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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - October 16, 2013
Countdown: There are 21 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 105 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 380 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 814 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • Has Sen. Mike Lee's strategy to stop Obamacare failed? [Tribune]
  • If the government shutdown goes on much longer, Utah may have to stop a number of programs including food stamps [Tribune].
  • A video showing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, acting as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, getting grilled by Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen over a stealthy rule change which virtually guaranteed a government shutdown, has gone viral [KSL].
  • After a number of projections of a surplus, Utah lawmakers got news of a possible deficit next year depending on how the federal budget fight plays out [Utah Policy].
  • A Senate panel approves Rep. Spencer Cox as Utah's next Lt. Governor, sending his nomination to the full Senate for a vote [Deseret News].
  • With apologies to Talking Heads - "How did Rep. Spencer Cox get here?" [Tribune]
  • The success of the USTAR program is called into question by a scathing legislative audit [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • A Legislative audit questions how anti-wolf groups spent money given to them by lawmakers [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The Count My Vote group begins to hold public meetings about their citizen's initiative [Deseret News].
  • Utah may have to spend another $7 million to keep the state's national parks open through December [Deseret News].
  • Utah's ski resorts say they won't feel much pain if the government shutdown continues into ski season [Tribune].
  • Yummy! Rep. Dixon Pitcher is drafting legislation which would allow Utahns to keep and eat roadkill [Tribune].
  • Gov. Herbert names a 38-person team to come up with ways to combat Utah's dirty air [Tribune].
  • Dick Buehler, director of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, announces his retirement [Tribune].

Today At Utah Policy

Audit Questions USTAR's Success Stories
Some years ago the Legislature's Auditor General produced a scathing report on the high salaries and other goodies within the state's retirement office.I well recall the then-Speaker of the Utah House, Nolan Karras, getting red-faced and slamming his fist down on the committ...

Utah's Economy Could Go from Surplus to Deficit
Those fine days of large state tax surpluses may be over.Unlike recent years of extra cash, a new state tax projection says the current fiscal year, now just three months old, could end up with a $135 million deficit come nextJuly 1.Or a $75 million surplus.It just depends o...

Economic Confidence Dropping Like a Rock
Yikes! Economic confidence is cratering in the wake of the government shutdown.The latest measure from Gallup shows economic confidence, which wasn't too high to begin with, has dropped 12 points in the first week of the government shutdown.The -39 score is the lowest they'v...

Audit Dings Utah's Spending on Wolf Delisting
Want to personally make more than $200,000 from the Utah State Government?Figure out a way to get the Legislature to spend $800,000 to provide a plan to delist from the federal government a predator that was already on its way to being delisted as an endangered species....

Utah Gets High Rankings in 'Tax Friendliness' for Businesses
Gov. Gary Herbert loves to tout that Utah is a great place for business, but a new analysis ranks us as the #9 "most tax-friendly state for business."...

Featured Items

Zions Bank Surpasses 1 Million Meal Goal During 10th Annual Food Drive
Zions Bank today announced that it has exceeded its goal of donating 1 million meals to food banks in Utah and Idaho since 2003 with support from the community and employees in both states."Let's Reach a Million Meals" was the theme of the bank's 10th annual food drive, whic...

Governor Herbert Names Clean Air Action Team
Today Governor Gary R. Herbert announced the creation of the Clean Air Action Team. This group of diverse individuals will gather research, work with the public and recommend practical and effective strategies to improve Utah's air quality. Members of the CAAT come from the ...

D'Oh! 2018America Is Not Stupid' Wins IRS Recognition as Tax-Exempt Nonprofit
Smart move?The IRS has granted nonprofit status to America Is Not Stupid 2013 a so-called dark money group best known for a 2012 election ad featuring a talking baby who compared the smell of his diaper with a Montana senator....

2013 Utah Life Science Summit Features Top State and National Leaders, Unrivalled Networking Opportunities
BioUtahreleased the agenda for the 2013 Utah Life Science Summit, Utah's premier life science event, which will be held all day, November 6 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah....

Utah Political Insider Poll: Grading Spencer Cox as Utah's Next Lt. Governor
What do our readers and "Political Insiders" think about the selection of Rep. Spencer Cox to be Utah's next Lt. Governor?...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Could cheap UTA passes in Salt Lake City spread elsewhere?

Audit: $334 million USTAR effort inflated jobs, revenue

Lawmaker drafts bill to help Utahns keep and eat roadkill

So much for Lee's strategy - Obamacare survives

End near for food stamps, WIC if shutdown goes on

Utah governor calls up 'action team' to fight dirty air

How Cox rose from farm boy to lieutenant-governor-in-waiting

Audit: Contracts for anti-wolf groups didn't safeguard tax dollars

Deseret News

Editorial: Uneducated Americans

Audit: USTAR revenue, jobs reports were overstated and inaccurate

Legislative audit: State wolf contract lacks accountability, appropriate safeguards

Public hearings starting on Count My Vote initiative

Utah's Gov. Gary Herbert announces Clean Air Action Team

Federal shutdown threatens Utah food stamps, WIC programs

Utah may spend another $7M to keep national parks open


Cox expected to take office as lieutenant governor (Standard-Examiner)

Utah among top 10 tax climates in U.S. (Standard-Examiner)

Davis and Weber counties propose space for state prisoners (Standard-Examiner)

Lawmaker Froerer looks to a legal form of cannabis (Standard-Examiner)

Audit claims USTAR overstated success (Standard-Examiner)

Gov. Herbert: State could lose $1 billion in tourism during shutdown (Standard-Examiner)

Wolf funding audit brings out political divide (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Report: Hillary Clinton's security team not fine with London parking ticket (The Hill)

John Edwards's former mistress makes public apology: 'I behaved badly' (The Hill)

Reid urges patience, remains optimistic over deal prospects (CNN)

House GOP pursues own bill on debt and shutdown (USA Today)

Government shutdown: House Republicans seek a way out of fiscal impasse (Chicago Tribune)

Newtown, Conn., aims to keep demolition under wraps, eliminate all traces of Sandy Hook school (Associated Press)

Vets rally at WWII memorial for end to 'devastating' impact of partial shutdown (Fox News)

Ex-San Diego Mayor Pleads Guilty to 3 Crimes (Associated Press)

Landmark case? Supreme Court to review EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. (Christian Science Monitor)

NYC Police Union Sues City Council Over Profiling Lawsuits (Bloomberg)

Court Likely to Uphold Michigan Measure on Race (Associated Press)

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Wise Words

The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.Walt Whitman Quotations Page

Lighter Side

Keeping the Lights On
"What the difference between the government and Motel 6? Motel 6 can afford to keep the lights on." Jay Leno
Political Humor

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