusion won't be a problem

Two years later, what have we learned from the Swallow-Shurtleff scandal?

Washington Insight: Mormons hold outsized share of Congress

Lawsuit claims Saratoga Springs mayor involved in shady real estate sale

Deseret News

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Will this Congress be productive or dysfunctional?

Robert Bennett: Republicans are on party probation

John Florez: Our paths seldom cross in a nation divided by many factors

Editorial: Hey, look up! Plenty of reasons for optimism

What's so healthy about Utah?

Gov. Herbert's take on Utah's economic outlook for 2015: 'What's not to like?'

Why Mitt Romney wants to run for president

Lee Benson: A life story about receiving - and giving

'I have no regrets': Beau Babka reflects on 4-year law enforcement suspension


Guest Editorial: Ezra Taft Benson played key roll in Utah ag industry (Daily Herald)

Utah women bucking national work trends (Daily Herald)

We Decide: Grassroots movement is picking up momentum (Daily Herald)

Political sign guidelines stir concerns in Centerville (Standard-Examiner)

Partners create STEM hubs in Ogden schools (Standard-Examiner)

Weber County lawmaker takes on Count My Vote (Standard-Examiner)

Lawmakers to repeal some tax credits (Standard-Examiner)

Valley lawmakers plan on variety of bills including school tax hike (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Utah and the U.S. need more educated workers

Utah hits 6-year low for immigrant driving privilege cards

Governor's Common Core advisers like the controversial new education guidelines

California activists charged under Utah's 'ag-gag' law for photographing pig farm

Free community college? In Utah, could be a tough sell

Healthcare leader - and non-drinker - nominated to state alcohol commission

Deseret News

Ralph Hancock: Charlie Hedbo and the meaning of freedom

Editorial: Rally absence was an administrative mistake, but U.S. helped France with freedoms

Supreme Court weighs a church's right to advertise services

Ex-A.G.s Mark Shurtleff, John Swallow refuse to testify in fraud case

Tax increases on the table for upcoming legislative session


Pamela Openshaw: Utopia is a bust (Daily Herald)

Rep. Redd offers take on Herbert's Healthy Utah plan (Logan Herald Journal)

Legislative audit: USTAR improving on reporting practices (Logan Herald Journal)

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Wise Words

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing."
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotations Page

Lighter Side

"Some more news out of Washington. During a recent interview, a White House adviser said Joe Biden is the reason President Obama got elected both times. Then he said, 'He's also the reason we got banned from Applebee's.'" Jimmy Fallon Political Humor