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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - January 15, 2014

Swallow investigation cost continues to rise. McAdams stresses education and economic opportunity.


  • 12 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 57 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 160 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 293 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 656 days to the 2015 elections
  • 721 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1027 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • The committee investigating John Swallow hears a number of proposed changes to Utah election law as a result of Swallow's dirty dealings [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The cost of the House investigation into Swallow has above $3 million and continues to climb [KSL].
  • Here's the video of John Swallow testifying under oath in the Lt. Governor's investigation into election law violations [Tribune].
  • Tim Lawson, Mark Shurtleff's "fixer," posts bail [Deseret News].
  • Utahns react to news that Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a federal judge [Fox 13].
  • Same-sex marriage backers deliver a petition with more than 32,000 signatures to Attorney General Sean Reyes asking him to not spend an estimated $2 million defending Amendment 3 in court [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams stresses education during his State of the County Address [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert, along with other governors, meets with President Obama [Deseret News].
  • The Congressional budget deal could cost Utah $35 million in PILT payments to Utah counties [Tribune].
  • Sen. Kevin Van Tassell will seek re-election in 2014 [Park Record].
  • A new report says Utah gets a "D+" for its educational policies [KSL].
  • Some Weber County residents smell a rat in the decision by the Weber County Commission to not give Jan Zogmaister the chairmanship [Standard-Examiner].
  • Average Utah gas prices jump 8 cents over the last month [Deseret News].
On this day in history:
  • The Republic of New Connecticut, which later changed its name to Vermont, declared its independence in 1777.
  • The donkey was first used as a symbol for the Democratic Party in Harper's Weekly in 1870.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta in 1929.
  • Construction on the Pentagon was completed in 1943.
  • President Nixon halted offensive operations in North Vietnam in 1973.
  • "Happy Days" premiered on ABC in 1974.
  • The NASA Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of Mars in 2004.
  • Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger made an emergency landing in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled his aircraft in 2009.

Today At Utah Policy

Swallow Investigation Recommends Changes in State Law (with video)
The law firm that worked on the Utah Lieutenant Governor's investigation of former Attorney General John Swallow on Tuesday morning recommended 20 changes to state election laws.The Snell & Wilmer attorneys who had previously pointed out a number of violations of state ...

McAdams Talks Education and Opportunity in State of County Address (Video)
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says expanding access to preschool programs is his top legislative priority in 2014....

Huntsman Questions Christie's Bridge Scandal
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman tells MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program he's not sure what to make of the claim that Gov. Chris Christie didn't know that his staff intentionally caused traffic problems on the George Washington Bridge....

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....

Featured Items

Rep. Greg Hughes on His Salt Lake County Educational Initiative
Rep. Greg Hughes says spearheading a Salt Lake County educational initiative during the 2014 Legislature is his top priority....

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams Discusses His Educational Proposal
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says his #1 legislative priority for the 2014 session is an initiative to have all students in the county reading at grade level by the 3rd grade....

Two St. George Tech Firms Join Forces to Expand Jobs
St. George is continuing to be a secret weapon and a hotspot for job growth in Utah's tech industry. Two southern Utah technology firms, Cabosoft and, will join forces this month. The merger is poised to create more high-paying technology jobs in Utah's Dixie....

Primary Seatbelt Law Would Save Lives
Carlos Braceras is Utah's chief road builder. He also handles a host of other transportation-related tasks as director of the Utah Department of Transportation. But Braceras has a big passion beyond road-building. He also wants to keep people alive and uninjured as they driv...

Up Next: The 'Crown Jewel' of Performing Arts Venues
Utahns love their theater and regularly sell out performances of traveling Broadway hits and local musicals and plays....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Congress' budget deal could cost Utah counties $35M

Swallow, like Nixon, burned by cover-up, investigator says

Energy industry appeals Utah BLM decision on oil, gas leases

Poll: Utahns evenly split on same-sex marriage

Salt Lake County mayor pushes preschool, community grants

Deseret News

Op-ed: Shelby's jurisprudence is lacking

Richard Davis: Democracy aside, America loves its political dynasties

S.L. County mayor sets trajectory toward desired future

Doug Robinson: Same-sex marriage: A topic too toxic to discuss

Shurtleff's alleged 'fixer' posts bail

Cost of House investigative committee into Swallow continues to climb

Herbert, other governors talk state issues with Obama


House committee hears suggestions to change campaign finance law (Daily Herald)

Weber residents prod for motives behind commissioners' power play (Standard-Examiner)

Sen. Van Tassell to seek re-election (Park Record)

National Headlines

Christie: 'The last week has certainly tested this administration' (NBC News)

U.S. courts oppose reform proposals for secret surveillance court (Reuters)

President cracks jokes as Miami Heat is honored at White House (Miami Herald)

Senate blocks jobless aid (Politico)

The Benghazi Transcripts: Did White House exaggerate Obama's preparation for 9/11 anniversary? (Fox News)

Obama to Congress: We're not waiting for legislation (McClatchy)

Spending bill aims billions toward Washington state (McClatchy)

Judge gives Chicago 6-month delay on gun store rules (UPI)

Hillary Clinton fans plan 'Des Moines kick-off' (Des Moines Register)

U.S. senators ask Target CEO for information on data breach (Reuters)

Carbon dioxide pollution in U.S. rose two percent in 2013, report says (Los Angeles Times)

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Lighter Side

Lousy Week
"It's been a lousy week for Governor Christie. I mean, first the bridge scandal and now the nationwide Velveeta shortage." David Letterman Political Humor

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