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Friday, January 24, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - January 24, 2014

Utah will accept Medicaid expansion. Herbert says he's open to civil unions for same-sex couples. Becker slams state leaders over air quality.


  • 3 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 48 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 151 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 284 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 647 days to the 2015 elections
  • 712 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1018 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah news highlights:
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says the state will accept some form of Medicaid expansion from the federal government [Tribune].
  • Gov. Herbert says he while he will continue to defend Amendment 3 in the courts, he would be open to exploring the idea of civil unions for same-sex couples [Tribune].
  • Traditional marriage advocates announce legislation designed to protect religious freedom [Deseret News].
  • Fact-checking the LDS Church's video claiming Utah's existing liquor laws don't need any further changes [City Weekly].
  • The LDS Church wields big influence on Utah's Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to liquor policy [Standard-Examiner].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker comes out swinging on air quality, saying the state is an "obstacle" to efforts toward reducing pollution [Tribune].
  • It sure looks like House Speaker Becky Lockhart is readying a challenge to Gov. Herbert in 2016 [Tribune].
  • Rep. Paul Ray wants to crack down on electronic cigarettes [Deseret News].
  • New Census numbers show more people are moving into Utah than are moving away [Tribune].
  • New West Valley City Police Chief Lee Russo holds a public meeting with residents [Tribune].
  • Russo and Provo Police Chief John King are working to end the use of racial profiling in their departments [KSL].
  • Utah ranks last in providing breakfast to low-income students in public schools [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • Gold was discovered at Sutter's mill in California in 1848.
  • The first Boy Scout group was organized in England in 1908.
  • The Russian city of St. Petersberg was renamed Leningrad in 1924.
  • Winston Churchill died in London at the age of 90 in 1965.
  • Confessed serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in Florida's electric chair in 1989.
  • Retired Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall passed away in 1993.
  • The prosecution in the O.J. Simpson murder trial gave their opening statement in 1995.
  • The Department of Homeland Security became a cabinet department in 2003.

Today At Utah Policy

Bob Bernick's Notebook: Everybody Wants to Ditch the Caucuses...Except Conservatives
Two public opinion surveys have been released over the last several weeks, both showing substantial support for the Count My Vote citizen initiative, which would end candidates being vetted by their own political party delegates and move Utah to a direct primary system....

Sorry Democrats, Utah is a Solidly Republican State
A new survey confirms what everybody already knew...a clear majority of Utahns are Republicans, and even more say their political beliefs are conservative....

Poll: Big Issues Facing Utah
A new poll suggests Utahns want the state to focus on Education and Air Quality issues....

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Utah Progressives on the Brink
It's put up or shut up time for the left-wing of Utah's Democratic party....

Featured Items

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #173
We're on the cusp of the 2014 Legislative session. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss the big issues facing lawmakers as they get back to work, what might be done to address Utah's air quality and why "Count My Vote" is in good shape if the initiative can get on the ballot...

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune: Ski Lift of the Week Snake Creek Express at Brighton Resort--Tribune:Hardware Ranch a tradition for Utah families - and elk-- For the?latest wildlife news and information?and the?fishing report?visit the DWR websiteWeekend EventsNew Films-- The Invis...

Is it Wrong for Mormon Lawyers to Take Cases Based on Their Religious Values?
Washington Post legal blogger Eugene Volokh defends Gene Schaerr's decision to spearhead the State of Utah's legal effort to defend traditional marriage because of his LDS religious beliefs....

Weekly Survey: 2014 Legislative Priorities
What are the top issues facing Utah lawmakers as they head back to work next Monday? Vote now in our weekly survey....

The Air We Breathe: A Broad Analysis of Utah's Air Quality and Policy Solutions
Utah Foundation today released a report which analyzes the trends, science, health concerns, and policy solutions related to the two primary pollutants contributing to Utah's air-pollution issues ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5)....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Mayor McAdams helps Utah teens selling camping product

More people moving into Utah than out of it

Utah guv: Medicaid will expand

Utah oil shale mine faces new challenge

Utah governor says he's open to civil unions, but must defend same-sex ban

Paul Rolly: Surprise - your personal info is sitting in a bar

Becker calls state leaders an obstacle to cleaning air

Deseret News

Op-ed: Is Salt Lake County really a democracy?

Op-ed: Give Utah cities power to increase transit funding

Editorial: Human Rights Campaign dead wrong in concerns about religion

Appropriations bill boosts funding for education as states up funding, too

College and university presidents concerned over President Obama's proposed rating system

Lawyers push for trial in FTC case against Jeremy Johnson

West Valley police chief shares findings about department at community meeting

Utah lawmaker promises fight against e-cigarettes

Religious freedom and anti-bias bills announced at pro-traditional marriage gathering

Herbert criticizes states that don't follow 'will of the people' on same-sex marriage


Herbert: Defending Utah's ban on same-sex marriage is 'the will of the people' (Standard-Examiner)

Provo has nation's most dangerous air, again (Daily Herald)

First Freedoms Forum speakers call for action (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Advisory panel says NSA surveillance program should be ended (NBC News)

Key Obama ally joins Clinton presidential effort (USA Today)

Christie's team hires more lawyers in bridge probe (Associated Press)

A look at findings from AP reporting on troubles in the country's nuclear force (Associated Press)

Walker calls special session for tax cuts (Journal Times)

The True State of the Union (Fox Business)

Huckabee: Dems say women need government to 'control their libido' (NBC News)

Background check firm in hot water for 'flushing' records (Federal News Radio)

Study: Climbing income ladder hasn't grown harder (Kansas City Star)

Obama's Pentagon relaxes dress code to allow turbans, scarves (Washington Times)

Bob McDonnell Compares Himself to Obama (In the Capital)

Weekly jobless claims up slightly (USA Today)

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Lighter Side

Governor's Mansion
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