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Monday, February 10, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - February 10, 2014

Increased education funding actually went to retirement or healthcare costs. Plan to hike registration fees on alternative fuel vehicles runs into some opposition.


  • 31 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 134 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 267 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 630 days to the 2015 elections
  • 695 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1001 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • Most of the money allocatedby lawmakers to boost per-pupil spending last year actually went to the stateretirement system or rising healthcare costs [Tribune].
  • Utah schools look to boost technology use in the classroom [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers consider making some changes to the state's controversial school-grading law [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Curt Oda wants to preserve gun rights for people convicted of some "white-collar" felonies [Tribune].
  • A state study suggests Utah's liquor laws may lead to more people drinking at home [Tribune].
  • Natalie Gochnour argues in favor of hiking Utah's gas tax [Deseret News].
  • A bill by Sen. Wayne Harper would hike registration fees on alternative fuel vehicles, prompting some cries of outrage [Tribune]. Harper says his bill is not meant to discourage people from purchasing electric or natural gas powered cars [Utah Policy].
  • Sen Brian Shiozawa introduces legislation to keep USTAR's funding following a critical audit while increasing accountability and transparency [Utah Policy].
  • A state audit says the Attorney General's office could do a better job tracking it's fleet of vehicles [Tribune].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart's rising profile in Congress means he's expected to contribute funds to help other Republicans get elected [Tribune].
  • Backers of of the "Count My Vote" initiative to change Utah's nominating system are not happy with Sen. Curt Bramble's bill which would essentially nullify their efforts [Daily Herald]. Bramble says his bill would be a compromise between caucus supporters and "Count My Vote" [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake City has to return $1.2 million to developers due toconflicting language in an ordinance on road fees [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War in 1763. France ceded Canada to England under terms of the treaty.
  • Members of the LDS Church began their exodus west from Illinois in 1846.
  • The Soviet Union exchanged captured spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers for Soviet spy Rudolph Abel in 1962.
  • The 25th Amendment, which deals with presidential succession, was ratified in 1967.
  • North Korea announced it possessed nuclear weapons in 2005.
  • Sen. Barack Obama kicked off his presidential campaign in Springfield, Illinois in 2007.

Today At Utah Policy

Rep. Jon Cox vs. the Utah Policy "Lightning Round"
Rep. Jon Cox has 60 seconds to answer as many stupid questions as he can. It's the Utah Policy "Lightning Round."...

Rep. Jon Cox - One of the 'New Guys' on Utah's Capitol Hill (Video)
Rep. Jon Cox is one of the newest members of the Utah Legislature after being appointed to fill the seat vacated by his distant cousin Spencer Cox who became Utah's new Lt. Governor....

Bill Would Force Changes to Utah's Nominating System (Video)
Sen. Curt Bramble is wading into the debate over how Utah political parties nominate their candidates....

Harper Says Fee Hike on Alternative Fuel Vehicles is Necessary to Maintain Roads (Video)
Sen. Wayne Harper caught some heat last week from Utah Democrats for SB 139, which hikes registration fees on electric, natural gas and hybrid vehicles. At first blush the legislation seems a little tone deaf, especially given all the attention being paid to Utah's air quali...

Shiozawa Introduces Legislation Calling for More Oversight and Transparency for USTAR (Video)
A compromise bill that preserves the mission of USTAR, but adds more oversight and accountability to the technology commercialization entity is coming to light on Utah's Capitol Hill....

Bob Bernick's Notebook: 12 Days Down...
A couple of observations as the 2014 Legislature wraps up its second week.-- Is it just me, or do the senators and representatives seem a little more relaxed, even happier, this session?I haven't seen so many smiles and general joking around for some time.Ronald McDonald was...

Featured Items

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Lockhart's Education Technology Proposal
House Speaker Becky Lockhart is proposing the state spend between $200 and $300 million on a program to increase technology use in the classroom. Our "Political Insiders" and readers weigh in on the idea.Results and anonymous comments after the jump....

State Forces Citizens to Choose Between Their Right to Privacy and Their Right to Vote
When Utah citizens register to vote, they give up their right to individual privacy because the state of Utahsells the entire voter data basewhich contains the personal identifying information of 1.5 million voters to anyone willing to pay $1,050 for it....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Orrin Hatch: Obamacare threatens Utah families' future

Op-ed: HB37 a sound compromise in stream-access fight

Editorial: Utah's open-admissions schools need taxpayer help

Utah recreational land swap finally wraps up

Utah Senate passes first clean-air bill

Drinking data may stir liquor debate

80 mph speed zone bill clears House, heads to Senate

Is charging alt-fuel drivers more good for roads or bad for the air?

State agency seeks $1 million to prevent listing of sage grouse

Rising status in Congress comes with big dues for Utah's Chris Stewart

D.C. Notebook: Lee: Farm bill is Frankenstein's monster

Utah considers all-out attack on schools' digital divide

Insurance, retirement soak up boosts to Utah's per-pupil spending

Lawmakers debate fixes for Utah doc shortage

Deseret News

Natalie Gochnour: Time to raise Utah's motor fuel tax

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Legislature review: Air, alcohol and the Affordable Care Act

Robert Bennett: Living in a representative democracy

John Florez: Utah education is a leaky pipeline

House approves 80 mph speed limit bill

Supporters of prison move will try again to sway lawmakers

Senate committee supports bill to limit use of CO gas at animal shelters

Long-sought recreational land exchange approved

Lawmakers, educators debate changes to school grading law

New state report could play role in future liquor law debates

Bill seeks to open custody questions in domestic homicide investigations

Opposition to cockfighting bill raised in Senate committee meeting

When counting college degrees, more Utah legislators bleed BYU blue

Survey: Utahns most concerned about education, air quality


Leaders of Count My Vote aren't pleased with Bramble's bill (Daily Herald)

House approves bill that could lead to higher speed limits (Daily Herald)

Brad Dee: 911 consolidation bill needed (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: Species Act needs overhaul (Standard-Examiner)

Housing for the mentally ill imperiled in Weber County (Standard-Examiner)

Don Porter: North Ogden representative still trying to tear down that 'curtain' (Standard-Examiner)

USU President Stan Albrecht stresses funding needs at legislative subcommittee meeting (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Reid again eyes Senate rulebook (The Hill)

Snowden used common, low-cost tool to get NSA files: report (AJC)

Chuck Schumer floats 2017 immigration plan (Politico)

Ex-Gen. David Petraeus says Hillary Clinton would 'make a tremendous President' (New York Daily News)

US eases restrictions for asylum seekers who gave 'limited' support to terror groups (RT)

New Jersey paper: We 'blew' Chris Christie endorsement in 2013 (CBS News)

Indiana Lawmakers Propose Screening Welfare Recipients, Limit Food Stamps (21Alive)

White House backs Joe Hockey's plans for IMF reform (Sydney Morning Herald)

NY insurer to give customers 3 weeks free coverage (Associated Press)

California drought a 'train wreck' for Central Valley farms (San Francisco Chronicle)

Yellen faces first grilling before Congress (USA Today)

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Wise Words

Limiting Choices
"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise."
Robert Fritz Quotations Page

Lighter Side

Faked Playing
"Yesterday, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea admitted the band faked playing during the Super Bowl. In his defense, so did the Broncos." Conan O'Brien Political Humor

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