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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday - February 18, 2015

Utahns want to get rid of the "Zion Curtain." Bill to delay Count My Vote compromise dies in committee. The "frail Utah" Medicaid expansion plan moves ahead on the Hill.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 22
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 174
  • Days to the 2015 election - 258
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 334
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 341
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 496
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 629

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. A new poll shows 2/3 of Utahns want to do away with the so-called "Zion Curtain" in restaurants that serve alcohol [Utah Policy].
  2. A bill to delay the Count My Vote compromise is killed in a House committee [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  3. A Senate panel approves Sen. Allen Christensen's "frail Utah" Medicaid expansion plan [Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman says he has no plans to challenge Sen. Mike Lee in 2016 [Deseret News, Tribune].
  5. The number of free meals given to lawmakers by special interest groups has dropped dramatically this session [Tribune].
  6. The Utah Senate gives preliminary approval to a $75 million property tax hike to provide more funding for poorer school districts [Tribune].
  7. A measure making not wearing a seat belt a primary offense wins approval in the House and now heads to the Senate [Tribune, Deseret News].
  8. The House gives thumbs up to a bill that would increase the number of mail-in ballots accepted by state officials [Deseret News].
  9. The House approves a bill barring people under the age of 19 from entering smoke shops [Tribune, Deseret News].
  10. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has a 24-1 cash advantage over Jackie Biskupski and Luke Garrott [Utah Policy].

On this day in history:

  • 1861 - Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • 1970 - Five of the Chicago Seven defendents were found guilty of intent to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic national convention. The convictions were later overturned.
  • 1972 - The California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty.
  • 2001 - Veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested, accused of spying for Russia for more than 15 years.

Today At Utah Policy

Becker Has a Massive Cash Advantage Heading into Campaign Season
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has a 24-1 cash advantage over challenger Jackie Biskupski. His lead over Luke Garrott is even larger....

Bill Removes Standalone Charge for Possession of a Deadly Weapon
Can a weapon be “dangerous” before it’s actually used as a weapon?...

Exclusive Poll: Utahns Overwhelmingly Want to Do Away With Zion Curtain
Two-thirds of Utahns want to do away with the so-called “Zion Curtain,” a seven-foot wall that keeps restaurant patrons from seeing liquor bottles or seeing alcoholic drinks being mixed, a new UtahPolicy poll finds....

Who on the Hill Has the Best Facial Hair?
A number of Utah's legislators are sporting facial hair during the 2015 session. We want to know who wears it the best. Vote now!...

Bill to Delay Count My Vote Compromise Fails in House Committee
Rep. Fred Cox’s attempt to push back the implementation of the Count My Vote compromise to 2018 suffered an unceremonious death in a House committee on Tuesday morning....

Featured Items

New .VOTE and .VOTO Domains Now Available
Monolith Registry, a venture backed by global registry services provider Afilias, announced today that registration is now open to the public for two new generic top-level domains: “dot VOTE” or .VOTE, and its Spanish/Italian/Portuguese counterpart “do...

Winning the Political Game: Events Drive Politics
Success in politics, whether as a candidate, an incumbent, or a political activist, depends, in part, on events. ...

Trending in DC - What's Next for the Affordable Care Act?
As promised, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Feb. 3.  ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Fuss over homeless shelter is off target

House votes to toughen seat-belt law, holds off on plan to weaken anti-texting law

House OKs ban on youth in smoke shops

Immigrant drivers could face higher fees, more robust background checks

BLM oil and gas auction nets $342,000

Students say lawmakers should be required to visit schools before making laws about them

Bill again seeks to tear down Utah liquor laws' 'Zion curtain'

Committee kills bill to delay Utah's Count My Vote candidate-selection compromise

Bill limiting police forcible entry advances in Senate

Sex assault measure moves forward

Rolly: Hey, contact-lens wearers, here's a Utah bill to keep your eye on

Deseret News

Op-ed: Potential long-term health care costs born out of short-term political expediency

Jay Evensen: Texting and driving - how do you outlaw stupid?

Editorial: Don't ratchet back 1-year-old law on distracted driving by allowing some use of devices

Motorists not wearing seat belts would face warning, ticket under proposed law

Bill to boost countable ballots passes House, moves to Senate

Bill would provide smartphone app to report bullying, suicide in schools

House panel votes down bill to delay Count My Vote compromise

Proposal to designate 'Start Believing Day' for sexual assault victims passes House

Senate panel approves bill changing search warrant laws

Senate committee passed bill to stiffen distracted driving laws

Senate panel OKs bill increasing penalties for game fowl fighting

House passes bill to outlaw young people from entering smoke shops

Medicaid expansion up in the air as Utah Legislature passes halfway point

Huntsman: I won't challenge Sen. Mike Lee

Senate gives preliminary approval to partisan school board election bill

Tax increase to equalize school funding gets preliminary Senate approval

Are Utah students tested too much? Lawmakers ask for alternatives to high-stakes testing

Senate panel endorses sexual assault bill without debate

Gov. Herbert, Reyes praise action halting Obama immigration move


Utah lawmakers tighten up seat belt laws (Daily Herald)

Bill to make not wearing seat belts a primary offense clears House (Standard-Examiner)

Cockfighting bill passes test in Senate committee (Standard-Examiner)

Bill to fund charter schools stirs up local opposition (Park Record)

Utah's minimum wage is a women's issue (Park Record)

Cache County Republican Party Chairman to resign (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Scott Walker emerging as main challenger to Jeb Bush in Republican field (Telegraph)

Holder: 'We're not in a time of war' (The Hill)

US reveals hit list of top ISIS suspects (The Hill)

Top GOP donors: Be like Bush on immigration (The Hill)

Immigration ruling hardens lines in DHS fight (Politico)

DHS suspends rollout of Obama immigration actions after court order (FOX News)

Obama summit aims to battle extremists, Islamic and otherwise (CNN)

Incoming Oregon governor will talk about restoring trust (Washington Post)

U.S. identifying people to target for role in mortgage crisis (Reuters)

9 Times Joe Biden Creepily Whispered in Women's Ears (New Yorker)

U.S. Will Allow Export of Armed Drones (TIME)

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Wise Words

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."John Adams Brainy Quote

Lighter Side

"President Obama said the small drone that flew over the White House fence . . . . could be bought at any RadioShack. After hearing this, the RadioShack CEO said, 'I'm shocked to find out we still sell something people want.'" Conan O'Brien Political Humor

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