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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - February 13, 2014

Swallow investigation looks to deal with deleted data. Lawmaker proposes plan to shut down the NSA facility. Gas tax measure moves out of committee.


  • 28 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 131 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 264 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 627 days to the 2015 elections
  • 692 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 998 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • One of the outcomes from the committee investigating former Attorney General John Swallow is a focus on what to do when the subject of a legislative probe destroys data or documents [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Rep. Marc Roberts is proposing legislation that will essentially shut down the massive NSA data center in Bluffdale by cutting of the facility's water [Tribune].
  • Meanwhile, another bill would exempt the NSA facility from paying taxes on utilities [Deseret News].
  • A bill that would automatically increase the gas tax if the price of fuel rises moves out of a Senate committee [Tribune].
  • Sen. Jim Dabakis says legislative Republicans and Gov. Herbert are "clueless" about the need for a statewide non-discrimination law [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah's Latino lawmakers say the legislatureneeds to take action on Medicaid expansion [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The proponents of "Count My Vote" say their initiative to replace caucuses with primary elections will give more electoral power to women voters [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers get caught in the middle of a brewing tussle between Rocky Mountain Power and Kennecott Utah Copper [Tribune].
  • Utah's farmers worry food prices could skyrocket without comprehensiveimmigration reform [Tribune].
  • A bill raising the speed limit on some Utah highways to 80 mph takes another step forward [Tribune].
  • Rep. Ken Ivory introduces a bill requiring constitutional notes on legislation to explain how legislation would help or hinder state sovereignty [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Jim Nielson wants to restrict panhandling next to state roads [Tribune, Deseret News].
On this day in history:
  • The first public school in what is now the United States was founded in Boston in 1635.
  • A jury found Bruno Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnapping death of the son of Charles Lindberg in 1935.
  • The League of Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland in 1920.
  • France exploded its first atomic bomb in 1960.
  • Konstantin Chernenko became general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee in 1984.
  • French figure skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne was accused of throwing the pairs competition to the Russian team in 2002.
  • Washington became the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2012.

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Thatcher Talks School Safety Legislation (Video)
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Bryan Schott's Political BS: Message, Mediums and Echo Chambers
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Legislators Consider Draft Report on Swallow Investigation
A confidential draft report on the House's John Swallow investigation which has now cost $3.8 million was given to the committee on Wednesday, starting the official 21-day review period....

Ivory Moves to Expand Constitutional Notes on Legislation
Always fighting for states' rights and sovereignty, Rep. Ken Ivory has two bills this session aimed at educating both lawmakers and lawyers who work for state and local governments in Utah....

Committee Declines Action on Proposal to Put Tax Increases to Public Vote
A proposal to amend the Utah Constitution allowing legislators to put any tax increase to a vote of the people basically died on Wednesday morning in a Senate committee....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Get 'dark consulting' out of Utah politics

In Their Own Words: Clean air bills

Utah House kills bill to prevent windfall spending

Committee takes first step toward Utah gas tax hike

Swallow probe panel seeks crackdown on data destruction

Utah's Latino lawmakers call for action on Medicaid

Utah considers all-out attack on schools' digital divide

Congress turns Utah water bill into military pension boost

Bill seeks to restrict panhandling

80 mph speed zones hit home stretch in Utah

Backers say Count My Vote will empower women

State poised to yank Utah adoption agency's license

Bill: Let Utahns keep their voter records private

Utah legislator to propose halting water to NSA data center

Utah may take lead in protection of fathers' rights in adoption cases

Utah lawmakers try to calm clash between Kennecott, Rocky Mountain Power

Electric cars may get tax credit, but see registration fees triple

Swallow scandal-spawned bill goes to governor

Deseret News

Op-ed: Count My Vote's five major flaws

Dan Liljenquist: Our national power grid lacks physical security

Jay Evensen: Giggles and scorn keep us from really discussing questions of morality

Editorial: Free trade

State lawmakers consider bill to exempt Utah spy center from having to pay a utility tax

Bill would give parents access to statewide high-stakes test materials before test is administered

Bill to curb panhandling narrowly survives House committee

Utah Latino legislators speak out on Medicaid expansion, goals for political participation

House passes bill clarifying role of local school board members

Coalition calls for investment in financial literacy education

Refugees could receive extended help under bill endorsed by House committee

Committee favors bill to raise registration fees for natural gas and electric vehicles

Committee favors bill to set criteria for raising speed limits

House committee: New emails confirm evidence against former Attorney General John Swallow


Legislation targets NSA data center (Daily Herald)

Bill would keep panhandlers out of traffic (Daily Herald)

Senator Valentine's gas tax adjustment gets first approval (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Get rid of 'dark consulting' (Standard-Examiner)

Utility Surcharge Would Help Fund Clean Air Programs (Standard-Examiner)

Preschool Program Passes the House (Standard-Examiner)

Environmentalists encouraged by Bishop's wilderness push to open talks (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Senate approves debt hike after McConnell, GOP leaders vote 'yes' (The Hill)

Behind the scenes of a dramatic debt vote (Politico)

Former New Orleans mayor guilty of graft in Katrina recovery (Reuters)

Sen. Rand Paul files NSA lawsuit. Can he win? (Christian Science Monitor)

White House Unveils Plan To Cut Hacking Risk, But Will It Work? (NBC News)

California Rep. Gary Miller won't seek re-election (Associated Press)

Cuomo says he'll evaluate GWB scandal, Christie after probes (Newsday)

Obama signs executive order raising minimum wage (USA Today)

San Diego mayor-elect's win a boost to state GOP, experts say (Los Angeles Times)

Christie Ridicules Democrats for Emphasizing Income Inequality (New York Times)

De Blasio waves off questions on arrest phone call (Newsday)

Davis back in spotlight over 20-week abortion ban, medical marijuana (KVUE)

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Wise Words

Sublimest Word
"Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less."
Robert E. Lee Quotations Page

Lighter Side

"CVS is no longer selling cigarettes. They say, 'It's the right thing to do for our customers and our company in their path for better health.' I go to CVS all the time. If they want to promote better health, maybe they should stop selling Cheese Whiz, Circus Peanuts, Little Debbie jelly rolls and all the ingredients for meth." Jimmy Kimmel Political Humor

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