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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Best of Utah 2016 logoSalt Lake City Weekly highlighted Managing Editor Bryan Schott in their annual "Best of Utah" edition as "Best Political Schott in the Dark."

The editors said "If you have even one iota of interest in how this state and its cities are run, you should subscribe to or at least visit Utah Policy's site, where Schott curates local news and headlines five days a week in the Morning Must Reads. He also weighs in on the issues of the day with longtime political reporter Bob Bernick in more than 300 "Bernick and Schott on Politics" videos."

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 349th day of the year. There are 17 days remaining in 2016.

Utahns want to keep the Electoral College. The number of bills proposed for the 2017 legislature is ahead of last year's pace. Salt Lake City names four sites for new homeless shelters.

The clock:

  • Five days until the Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president (12/19/2016)
  • 37 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 40 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 85 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 328 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 692 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Keep the Electoral College. A new poll shows most Utahns think the Electoral College is worth keeping [Utah Policy].

  2. Legislative overload. The number of bills already proposed for the 2017 legislature is ahead of 2016's record-breaking pace [Utah Policy].

  3. Countdown continues. Our #10 Utah political story from 2016 is Utah's deal with Amazon to collect sales taxes on internet purchases [Utah Policy].

  4. Shelter Shuffle. Salt Lake City names four sites as future sites for homeless shelters [Tribune, Deseret News]. The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City will close once the new facilities come online [Tribune]. 

  5. Faithless. Harvard law professor Larry Lessig, claims 20 Republican electors are considering voting against Donald Trump. It would take 38 members to flip to stop Trump from winning [Politico].

  6. Zinke to Interior. Donald Trump picks Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke to head up the Interior Department [Wall Street Journal].

  7. Hacking remains at the forefront. The Russian hacking issue will not go away quietly. Sen. Bob Corker says the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold hearings [Politico]. The FBI tried to warn the Democratic National Committee about hacking attempts in 2015 [New York Times].

  8. What will Chaffetz do now? The House Oversight Committee, headed up by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, seemingly lacks a clear target now that Republicans control both the White House and Congress [Roll Call].

  9. Data dump. Climate scientists are frantically copying a massive amount of government climate science data because they are fearful it could be whitewashed under a Donald Trump administration [Washington Post]. On that subject, a new report says the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the globe [CNN].

  10. The struggle continues. Utah Republicans file a federal appeal over SB54 while, at the same time, the party is pursuing a compromise with Utah lawmakers to fix the plurality issue that could allow a nominee to win without a majority of the vote [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1799 - George Washington died at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia.
  • 1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole. 
  • 2008 - An Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference in Baghdad; Bush was not hit.
  • 2012 - A gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then committed suicide.

Today At Utah Policy

Utahns Say Keep the Electoral College

The Electoral College meets next Monday and will confirm Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. A new poll finds most Utahns say the system for determining the winner of the presidential election is working just as intended, so there's no need for a change....

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top-10 Utah Political News Stories of 2016 - #10

After years of begging Congress to take action on taxing internet sales, Utah struck a deal with to collect sales taxes on purchases from Utah....

Podcast: The Top-10 Utah Political News Stories of 2016 - #10

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue our countdown of the top-10 Utah political news stories from the past year....

Weekly Survey: Did Russian Hacking Tip the Election?

It has been reported that the CIA concluded Russian intelligence agencies tried to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Do you think that is a possibility? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Utah Democratic Party Announces Statewide Restructuring Effort, Listening Tour, and Formation of Reorganizing Task Force

The Utah Democratic Party announced an upcoming “Listening Tour” and Community Survey to gather feedback from Democrats across the state following the 2016 election....

What Limited Government? Utah Lawmakers are Already Proposing More Legislation than Last Year

Well, here we go again....

Policy News

Office of the State Auditor Releases Analysis: The Cost of Yesterday's Pension Promises to Public Education
The Office of the State Auditor released its analysis "The Cost of Yesterday’s Pension Promises to Public Education."  ...

Finance Republicans Seek Input on Future of Medicaid, Set Roundtable Discussion
In a letter, Senate Finance Committee Republicans requested input from Republican Governors on how to provide states with the flexibility to design and operate innovative Medicaid programs in a fiscally responsible way....

STEM Action Center-Funded Math Digital Learning Software Increases Student Proficiency
Students across the state using math digital learning programs available through Utah STEM Action Center grants had a greater level of success on the 2016 SAGE assessment than similar students without access to the learning tools. ...

Mark Huntsman Elected New Chair of Utah State Board of Education
Fillmore resident and businessman Mark Huntsman was elected as the chair of the Utah State Board of Education for a one-year term beginning in January 2017....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Don't let SLC's northwest quadrant fall victim to sprawl

Editorial: At last, a plan

Utah's health care future: Telemedicine and researching possible 'adventure in cannabis'

Road Home shelter on Rio Grande slated for closure, which would effectively reduce shelter beds by 500

Here is a look at the four Salt Lake City shelter sites

Rolly: We can learn something from Cuba's socialized medicine, says former Utah governor

GOP pursuing election lawsuit appeal while hammering out deal with lawmakers

BLM approves two transmission alignments across Utah

Salt Lake County faith leaders unite in push for religious freedom

Large arts groups to split $13.7M from ZAP

Utah lawmaker pledges bill to mandate rape-kit testing

Salt Lake City leaders say decision on homeless shelter sites set in concrete

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Criminals, not the homeless, are the main problem

Ralph Hancock: Christmas and Western hope

Richard Davis: The 2016 Simon Bamberger Political Courage Award

Op-ed: Utah's political landscape can be better

Editorial: International education benchmarks reflect poorly on U.S.

Jon Huntsman Jr. sees 'tough go' for Tillerson in Senate confirmation hearings

Federal lawsuit targets BLM planning rule

Public education lost $204M diverted to pension funds, Utah auditor says

Reaction to the announcement of Salt Lake's new homeless resource center

Utah Democrats seeking input to refocus party mission

What's next? Salt Lake City's transition from one-size-fits-all homeless services

'Spaces of hope': Salt Lake leaders unveil 4 new homeless shelter sites

Interior Department approves major transmission lines through Utah

Reactions to homeless resource center sites run gamut of compassion to outrage


Cache County Council approves $50 million budget for 2017 (Logan Herald Journal)

Editorial: What happens if Trump's next tweet is about the F-35? Now we know (Standard-Examiner)

Trump tweet on F-35: 'program and cost is out of control' (Standard-Examiner)

Utah County commissioners: We don't have the authority to overturn fines on city officials (Daily Herald)

Utah County passes 2017 budget of $82.3M with cost of living increase for some elected officials (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

This Northwest timber county hadn't voted GOP since Herbert Hoover. But times have changed (Los Angeles Times)

David Brock blasts Brooklyn, 'animals' in press (Politico)

Trump picks Rick Perry to lead Energy Department (The Hill)

Ryan, Trump turn corner in relationship (The Hill)

Reports: Trump Taps Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke To Lead Interior Department (NPR)

Trump wasn't happy with his State Department finalists. Then he heard a new name. (Washington Post)

Student arrested after bringing weapons into Trump Tower (New York Post)

Labor Secretary Tom Perez will join race to run DNC (Washington Post)

Federal judge wants to see Clinton emails search warrant (Chicago Tribune)

Where Are We on Brexit? The Picture Looks Messy Six Months On (Bloomberg)

Confirmation Battle Looms for Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State (Wall Street Journal)

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