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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Tuesday - January 27, 2015

Lawmakers get down to work. Poll shows Utahns want campaign finance limits. Koch brothers set to spend $900 million on 2016 election.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 44
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 196
  • Days to the 2015 election - 280
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 356
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 363
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 518
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 651

Tuesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. The Utah Legislature gets underway with remembrances of former speaker Becky Lockhart [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  2. The House GOP casts doubt on whether Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah will make it through the Legislature [Utah Policy].
  3. A new poll shows more than two-thirds of Utahns want lawmakers to pass campaign finance limits [Utah Policy].
  4. Before they get down to budgeting, lawmakers are asking state agencies to identify inefficiencies for possible cuts [Tribune].
  5. It's not clear whether lawmakers will get a chance to debate non-discrimination and religious liberty measures during the 2015 session [Tribune].
  6. Alcohol and public health issues should be a big topic of discussion during this year's session [Deseret News].
  7. Utah's Chief Justice calls for criminal justice reform and increasing pay for the judiciary [Deseret News, Tribune].
  8. Any measures to address Utah's air quality will probably depend on how much money lawmakers want to spend [Tribune].
  9. A proposed billl would give judges discretion when deciding sentencing for criminal offenses [Utah Policy].
  10. The Koch brothers say they plan to spend up to $900 million on the 2016 election [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1880 - Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
  • 1945 - Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
  • 1951 - Atomic testing in the Nevada desert began.
  • 1973 - The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
  • 1998 - First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Today" show, said that allegations against her husband were the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns Want Campaign Finance Limits
More than two-thirds of Utahns want some kind of campaign contribution limits in state elections, a new poll finds....

House GOP Non-Plussed by Herbert's Healthy Utah
Here’s a strange situation: The Utah House’s Medicaid expansion expert says it may be easier to get the Obama administration to approve the GOP Legislature’s expansion program than to get Republican Gov. Gary Herbert to sign it....

Romney's Faith Closely Tied to 2016 Decision
In trying to convince him to make another presidential run, Mitt Romney's allies are appealing to his Mormonbeliefs aboutserviceand patriotism, reports The New York Times....

Lockhart's Lasting Legacy on the Hill
Special presentations were made Monday morning in the Utah House’s opening ceremonies to the family of the late Speaker Becky Lockhart....

Lobbyists Now Required to Wear Nametags on the Hill
Billy Hesterman, a former report and now vice president of Utah Taxpayers Association, holds up his lobbyist I.D. ...

Lawmakers Remember Lockhart on Opening Day of 2015 Session
The 2015 Utah Legislature got underway Monday morning, after a few remarks remembering the late House Speaker Becky Lockhart, who died just over a week ago, and speeches by the new House Speaker Greg Hughes and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser....

Bill Would Give Judges Discretion in Deciding Criminal Sentences
It seems like almost every Utah legislative session, there are one or two bills that set a fixed penalty – sentence – for a criminal, but now a lawmaker wants to give state judges greater leeway in imposing prison time and fines....

Featured Items

Utah State Fairpark Board of Directors and Del Loy Hansen Sign Term Sheet for Construction of $18 Million Stadium at Fairpark
The Utah State Fairpark Chairman of the Board, Roger Beattie and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen announced today they have come to an agreement and formally signed a term sheet for the construction of an $18 million, 8,000 seat stadium at the Utah State Fairpark. ...

Gov. Herbert Issues Proclamation as Utah School Choice Week Begins with 67 Events Across the State
School Choice Week starts today in Utah and across America. ...

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

Rolly: Jason Chaffetz's power play has a familiar ring

Even with a surplus, Utah lawmakers eye budget cuts

New recommendations for medical marijuana encourage Utah parents of epileptic kids

Utah Legislature opens with familiar issues, commitment to solutions

Legislative fixes for Utah's air quality likely to come down to money

Utah Legislature: Will competing bills on gay rights, religious freedom get hearings?

Utah chief justice: Drugs, alcohol underlie 80% of crimes; more funding for treatment a must

Deseret News

Op-ed: Blueprint for a better future

Linda Harless: School choice empowers families

Derek B. Miller: Utah to benefit from international trade partnerships awaiting federal approval

Editorial: It's time to end the federal gas tax

Lawmakers consider Medicaid expansion, health care options for Utah's uninsured

New House Speaker Greg Hughes urges legislators to engage in 'big, hard fights'

Utah Supreme Court justice calls for criminal justice reform in State of Judiciary address

Utah lawmakers to weigh alcohol laws, public health issues

Utah residents rank air pollution as No. 1 threat to quality of life

Air pollution looms as pressing issue for families and lawmakers


Brad Wilson: What to do with Utah's modest budget surplus? (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: How to battle inversions (Standard-Examiner)

Legislature begins: northern Utah lawmakers back broad range of bills (Standard-Examiner)

Utah's Chief Justice urges lawmakers to fund more drug and alcohol treatment (Standard-Examiner)

Bear Lakers raise issues over Rep. Curt Webb's access bill (Logan Herald Journal)

Legislature opens with memories of Lockhart, review of top issues (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Inside Hillary Clinton's 2016 plan (Politico)

The do-something Congress? Ranking the most likely legislation (The Hill)

Obama sends signal to Saudis (The Hill)

'Historic' Northeast blizzard brings House to a halt (The Hill)

Former CIA officer convicted of leaking secrets to NYT reporter (Christian Science Monitor)

Harry Reid released from hospital following eye surgery (CBS News)

Chris Christie launches PAC, further fueling 2016 speculation (New York Daily News)

Kochs to Play Big in 2016-$1 Billion Big (Bloomberg)

U.S. Seen Limiting Oil Drilling in Arctic, May Open Atlantic (Bloomberg)

Obama in India: US president announces $4 billion of new initiatives, trade missions to help boost infrastructure (Economic Times)

Fed Seen Raising Rates Midyear Even With Low Inflation: Economy (Bloomberg)

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Wise Words

Failing Forward

"Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success." C. S. LewisBrainy Quote

Lighter Side

Sounds Great
"President Obama gave the State of the Union address, and I just have to say that I don't know what union he was describing. But I want to live there. I want to move. It sounds outstanding. There's a middle class. They have small businesses. It sounds great." Seth Meyers Political Humor