Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 348th day of the year. There are 17 days remaining in 2017.
19 days until candidates can declare their intent to gather signatures for the 2018 election (1/2/2018)
39 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
84 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
85 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
91 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
96 days until the statewide caucus meetings for Utah Republicans and Democrats (3/20/2018)
128 days until the GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
194 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
327 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
1,055 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)
Today's political TL; DR -
Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled his $16.7 billion budget proposal for 2018. The plan includes a boost for public and higher education [Utah Policy].
More women than ever before are running for Congress in 2018 [Utah Policy].
Sen. Orrin Hatch says final passage of the GOP tax proposal will come quickly now that there's been a deal struck between the House and Senate [Tribune].
Utah's Democrats are energized by the unlikely win by Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones [Deseret News].
Most of the legislators in Utah County are now calling on Utah County Commissioner Greg Graves to resign from office [Deseret News].
A state audit finds the Park City School District didn't follow procedure when they gave a contract to a North Salt Lake company. That company later violated state law by improperly awarding a subcontract to another firm [Tribune].
A new report says Utah women who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing or child care [Deseret News, Tribune].
The feds gave initial approval to the construction of the Lake Powell Pipeline. But, the same federal agency says they may not have much jurisdiction over the project, which could slow down construction [Tribune].
Republicans are closing in on a final tax overhaul package. Expect the House and Senate to vote on the final bill next week. The deal, which goes into effect in 2018, lowers the corporate tax rate to 21-percent and drops the top tax rate to 37-percent [New York Times].
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was grilled by a Congressional panel on Wednesday. Republicans are ramping up their attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller over text messages by former members of his team that were critical of President Donald Trump [Fox News].
The shocking win by Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race on Tuesday is energizing Democrats ahead of next year's midterm elections [Washington Post].
The loss of a Republican-controlled seat in Alabama has touched off an internal GOP fight over who is to blame [Politico].
Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is refusing to concede following his narrow loss on Tuesday [Fox News].
White House aides are worried that President Trump's refusal to accept the conclusion from multiple intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election is harming the ability to prevent similar meddling in the future [Washington Post].
The White House puts the kibosh on two controversial nominees for the federal bench after Senate Republicans make it clear they won't be confirmed [Politico].
The FCC will vote on whether to repeal the policy of "net neutrality" on Thursday. If the rules are repealed, it could allow big telecom companies to slow down or even block some content on the internet [Politico].
Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur says some of the clothing her female colleagues wear is an "invitation" to harassment [Politico].
Minnesota's governor taps Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Sen. Al Franken's seat in the Senate after he resigns [Real Clear Politics].
A Kentucky state lawmaker died in an apparent suicide after allegations surfaced that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in 2013 [CNN].
Whoops! Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's security detail lost track of him last week in the Hamptons, which led to an awkward search for him in a takeout joint [Page Six].
Drama! Depending on who you listen to, White House appointee Omarosa Manigault Newman either resigned or was fired from her job this week. There are reports that after the firing Newman tried to storm into the White House residence to confront President Donald Trump [Daily Beast].
On this day in history:
1799 - George Washington died at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia.
1819 - Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. State.
1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1940 - Plutonium is first isolated at Berkely, California.
1964 - The Supreme Court rules that Congress can use the Constitution's Commerce Clause to fight discrimination.
1972 - Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan re-entered the lunar lander and was the last person to walk on the moon.
2012 - Twenty-eight people, including twenty children, are killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn.
Weekly survey: Hatch's future/Santa's list By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor Sen. Orrin Hatch is expected to announce his future political plans by the end of the month. What do you think his decision will be? Also, let us know who in Utah politics belongs on Santa's naughty and nice lists. Take our weekly survey right now....