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Thursday, February 18, 2016

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 49th day of the year. There are 317 days left in 2016.

Obama will visit Cuba. Cliven Bundy indicted on federal conspiracy charges. Most Utahns want to get rid of the "Zion Curtain" in restaurants.

The clock:

  • Two days to the Nevada Democratic Caucuses and South Carolina Republican Primary (2/20/2016)
  • Five days to the Nevada Republican Caucuses (2/23/2016)
  • Nine days to the South Carolina Democratic Primary (2/27/2016)
  • 21 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - (3/10/2016)
  • 33 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 65 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 131 days to the 2016 Utah primary election - (6/28/2016)
  • 151 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 158 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 264 days until the 2016 presidential election - (11/8/2016)

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. President Barack Obama announces he will visit Cuba in March. The decision is being blasted by Republicans in Congress and presidential candidate Marco Rubio [Washington Post].
  2. Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been indicted on multiple federal conspiracy charges related to a standoff at his ranch two years ago [Washington Post, CNN].
  3. A new poll shows some 70% of Utahns want to get rid of the so-called "Zion Curtain" that shields the preparation of alcoholic beverages from the view of patrons [Utah Policy].
  4. There are lots of big issues yet to be decided in the final three weeks of the 2016 Legislature [Utah Policy].
  5. The LDS Church warns lawmakers that a proposed bill to strengthen Utah's hate crimes law may upset the balance crafted in last year's statewide non-discrimination/religious liberties legislation [2 NewsTribune, Deseret News].
  6. The Utah House stops a back-door attempt to gut the dual-track route to the primary ballot established under SB54 [Utah Policy, Tribune, KUER].
  7. Former University of Utah football coach Ron McBride voices his support for medical marijuana [Deseret News].
  8. Lawmakers are struggling with how to set standards for police body cameras [Deseret News, Tribune, Fox 13, KUER].
  9. House Majority Whip Francis Gibson says there's "zero" chance lawmakers will fully fund a $27 million request for homeless programs in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County [Deseret News].
  10. Utah school superintendent Brad Smith announces he is resigning from the job just 15 months after taking the position. Smith did not explain why he is leaving, but he recently began a medical leave of absence in January [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1841 - The first filibuster in the U.S. Senate began. It ended March 11.
  • 1856 - The American Party, also known as the "Know-Nothing Party," nominated its first presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore. He carried only Maryland and the party soon dissolved.
  • 1861 - Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • 1972 - The California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty.
  • 1988 - Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court.

Today At Utah Policy

Lots of Big Issues Still on Tap in the Final Weeks of the 2016 Session

Officially, Wednesday marked the halfway point in Utah’s 45-day general legislative session. So, is half the work done?...

Poll: Vast Number of Utahns Oppose the 'Zion Curtain'

A critical mass of Utahns says the so-called "Zion Curtain," which blocks the view of the preparation of alcoholic beverages in restaurants, should go the way of the Dodo....

House Stops Effort to Alter 'Count My Vote' Compromise

The Utah House on Wednesday voted to keep its promise on SB54 – the two-year-old law allowing candidates to take the petition route to their party’s primary election if they so choose....

Weekly Survey: Will Lawmakers Alter SB54

Lawmakers are considering legislation that might make changes to Utah's new dual-track route to the primary ballot. Do you think legislators will significantly alter the SB54 this year? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Lee to Join Rubio, Cruz in S.C.

Mike Lee heads to South Carolina Thursday, where he'll campaign with Marco Rubio and eat BBQ with Ted Cruz. The two GOP presidential candidates are among Lee's closest friends and allies in the Senate....

SUWA Launches Broadcast Broadside Against Bishop's Public Lands Initiative

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is running a series of TV ads hammering Rep. Rob Bishop's Public Lands Initiative as a giveaway to private interests....

Policy News

Metro Meets Mountain: Branding a City
Have you ever wondered what it takes to brand a city?...

Annual Report on Poverty in Utah Shows Mixed Results for Utah's Poor
Along with 33 other states and Washington D.C., Utah experienced a drop in the poverty rate of 12.7% in 2013 to 11.7% in 2014....

Utah Impact Initiative Aims to Raise funds for Philanthropic Investing at Upcoming Conference
The second annual Utah Impact Initiative conference will take place at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT on Feb. 29....

New Technologies, New Companies Meet Fresh Opportunity
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development is excited to announce the approval of grants totaling $2,459,700 for 25 startup companies developing new technologies across multiple industries in the state of Utah....

Registration Now Open for Love UT Give UT
Nonprofit organizations and schools may now register to be a part of Utah’s largest “day of giving” by going to ...

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Hosts 'At-Risk Youth: Pathways to Delinquency and Sex Trafficking'
Human trafficking has often been referred to as “the invisible crime” — a crisis that masks itself in legality by existing on the streets of Salt Lake in businesses that rarely cause suspicion....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Garn: For future water needs, we must complete Central Utah Project

Editorial: Hatch owes us leadership, not obstruction

Sen. Mike Lee to campaign for both Cruz, Rubio in South Carolina

Committee OKs bill to add self-reliance training for welfare recipients

Legislators weigh funding study of Uinta Basin’s odd wintertime pollution spikes

Utah school Superintendent Brad Smith announces resignation

Hatch, a sharp critic of past delays, now pushes for post-election replacement of Scalia

Hate pollution? State may allow donations to fight it

Mormon church warns against upsetting ‘careful balance’ of LGBT anti-discrimination law

Bills aim to free up free speech on Utah college campuses

Utah lawmakers still working toward policy on police cameras

Officials meeting with Utah ranchers to find solutions that won’t involve ‘more bloodshed’

Another proposed tweak to Utah grades could turn current 'A' schools into failing schools

House committee recommends analysis of homeless data

McAdams and Biskupski launch private contribution fund for the homeless

Shawna Cox cites ‘works of the devil,’ seeks billions of dollars in compensation

Deseret News

Op-ed: HB18 risks the future of treatment for Utah's mentally ill

Dan Liljenquist: Replacing Justice Antonin Scalia

Both Lee and Herbert have yet to endorse in 2016 presidential race

'Zero' likelihood Legislature will fully fund $27M in homeless initiatives this year, whip says

Private schools, day cares fear public kindergarten bill would cut business

Lawmaker seeks to raise the bar on Utah's school grading system

State legislators wrestling with proposed police body camera laws

LDS Church seeks to maintain balance of anti discrimination law

Gov. Herbert: Requiring fetal anesthesia for some abortions may be 'most humane way to do it'

Brad Smith resigns as top education leader

Ex-coach Ron McBride voices support for medical cannabis

Joining lawmakers, students rally against e-cigarettes


Op-ed: We the people of Utah should control our state’s public lands (Standard-Examiner)

Support for medical marijuana increasing in Utah, especially among Mormons (Standard-Examiner)

Utah's HB 69, to allow parties to select nomination process, dies in House (Standard-Examiner)

Public defense reform bill introduced; ACLU says it's not enough (Standard-Examiner)

'Ice cream goodness:' Aggies fill sweet tooth, build relations with lawmakers (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Why Bernie Sanders Wins Even If He Loses (Politico)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to endorse Marco Rubio (Politico)

Cruz unloads on Trump after slipping in South Carolina polls (The Hill)

White House: Obama Will Not Attend Justice Scalia's Funeral (NBC News)

Supreme Court vacancy has left and right ready to pounce (New York Times)

Donald Trump is now the Republican Party’s establishment-lane candidate (Washington Post)

Nevada race tightens: A big test for Clinton’s campaign (Associated Press)

CTU, parents stage 'walk-in' protests of Emanuel, CPS board (Chicago Tribune)

Oregon refuge occupiers left behind guns, explosives and feces, investigators say (Washington Post)

Fed Minutes Show Concern About Global Market Turmoil (Bloomberg)

Kashkari drops a bomb (Politico)


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Wise Words


"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway Brainy Quote 

Lighter Side


"An exact replica of the Titanic is scheduled to set sail in 2018. The good news is by 2018, there will be no icebergs left to sink it." Conan O'Brien Political Humor

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