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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - February 20, 2014

Gov. Herbert may veto bill to derail Count My Vote. Herbert also hits House GOP leadership over Medicaid expansion. Google Fiber may be coming to Salt Lake City.


  • 21 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 22 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 26 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 26 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 28 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 65 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 124 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 257 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 620 days to the 2015 elections
  • 685 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 991 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • Gov. Gary Herbert is warning he may veto Sen. Curt Bramble's bill to head off Count My Vote [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The timing of that bill moving through the legislature could set up a showdown between Herbert and lawmakers [Utah Policy].
  • Herbert says the stanceby Republican leadership in the House againstMedicaid expansion is "illogical" [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart's plan to pump millions into technology in schools is meeting skepticism in the Senate and governor's office [Tribune].
  • Rep. Stephen Handy introduces a bill laying out the framework for how Utah would manage public lands if they ever won control of them from the federal government [Utah Policy].
  • Google's ultra high-speed fiber optic internet service may be coming to Salt Lake City [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants to freeze the boundaries of unincorporated areas of the county until 2015 [Tribune].
  • The Salt Lake School Districtlooks to hire some PR help in the wake of bad press in the school-lunch tossing incident [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee visits Utah's Capitol Hill to discuss issues with lawmakers [Standard-Examiner, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Kay Christofferson wants to privatize four golf courses owned by the state [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Lawmakers advance a measure to bring more accountability and transparency for USTAR [Tribune].
  • A proposal would push back Utah's guest worker program until 2017 [Daily Herald, Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • President George Washington signed an act creating the Post Office in 1792.
  • The Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government is greater than any individual state in 1809.
  • Abolitionist Frederick Douglass died in 1895.
  • Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.

Today At Utah Policy

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Deja Vu All Over Again
Governor Gary Herbert is hinting he might veto SB 54 - Sen. Curt Bramble's bill that would effectively neuter the Count My Vote citizen's initiative.I hope he doesn't....

Veto Showdown Could be Brewing Over SB 54
The Utah Senateon Thursdaymorning will take up SB54, Sen. Curt Bramble's ingenious response to Count My Vote the citizen initiative that would take candidate nominations out of party delegates' hands and allow for a direct primary....

Jenkins Wants Constitutional Amendment to Protect Nominating System (Video)
Sen. Scott Jenkins has had it with all of the fighting about how political parties nominate their candidates. That's why he's proposing a constitutional amendment that would tell the state "hands off" the nominating process....

Bill Would Set Framework for How Utah Should Manage Federal Lands
Perhaps the greatest challenge Utah GOP legislators have in the battle over federal lands is not Congress, or the president, or even the environmental community....

Bill to Regulate E-Cigarettes Moves Forward
The number of Utah kids who are using e-cigarettes is skyrocketing, according to the Utah Health Department. That's the impetus behind Rep. Paul Ray's bill to crack down on access to the devices by minors....

House GOP Discusses Medicaid Expansion Options
So, Reps. Dean Sanpei and Jim Dunnigan spend around an hourTuesdayafternoon in an open GOP caucus discussing the House's solution to Medicaid expansion....

Featured Items

Salt Lake City To Partner with Google to Explore Bringing Ultra-High Speed Fiber to Residents Citywide
Mayor Ralph Becker announced that Salt Lake City is among a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra-high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the city....

Weekly Survey: Will Utah Reject Medicaid Expansion
House GOP leaders unveiled their plan to expand healthcare for poor Utahns without taking Medicaid expansion money. What do you think about the plan? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Medicare Advantage works; don't cut funding

Google Fiber could be on its way to Salt Lake City

USTAR reform bill takes first step in Utah Legislature

Bill: Study privatizing Utah State Park golf courses

Bill may delay implementing Utah immigration reforms

Herbert calls House Medicaid plan 'illogical'

House OKs adopting aspen as Utah tree

Gov, Senate leaders not sold on Lockhart's education tech plan

House OKs plan for state fleet to convert to clean fuel

McAdams plan would freeze boundaries, bring vote on new 'city'

Bill allowing force feeding young inmates approved by committe

Gov: Don't play games with Count My Vote initiative

Bill for sexual-abuse prevention training advances

Utah's Sen. Lee says he voted against PILT to save it

Utah House panel greenlights Stericycle move

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Large families are not a burden on Utah taxpayers

Editorial: Deliberating together

Bill creating Snow College Concurrent Enrollment Program moves to House

Senate gives preliminary approval to school financial literacy bill

Gov. Herbert warns he may veto bill targeting Count My Vote initiative

Utah lawmaker proposes changes to school grading system

Former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell receives accolades from Utah Legislature

Protecting children at heart of E-cigarette bill

Legislators still working on bill concerning sexual contact with a student

Salt Lake City on short list for Google Fiber

Initiative seeks to increase voter registration, political engagement

Lawmakers' panel endorses Stericycle move to Tooele County

Sen. Mike Lee talks spying, poverty with Utah lawmakers

Gov. Herbert calls House alternative to expanding Medicaid 'illogical'

Are Salt Lake County residents ready for a new form of government?

Quaking aspen just needs governor's signature to become Utah's state tree

Elizabeth Smart backs bill on child sexual abuse prevention training in schools


Governor considers veto on Bramble bill (Daily Herald)

Utah lawmakers pepper Sen. Lee with questions about his votes (Standard-Examiner)

Ray's bill brings criminal penalties for underage e-cigarette sales (Standard-Examiner)

Teenage boy recounts sexual affair with Davis High teacher Proposed national license plate tracking system not new to Utah (Standard-Examiner)

Utah lawmakers officially dump Colo. blue spruce as state tree (Standard-Examiner)

Potential Millner opponent drops out of state Senate running (Standard-Examiner)

Senate bill would tweak election rules; could impact Count My Vote (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Congress pushes sanctions as Ukraine descends into chaos (The Hill)

California governor announces $687 million drought package (Reuters)

Homeland Security Scraps License-Plate Tracking Plan (TIME)

Probe into Wisconsin governor expanded before vote (Reuters)

Art history professor receives handwritten apology from Obama (CNN)

Colorado's marijuana firms beg banks to take their cash (BBC News)

Minimum wage hike would cost 500,000 jobs? CBO director defends the estimate. (Christian Science Monitor)

Bin Laden Son-In-Law Gets Time to Question Potential Witness (Bloomberg)

Obama Inks Executive Order to Streamline Import and Export Process for Businesses (Reuters)

As Obama Vows to Act on Climate Change, Justices Weigh His Approach (New York Times)

More Latinos enrolling in Covered California health plans (Los Angeles Times)

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Wise Words

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."
John F. Kennedy Quotations Page

Lighter Side

Pillow Shortage
"There's a pillow shortage in Sochi too. They don't have enough pillows for the beds. How do you not foresee a demand for pillows? Although in their defense it is Russia. When you sleep wherever you happen to pass out, pillows aren't so important." Jimmy Kimmel Political Humor