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Monday, February 23, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Monday - February 23, 2015

Utahns oppose a November to March wood burning ban. Herbert opposes legalizing medical marijuana. "Count My Vote" says they're ready to re-launch their effort to eliminate the caucus system of lawmakers alter last year's agreement.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 17
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 169
  • Days to the 2015 election - 253
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 329
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 336
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 491
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 624

Monday's top-10 headlines:

  1. A new poll shows Utahns oppose a November to March wood burning ban in order to improve air quality. Residents also want the state to focus on industrial polluters and vehicle emissions to reduce pollution [Utah Policy].
  2. Gov. Gary Herbert says he opposes legalizing medical marijuana because it would likely lead to recreational use [Tribune].
  3. Herbert also says Congress needs to get "off their fanny" to pass immigration reform [Tribune].
  4. House Majority Leader Rep. Jim Dunnigan discusses Medicaid expansion and budgetary issues in the waning days of the 2015 session [Utah Policy].
  5. Organizers of "Count My Vote" say they're ready to re-launch their citizen's initiative to get rid of the caucus system if lawmakers alter the deal agreed to last year [Utah Policy].
  6. Rep. Joel Briscoe says mass transit needs a bigger tax increase, but he also wants to put restrictions on how the Utah Transit Authority could use that money [Tribune].
  7. Lawmakers are proposing additional math requirements for high school students to be considered college ready [Deseret News].
  8. Legislators are grappling with the possibility that a candidate could win a party's nomination with less than 50% of the vote [Utah Policy].
  9. A Senate committee gives the thumbs up to a proposed constitutional amendment making State School Board members appointed by the governor [Tribune].
  10. Sens. Howard Stephenson and Aaron Osmond call for the suspension of the Utah SAGE testing system [Utah Policy, Deseret News].

On this day in history:


  • 1836 - The siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1870 - Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
  • 1945 - U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi and raised the American flag. The moment was captured in a Pulitzer Prize winning photo by Joe Rosenthal.
  • 2011 - The Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns Oppose November Through March Wood Burning Ban
Utahns think the state should crack down on industrial polluters and vehicle emissions in an attempt to clean up the state's air....

Dunnigan on Medicaid Expansion and Improving the Legislative Process (Video)
Utah House Majority leader Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, discusses the 2015 Utah Legislature's big issues with Managing Editor Bryan Schott....

Lawmakers Grappling with Plurality Issue in Primary Elections
While Senate and House GOP leaders are saying the “grand compromise” party candidate nomination bill of last year, SB54, should not be repealed nor postponed this session, there is a loophole – if you will – in those promises....

Count My Vote Ready to Re-Launch Initiative if Agreement is Altered
If Utah lawmakers make changes to the Count My Vote compromise reached last year, organizers of the initiative say they're ready to again take their case to the people....

Rep. Gage Froerer - Best Beard on the Hill for 2015
Congratulations Rep. Gage Froerer – all other accomplishments he may have this 2015 Legislature have paled under this amazing result: He wins the UtahPolicy legislative beard contest....

Lee, Warren Most 'Extreme' Senators
A new Utah Data Points analysis shows that Sens. Mike Lee and Elizabeth Warren are the most ideological senators in the 113th Congress....

Featured Items

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Should the 'Count My Vote' Compromise be Delayed?
The Utah GOP claims they don't have enough time to implement the changes contained in the "Count My Vote" compromise passed by lawmakers last year, so they're asking for the deal to be delayed until 2018. Our "Political Insiders" on both sides of ...

Senators Call for Suspension of SAGE Test
On the KKAT 860 AM Red Meat Radio program Saturday morning, Utah senators Stephenson and Osmond called on the State Board of Education to suspend the Utah SAGE Testing System and replace it with an established, proven testing solution, such as the Northwest Evaluators A...

The People Want Non-Partisan School Boards
To my way of thinking, the issue is all about power!  ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Rolly: GOP's anti-Count My Vote efforts in death throes

Op-ed: Healthy Utah is a fiscal risk that will hurt more than it helps

Op-ed: Let market forces bring car dealerships to southwest Salt Lake County

Op-ed: Jordanelle fiasco is hurting Utah's ability to fund its infrastructure

Editorial: Utah should proceed with Count My Vote elections

Editorial: When officers fall, we must pick up their families

Utah's Air Force test range expansion questioned, but endorsed

Prison should be built by Utahns, resolution says

Democrat pushes for big tax to expand UTA hours, bus service

Legislature trumps SLC, overturns drive-thru mandate

Without comment, unconscious sexual consent bill heads to governor

House OKs expansion of Election-Day registration

Herbert: Congress needs to 'get off fanny' and pass immigration reform

Bill advances to aid survivors of fallen officers

Committee OKs bid to amend Utah constitution, appoint school board members

Senate panel OKs medical help for severely disabled children

Obscure bill belies big fight over power in Utah title insurance industry

Over Utah politicians' objections, national monuments are Obama's solid go-it-alone authority

Herbert: Medicinal marijuana would lead to recreational use

Before Utah's debate over unconscious rape, a criminal case crumbled

Will Utah be ready for a drier, hotter climate?

Praying for nothing to happen: life in Utah without health insurance

Deseret News

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Legislative midpoint: How are they doing so far?

Robert Bennett: Are Republican congressional leaders capable of governing?

John Florez: Lawmakers are looking to leave education in shambles

Legislature puts stop to S.L. requirement that drive-thrus serve pedestrians

Senate passes bill clarifying definition of consent in rape cases

Bill acknowledging stay-at-home parents in alimony decision advances

Utah has moral, economic imperatives to address intergenerational poverty, lawmakers told

Lawmakers support resolution to raise awareness of homeless youths

Bill would expand family death benefits of fallen officers

Bill to aid parents of children with complex medical conditions passes Senate committee

Senate panel supports effort to resolve transportation issues for elderly, disabled

Utah students could face additional math requirements to be college-ready

Utah lawmaker proposes to ease restrictions on police use of drones

Committee approves resolution calling for Utah workers to build new prison

Utah lawmakers looking at gas tax increases to pay for road maintenance

Lawmakers demand suspension of SAGE test

Catholic bishop gives his support to governor's Healthy Utah plan

Education key to eradicating poverty in Utah, report says

Forest Service supervisor speaks out on public lands transfer

Should Utah have a partisan State School Board?

Effort underway to ban horse tripping in Utah


Utah seat belt bill the hot topic at Cache legislators' breakfast (Logan Herald Journal)

Op-ed: Understanding Gov. Herbert's 'Healthy Utah' plan (Standard-Examiner)

Brad Dee: State education elections should be non-partisan (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: RAMP, gun range not a great fit (Standard-Examiner)

Kaysville mom leads the charge to legalize medical marijuana (Standard-Examiner)

Millner's state school board bill clears Senate panel (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: Future of Wasatch Mountains depends on your feedback (Park Record)

Bill to expand concealed carry tabled (Park Record)

Drop the Zion Curtain (Park Record)

City keeps tabs on legislative session (Park Record)

National Headlines

DHS chief: Be 'careful' at Mall of America after terror threat (The Hill)

Dems cash in with Oscar picks (The Hill)

What ISIS Really Wants (Atlantic)

Sure, Obama loves America - just not the America we live in (New York Post)

Kayla Mueller's Dad Tells 'Today' Show: Policy Trumped Lives (Associated Press)

New poll finds Americans think rich should be taxed more (Christian Science Monitor)

Marketing wizards to help sell Clinton brand for 2016 White House bid? (Economic Times)

Homeland Secretary Johnson suggests term 'violent extremism' used at behest of Muslim leaders (FOX News)

Gov. Scott Walker: 'I don't know' whether Obama is a Christian (Washington Post)

Ten days that shook the euro; how Greece came to the brink (Reuters)

GOP governors in Maryland, Tennessee offer voluntary employee buyouts to reduce government (FOX News)

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