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Friday, February 14, 2014
Programming Note: No Newsletter on Monday will not publish on Monday in observance of the Presidents' Day holiday.

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day! Lockhart starts sharing details of her massive education technology plan. A legislative committee recommends a moderate boost in school funding. Dunnigan wants to crack down on payday lenders.


  • 27 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 28 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 32 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 34 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 34 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 71 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 130 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 263 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 626 days to the 2015 elections
  • 691 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 997 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart is starting to share some details of her massive education technology initiative [Utah Policy, Tribune, Daily Herald].
  • Sen. Mike Lee joins an effort by Sen. Ted Cruz to protect states like Utah that define marriage as between a man and a woman [Tribune].
  • A legislative committee recommends a 2.5% increase in per-pupil spending in Utah's schools [Tribune].
  • Rep. Jim Dunnigan unveils legislation to crack down on abuses by payday lenders in Utah [Tribune].
  • The Utah House approves a bill to modify the state's controversial school grading program [Tribune].
  • Rep. Greg Hughes is proposing a bill that would require bars to have a breathalyzer on-site for patrons to use [Utah Policy, Tribune,
  • Lawmakers could spend $2 million on lobbying against the federal government listing the greater sage grouse as a protected species [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker joins with more than 350 other mayors in signing the "Freedom to Marry" petition[Deseret News].
  • A proposal would move oversight for Utah's strike force on immigrant crime from the Attorney General's office to the Department of Public Safety [Tribune].
  • A clean air bill to help Utahns replace polluting yard-care equipment clears a Utah House committee [Tribune].
  • Critics of the Stericycle medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake rally outside the Governor's office demanding the state shut the facility down [Tribune].
  • A bill aims to make local school board members more responsive to the constituents who elected them [Deseret News].
On this day in history:
  • Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established in 1903.
  • Arizona became the 48th state in 1912.
  • The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920.
  • Members of Al Capone's gang killed rival gang members in what became known as the "St. Valentine's Day massacre" in 1929.

Today At Utah Policy

Bob Bernick's Notebook: Told You So
Well, it's about time I said, "I told you so."...

Some Details on Lockharts 'Big Education Bill' Emerge
Complete with a multi-color flow chart, Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart walked her GOP caucus through her "big education bill"Thursdayafternoon in an open meeting....

Minimum Wage Hike Proposal Would Impact Utah Education System
An effort to raise the minimum wage in Utah to $10.25 per hour would cost the state about $20 million annually....

Bill Would Require Bars to Have Breathalyzer Available for Patrons
Every bar would need to get a breathalyzer machine, and allow drinking patrons to test their blood alcohol level for free, under a measure to be introduced by a House GOP leader....

Sen. Daniel Thatcher vs. the Utah Policy 'Lightning Round'
With just 60 seconds to answer as many stupid questions as possible, Sen. Daniel Thatcher faces the "Lightning Round."...

Thatcher Talks School Safety Legislation (Video)
Sen. Daniel Thatcher says he's working on a couple of school safety-related issues for the 2014 session....

Featured Items

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #176
The House is about to wrap up their investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow. Some details begin to emerge from House Speaker Becky Lockhart's massive education technology plan. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down week #3 from the Utah Legislature....

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes-- Tribune: Ski Lift of the Week: Lookout at Eagle Point--Tribune: Stream access supporters rally for compromise bill--Tribune:Moab prepares to come out of hibernation-- For the?latest wildlife news and information?and the?fishing report?visit theDWR websiteWeek...

Weekly Survey: What Will Happen with Medicaid Expansion
What will Utah lawmakers do with Medicaid expansion? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Lee to Obama: Respect States' Rights to Define Marriage
Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz introduce legislation that would blockthe Obama administration's efforts to impose itsgay marriage agenda on all 50 states....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Swallow probe rightly leads to payday lender limits

Preschool, tech, basic Utah education funding recommended

Utah Senate OKs bill on residency rules for candidates

House votes to tweak school grading

Stericycle critics rally at Utah guv's office

Budget panel wants more troopers, better pay for guardian ad litems

Lawmaker who led Swallow probe targeting payday lenders

Bill would give incentives for cleaner yard equipment

Report: School technology price tag as much as $750 million

Lee, Cruz seek to protect states' rights on gay marriage

Proposed bill may require bars to have breathalyzers

Deseret News

Op-ed: Help the real poor, not the panhandlers

Editorial: Taming federal spending

Appropriations committee sets priorities for education, recommends 2.5 percent increase in WPU

Families better served by quality education than tax breaks, school board member says

Utah House speaker unveils ambitious, high-priced education plan

Gov. Herbert will meet with Stericycle opponents

Lawmaker looks to ensure completion of divorce orientation course

Bill would exclude archery equipment from list of dangerous weapons

Utah lawmaker proposes to put breathalyzer machines in bars, clubs


Legislature looking to give money for carp removal at Utah Lake (Daily Herald)

Resolution would tell drone industry that Utah is open for business (Daily Herald)

Lockhart seeks buy-in for $300 million education plan (Daily Herald)

Merrill Cook: Parties, pols should cease attacks on initiative process (Standard-Examiner)

Bill to make voter registration lists private raises concerns about GRAMA (Standard-Examiner)

Bountiful lawmaker's bill would put limits on panhandling (Standard-Examiner)

Lawmakers debate extending sales tax breaks for Nucor Steel (Standard-Examiner)

Bills send mixed signals on electric cars in Utah (Standard-Examiner)

Ogden lawmaker brought to tears introducing Native American resolution (Standard-Examiner)

Utah police chiefs criticize bill restricting forcible-entry warrants (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Poll: Thumbs down on Vladimir Putin, Russia (Politico)

A fight in Florida for national bragging rights (Politico)

Obamacare Enrollment Rate Slows Markedly In January (Weekly Standard)

GOP hits Obama on Medicare Advantage (The Hill)

Mary Matalin: Hillary Won't Even Run (Newsmax)

Debt limit saves GOP from political showdown (Washington Post)

Storm clutches Northeast in a snowy, icy grip; D.C. shut down (Los Angeles Times)

GOP's Doc Hastings to retire from Congress (Politico)

Report: Lawyer Fight in Rand Paul's NSA Lawsuit Goes Public (Game Politics)

Wendy Davis's 20-Week Abortion Ban Compromise (Daily Beast)

Corruption Fighting Mayor Ray Nagin Guilty of Corruption (Liberty Voice)

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Wise Words

"We need men who can dream of things that never were."
John F. Kennedy Quotations Page

Lighter Side

President Interview
"The Super Bowl was on Fox, so the traditional pre-game sit-down with President Obama went to Bill O'Reilly. The interview got off to a rocky start. O'Reilly asked Obama, 'Where you were born was football played with your feet?' And it went downhill from there. . .At the end of the interview O'Reilly said he thinks Obama's 'heart is in the right place.' What does that mean? That's basically saying that I don't think he's destroying America intentionally." Jimmy Kimmel Political Humor

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