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Monday, January 26, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Monday - January 26, 2015

Utah Legislature gets underway. Romney reportedly considering a run because of his LDS faith. Utah County GOP opposes Healthy Utah.


  • Today is the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 45
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 197
  • Days to the 2015 election - 281
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 357
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 364
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 519
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 652

Monday's top-10 headlines:

  1. The Utah Legislature gets underway today. Utahns rank education funding, preparing high school students for the job market and developing energy resources in the state as their top priorities [Utah Policy].
  2. Dealing with the gasoline tax is expected to be a big battle on the Hill this session [Tribune, Deseret News].
  3. People close to Mitt Romney say he's considering a third run for president because of his Mormon faith [New York Times].
  4. GOP presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa to court voters [Wall Street Journal].
  5. The Utah County GOP votes to oppose Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah alternative to Medicaid expansion [Tribune].
  6. Accused fraudster Mark Sessions Jenson claims he paid off an associate of former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to continue with his access to Shurtleff during a criminal prosecution [Tribune].
  7. Utah Democrats honor the career of former Rep. Jim Matheson at their annual fundraiser [Deseret News].
  8. Utah's unemployment rate drops to 3.5% [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  9. Rep. Rob Bishop is pushing a measure to allow the U.S. Border Patrol to enforce, or waive, environmental laws within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border [Tribune].
  10. The east coast, including New York and Boston, is bracing for a massive snow storm that has already caused the cancelation of hundreds of flights [New York Daily News].

On this day in history:

  • 1837 - Michigan became the 26th state.
  • 1861 - Louisiana seceded from the Union.
  • 1870 - Virginia rejoined the Union.
  • 1998 - President Bill Clinton denied having an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, telling reporters, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
  • 2005 - Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as secretary of state.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: What Do Utahns Want Lawmakers to Focus on During 2015 Session?
Making sure Utah’s children can properly read by the third grade is the top issue state residents want the 2015 Legislature to address, a new poll shows....

Previewing the 2015 Utah Legislature: Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (Video)
House Minority Whip Rebecca Chavez-Houck talks with Managing Editor Bryan Schott about Medicaid expansion, education funding and the number of new lawmakers on the Hill this session....

Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck vs. the "Lightning Round" (Video)
How long can Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck hold her breath? Find out in this edition of the "Lightning Round."...

Twitter and Politics: It's Risky, But Riskier to Ignore
Twitter presents a lot of risks and opportunities for political campaigns....

Lee Plan Would Abolish Supreme Court Filibusters
Sens. Lamar Alexander and Mike Lee are working on a proposalthat would gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nomineesand yield big rewards for whichever party wins the White House in 2016....

Featured Items

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Will the Legislature Hike Taxes to Pay for Education?
Our "Political Insiders" and readers don't think there's much of a chance that the legislature will pass a proposed 1% hike in the personal income tax rate to give more money to schools.  ...

Winning the Political Game: What it Takes to Win
Being successful in politics takes a lot of talent and smarts. But that’s not enough. ...

Turning the Tide for Financial Support for Education
For years Utah has spent less per pupil than any other state in the country and our class sizes are larger.  ...

Fewest Utahns Unemployed Since Great Recession
Utah’s economy continues to grow stronger, posting a healthy 3.9 percent job growth rate that pushed unemployment down to 3.5 percent, according to new data released today....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Medicaid, 'Healthy Utah' and 'Frail Utah'

Op-ed: Utah's track record shows GOED does its job well

Editorial: Give police review process true independence

Becky Lockhart's family honors her as more than Utah's Iron Lady

Raise Utah's gas tax or reform it? House and Senate divided

Utah's Rep. Bishop pushes GOP bill to waive environmental laws along border

Utah County GOP votes to oppose Herbert's Medicaid expansion

Greg Hughes: Incoming House speaker scraps his way to top

Deseret News

John Florez: Education is 'app' to change - will Utah follow?

Ron Clegg: Primary seat belt law will save lives

Robert Bennett: Obama's State of the Union address had plenty of style, little stage-setting

Utah jobless rate at 3.5 percent

Marc Jenson's testimony in fraud case describes dealings with former A.G. Shurtleff

Sen. Mike Lee urges conservative Republicans to select 'principled, positive and proven' presidential candidate

Legislative priorities: What matters to Utah families

About Utah: Utah Valley University fills a niche like no other

Higher education leaders seek $337 million in state funding

Former Congressman Jim Matheson honored at Democratic fundraiser

New prison site not expected to be named during 2015 session

Lawmakers looking to pump up gas tax this session


Editorial: Lawmakers go back to work Monday (Daily Herald)

Lockhart eulogized as woman of good heart, noble deeds, faith in God (Daily Herald)

UVU President Matthew Holland keeping watchful eye on state legislature (Daily Herald)

What to expect in the upcoming Utah State Legislature (Daily Herald)

Brad Dee: The issue that will shape the Legislative session (Standard-Examiner)

Raise Utah income tax for schools? May be a tough sell (Standard-Examiner)

Davis chamber leaders look for legislative influence (Standard-Examiner)

Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell will seek a second term (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Charles Koch: We're just getting started (Politico)

'There appear to be no rules anymore.' (Politico)

Tech eyes Cuban payday (The Hill)

NSA reform remains cybersecurity legislation's biggest hurdle (The Hill)

Pope's visit to stoke climate fight (The Hill)

Obama seeks to put Alaska refuge off-limits to drilling (USA Today)

Denis McDonough's slip of the tongue (Politico)

The GOP's field of presidential hopefuls grows ever more crowded (Washington Post)

Mike Huckabee on 2016 bid: 'I'm moving in that direction' (The Week)

Syriza poised for victory in Greek election (MarketWatch)

Eyes on Fed after ECB, other bank stimulus moves (Reuters)

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Lighter Side

Justice Humor
"Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep during Obama's speech. She woke up with the other justices drawing a gavel on her face." Conan O'Brien Political Humor

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