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Utah's Daily Policy Resource | Brought to you by Utah Policy

Friday, January 16, 2015 will not publish our daily newsletter on Monday, January 19 due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

We will return to your email, computers, phones, tablets and other devices on Tuesday, January 20 with the best political news and analysis in Utah.


Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Friday - January 16, 2015

SCOTUS could decide to take up same-sex marriage. Mormon podcaster facing excommunication. Utahns favor campaign donation limits.


  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 10
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 55
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 207
  • Days to the 2015 election - 291
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 367
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 662

Friday's top-10 headlines:

  1. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide on Friday whether to take up the issue of same-sex marriage [CBS Detroit].
  2. Mormon critic John Dehlin is facing excommunication from the LDS Church [Tribune, Deseret News].
  3. Poll: Most Utahns favor contribution limits for Utah candidates [Utah Policy].
  4. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is facing conflict of interest accusations because his son works for the GREENbike program which is heavily subsidized by the city [Tribune].
  5. Rep. Jason Chaffetz created some buzz after he had all of the portraits of former chairmen of the House Oversight Committee removed from the hearing room [Roll Call].
  6. Salt Lake City residents pack a hearing about a proposed ban on wood burning [Deseret News].
  7. Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank is backing President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration [Tribune].
  8. Weber County hires former Sen. Stuart Reid for a consultant position that carries a $90,000 salary [Standard Examiner].
  9. Camille Cook, the wife of Utah politician Merrill Cook, passes away at the age of 68. Cook was a longtime opera singer in Utah [Tribune].
  10. More than 3/4 of this year's flu shots are ineffective because the flu virus it was designed to combat has shifted genetically since the vaccine went into production [CNBC].

On this day in history:

  • 1920 - Prohibition began as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution took effect.
  • 1991 - The White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
  • 2003 - The space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven blasted off from Cape Canaveral. The shuttle broke up during its return descent on Feb. 1, killing everyone on board.
  • 2007 - Sen. Barack Obama launched his successful bid for the White House.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Support for Caucus System is Below 20%
The Utah State Republican Party has sued state government over a new law that provides a dual-track process for candidates to get on a party’s primary ballot, yet a new poll shows that only 19 percent of rank-and-file GOP voters want to keep the old caucus/convention s...

Poll: Utahns Support Campaign Contribution Limits
An overwhelming majority of Utahns want campaign donation limits placed on state-level candidates in Utah....

Bob Bernick's Notebook: Is it a Tax Hike or Tax Cut?
While most in the Utah media have been yelling “get ready for a gasoline tax hike,” new state House Speaker Greg Hughes says any adjustments in the state fuels tax will be neutral – no tax hike, no tax cut....

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #220
Utah lawmakers are considering raising the gas tax, but that may or may not be a tax hike....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #220
Utah lawmakers are considering raising the gas tax, but that may or may not be a tax hike....

Forbes Interviews McAdams about 'Pay-for-Success'
Mayor Ben McAdams discusses Salt Lake County'sinnovativepay-for-success financing model, the first of its kind in the country....

Chaffetz: Romney's Been 'Vindicated'
Rep. Jason Chaffetz says buyers' remorse for Pres. Obama may convince the electorate to give Mitt Romney another lookin 2016....

Weekly Survey: Big Issues Facing Utah Lawmakers in 2015
It's less than two weeks until the 2015 Utah Legislature. What do you think is the biggest issue lawmakers will tackle this year? Let us know in our weekly survey....

Featured Items

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune: Arches and Canyonlands National Park fees could go up--Tribune: A case of mistaken identity: wolves and coyotes-- For the?latest wildlife news and information?and the?fishing report?visit theDWR websiteWeekend Events-- American Sniper: Tribune review-...

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

Editorial: Right to Try is medical trickle-down. Do it anyway

A.G. Sean Reyes, Utah group played part in Colombian sex-trafficking sting

Jenson defense makes links between fraud case and Utah AG's Office scandal

SLC airport gun-seizure rate higher than national average

Rolly: Is an ulterior motive emerging behind Utah's school-grading system?

Conflict of interest? Becker's son director at city-subsidized program

Camille Cook, opera singer, wife of Utah politician Merrill Cook, dies at 68

Utahns rank poor air quality the biggest con to living in Beehive State

Salt Lake City top cop defends Obama on immigration

Poll: Majority of Utahns favor payday loan reform

Wood-burning ban gets blasted at DEQ meeting

Slump deepens at Salt Lake City's Gateway mall

Deseret News

Op-ed: Why police don't aim for the legs

Greg Bell: The priceless value of a good education

Editorial: Utah's best interests may be in seeing what happens with Common Core in 2015

Editorial: Police body cameras offer greater public understanding

No Colorado River water for a year? Study details impacts to Utah, other basin states

West Valley police ready to relaunch once-embattled drug unit

Texas experts say prison reform best way to control costs

Residents decry, praise proposed wood burning ban at SLC hearing


Curt Bramble: State lawmakers push for marketplace fairness (Daily Herald)

What leaders are saying about prison reform (Daily Herald)

Op-ed: Time right for Utah wood burning ban (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: Incentives for Cabela's unwise (Standard-Examiner)

Davis school board conservatives seize top spots (Standard-Examiner)

Pulling strings on new deer hunt guidelines (Standard-Examiner)

Lawmakers: Corridor needs unified push (Standard-Examiner)

UTOPIA leader: Solvency is in sight (Standard-Examiner)

Ogden City Council opens the door for officials' pay raises (Standard-Examiner)

Local lawmakers convinced of need to relocate prison (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

The Real GOP Split on Immigration (Politico)

Mitt Romney backlash intensifies (Politico)

Is Barack Obama killing the State of the Union? (Politico)

Senate GOP hedges on immigration vote (The Hill)

Ernst to deliver GOP's SOTU response (The Hill)

Ohio man arrested in Islamic State-inspired plot to bomb Capitol, FBI says (Los Angeles Times)

Duke reverses decision, will not allow Muslim call to prayer at its chapel (Charlotte Observer)

Oklahoma to resume executions, as use of death penalty declines across US (Christian Science Monitor)

Eric Holder Calls for Better Data on Force by Police and Officer Attacks (NBC News)

Mitt Romney 2016 isn't crazy (The Week)

Lagarde Says Global Growth Faces `Very Strong Headwind' (Bloomberg)

IRS kicks off tax-filing season, offers Obamacare advice (Reuters)

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Equality of Men
"Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."
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Network Effects
"A new study has found that watching Fox News can make you more conservative and watching MSNBC can make you more liberal. And watching CNN can make you think that no plane has ever safely reached its destination." Conan O'Brien Political Humor