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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - January 14, 2014

Utahns are evenly divided on same-sex marriage. Education groups back "Count My Vote." Lawmakers move closer to a possible compromise on Medicaid expansion.


  • 13 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 58 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 161 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 294 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 657 days to the 2015 elections
  • 722 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1028 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • A new poll shows Utahns are evenly split on the issue of same-sex marriage, but nearly 3/4 would support civil unions for same-sex couples [Tribune].
  • The debate over same-sex marriage could impact the fate of a proposed statewide non-discrimination bill [Deseret News].
  • Education groups come out in favor of the "Count My Vote" citizens initiative because they say it will help make education more of a priority in Utah politics [Tribune].
  • The number of Utahns enrolling in Obamacare is up, but still lagging behind government projections [Tribune].
  • Utah lawmakers may be moving closer to a compromise on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Jim Dabakis is proposing a campaign finance reform measure that would curb big political donations [Standard-Examiner].
  • Don't expect any movement from the Legislature on a proposal to hike the gas tax in order to help build roads [Utah Policy].
  • Big snowstorms can cost the Utah economy millions of dollars according to a new study [KSL].
  • Someone has launched an online petition to impeach Gov. Gary Herbert [Utah Policy].
  • Utah National Guard employees may lose their job if the Army follows through with plans to remove 16 Apache helicopters from the state [Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority plans to focus efforts on improving the experience for customers [Deseret News].
  • Clark Ivory resigns from the University of Utah board of trustees in order to serve a mission for the LDS Church [Tribune].
  • A dozen staffers at the Ogden Standard-Examiner lose their jobs, including cartoonist Cal Grondahl [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • The U.S. ratified a peace treaty with England that ended the Revolutionary War in 1784.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle at a wartime conference in Casablanca in 1943.
  • NBC's "Today" show premiered in 1952.
  • George Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama promising "segregation forever" in 1963.
  • Sylvia Plath's novel "The Bell Jar" was published in 1963.
  • President Ronald Reagan delivered his 331st and final weekly radio address in 1989.
  • "The Simpsons" premiered on television in 1990.
  • Former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow pleaded guilty to conspiracy and accepted a ten-year prison sentence in 2004.
  • Bobby Jindal took office as the first elected Indian-American governor in the nation in 2008.
  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he'd used performance-enhancing drugs in 2013.

Today At Utah Policy

Lawmakers Could be Moving Closer to Compromise on Medicaid Expansion
While no final decision has been made or at least, not announced on Medicaid expansion by the State of Utah, there could be a compromise in the works....

Don't Expect Much Movement on Gas Tax in 2014
There's going to be a lot of talk about raising or reworking Utah's lagging gasoline tax this coming Legislature, but very little actual action....

There's an Online Petition to Impeach Gov. Herbert
You can launch an online petition about anything these days, but a new petition calling for the impeachment of Gov. Herbert already has more than 350 signatures....

Sen. Mike Lee 5th 'Poorest' Senator
According to a new analysis, Sen. Mike Lee is the near the bottom of the Senate in terms of personal wealth....

Speaker Becky Lockhart Plays the "Lightning Round" (Video)
60 seconds to answer as many questions as she can. Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart faces the "Lightning Round" with Managing Editor Bryan Schott....

Speaker Becky Lockhart on John Swallow, Amendment 3 and Classic Rock (Video)
House Speaker Becky Lockhart says the Amendment 3 court battle will cast a long shadow over the 2014 session, but so will the John Swallow scandal....

Featured Items

Former Governor Mitt Romney to Address Business & Real Estate Markets at "Elevating Commercial Real Estate" Dinner
Former Governor Mitt Romney will address national commercial real estate developers, owners, and investors, and local and regional business leaders at the "Elevating Commercial Real Estate" Dinner, to be held at The Canyons Resort in Park City on January 14, 2014....

International Company Increases its Presence in Utah
Together with the UtahGovernor's Office of Economic Development,Ottobock, a medical technology company, announced that it will expand its existing manufacturing and R&D center in Utah....

Utah Has the Highest Google Usage in the Nation
A new tool from ad network Chitika shows 73% of Utahns who are online use Google, which puts the state at the top in the nation....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Sen. Lee makes a bipartisan turn

Rolly: Utah's GOP purists are their own worst enemy

Utah looks to add more school counselors

Bill aims to stop publication of voter information

Utah National Guard bristles at loss of Apache helicopters

Why Utah's rural military veterans present unique challenges

Obamacare enrollment surges but still behind projections

Education groups want change to Utah's political system

Cartoonist Cal Grondahl, others lose jobs at Ogden newspaper

Deseret News

Robert Bennett: Avert the Social Security crisis

Editorial: Welcome to Utah's newest local government leaders

Poor air quality puts physical, economic health at risk, Salt Lake City mayor says

Education groups endorse Count My Vote

Guard members could be out of work if Army takes back Apache helicopters

Industry fires back over pulled oil and gas leases at San Rafael Swell

Ex-A.G. John Swallow spent more than $200K on legal bills

Lawmaker to propose more 80 mph speed limits on Utah highways

Guard members could be out of work if Army takes back Apache helicopters

Same-sex marriage debate could impact proposed Utah nondiscrimination bill


Editorial: 'DC pols needs to earn our respect (Standard-Examiner)

Dabakis proposes Utah campaign finance rule changes (Standard-Examiner)

Battle on gas tax brewing in Legislature (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Feds investigate Christie's use of Sandy relief funds (CNN)

Supreme Court will not hear Arizona abortion law appeal (Reuters)

Supreme Court Appears Likely to Rein In President's Recess Appointments Power (Wall Street Journal)

Minimum Wage Increase Author Miller to Retire From Congress (Bloomberg)

'Hate is too weak a word' for Hillary-land's view of McCaskill, authors claim (Post-Dispatch)

I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA's Bigwigs. Here's What Has Them Mad (Wired)

Senate Democrats to meet with Obama (Politico)

CGI takes hit after Obamacare health website contract won't be renewed (Montreal Gazette)

Indiana lawmakers consider constitutional ban on gay marriage (Reuters)

Energy-Related Carbon Emissions Rose in 2013 (Green Tech Media)

U.S. Posts December Budget Surplus of $53.22 Billion (Wall Street Journal)

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