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Monday, February 24, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - February 24, 2014

Romney backs "Count My Vote." House investigators turn over recovered emails in the John Swallow probe. Poor air quality may be causing more school absences.

Countdown:

  • 17 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 18 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 22 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 22 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 24 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 61 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 120 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 253 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 616 days to the 2015 elections
  • 681 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 987 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • Mitt Romney throws his support behind the "Count My Vote" initiative [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A group alleges improprieties with the "Count My Vote" signature gathering process [Tribune, Daily Herald,Deseret News].
  • House investigators turn over the 1,300 emails they were able to recover from former Attorney General John Swallow's computer to county attorneys who are conducting a criminal probe [Tribune].
  • The House committee investigating Swallow's misdeeds gives their stamp of approval to bills pushing campaign reforms [Deseret News].
  • A measure to lower the gas tax while hiking sales taxes fails [Tribune].
  • Fear of possible federal gun regulations is fueling a revenue windfallfor the state Division of Wildlife [Deseret News].
  • Utah lawmakers areunable to abstain from voting on legislation, even if they have a conflict [Tribune].
  • A left-leaning organization calls on lawmakers to divulge possible conflicts of interest when considering their vote on possibly moving the state prison [Standard-Examiner].
  • An analysis suggests the state'spoor air quality is behind a rash of absences by Utah school children [Tribune].
  • The Granite School District Police Department is using surplus military assault rifles to protect schools [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • The Supreme Court ruled in Marbury v. Madison that any act of Congress which conflicts with the Constitution is voidin 1803.
  • The U.S. House impeached President Andrew Johnson for attempting to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in 1868.
  • The United States signed an agreement acquiring a naval station at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in 1903.
  • The U.S. hockey team defeated Finland to win the gold medal in the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980.
  • South Dakota lawmakers approved a ban on nearly all abortions in 2006.


Today At Utah Policy

Rep. Greg Hughes vs. the Utah Policy 'Lightning Round'
With just 60-seconds to answer as many stupid questions as possible, Rep. Greg Hughes plays the UtahPolicy.com "Lightning Round."...

Hughes Discusses Preschool Education, Breathalyzers and Medicaid (Video)
Rep. Greg Hughes (R-Draper) says he's not surprised his plan to expand preschool education to at-risk kids has run into some opposition, but he's confident once people understand what he's trying to do, it will pass....

Herbert is the Nation's 'Most Popular' Governor
Gov. Gary Herbert gets a little love from the Washington Post....

Sen. Adams Proposing Changes to School-Grading System (Video)
Sen. Stuart Adams (R-Layton) is pushing some tweaks to Utah's system for grading schools that generated much controversylast year....

Bob Bernick's Notebook: SB 54 is a Political Life or Death Matter for Lawmakers
Rich McKeown, president of the Count My Vote citizen initiative, saidThursdaythat his group will begin a serious media campaign against SB54....

Featured Items

Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: House GOP Plan on Medicaid Expansion
Utah House GOP leaders are leaning toward a plan to give health care coverage to some low-income Utahns without accepting federal Medicaid expansion dollars. Our "Political Insiders" and readers sound off on the plan....

Wasatch Front Air Quality: It Starts, and Ends, With Us
As Utahns, the Salt Lake Valley's air quality during the winter months is something we have begrudgingly become accustomed to and a problem to which we welcome a solution....

New Poll: Majority of Utah Voters Support Increasing the Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21
A new poll shows that 67 percent of Utah voters support legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. Just 31 percent of voters oppose increasing the age of sale for tobacco products....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: McAdams' island 'city' may end boundary fights

Election initiative assailed on two fronts

Bill would allow insurance for infertility treatments

Panel clears bill enabling tougher air regs

Senate OKs tougher penalties for cockfighting

Proposal to shift gas tax rejected

Bishop praises Legislature on public lands stance

Investigators hand over 1,300 'lost' Swallow emails

Reform group: Declare conflicts of interest in prison move

D.C. Notebook: Why Mitt Romney won't run a third time

Does Utah's air pollution increase school absences?

Murray legislator wants task force for manufactured home parks

Big boost: Mitt Romney backs Count My Vote

Deseret News

Michael and Jenet Erickson: Same-sex marriage debate needs 'voices of hope'

Bill allowing schools to swap classroom days for teacher training moves to House

Lawmakers: Utah's 'firefighting cows' need their water

Utah House passes school technology bill in shadow of larger proposal

Rep. Rob Bishop talks federalism with Utah lawmakers

Committee finishes work on bill extending penalties for sexual contact with a student

Utah House passes school technology bill in shadow of larger proposal

Bill that would provide jury trials in parental rights termination proceedings advances to House

Utah House panel endorses campaign reform based on Swallow investigation

Draper offers vision of prison site development

Committee approves bill to strengthen air pollution rules

State lawmakers allow UDOT to expand 80 mph speed zones

Count My Vote ballot initiative attacked on two fronts

Gun control fears help fuel windfall to state fund

Legislature has plenty of work to do on Utah's air quality

Utah bill allowing hemp use for seizure treatment clears first hurdle

Leavitt: Romney backs Count My Vote initiative

Other

Group questioning Count My Votes petitions (Standard-Examiner)

Brad Dee: HB20 deals with police pursuit concerns (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: Don't kill Count My Vote, pols (Standard-Examiner)

Utah bill would require search warrants for electronic data gathering (Standard-Examiner)

Lawmaker-developer conflicts alleged in Utah prison relocation (Standard-Examiner)

Jenkins resolution opposes Count My Vote initiative (Standard-Examiner)

State mulls changes to adoption laws (Standard-Examiner)

Brigham City officials explore future of expensive UTOPIA project (Standard-Examiner)

Cache Valley legislators give session update (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Matthews: GOP could pick up 10 Senate seats (The Hill)

Voters could be asked whether to split California into six states (Associated Press)

EPA case to be argued in front of U.S. Supreme Court (Metro News)

Rice acknowledges some of her Benghazi info was incorrect but has no regrets (Fox News)

Governors say legalizing marijuana is a step too far (Reuters)

George W. Bush launches program to help veterans transition from war (Reuters)

No Nugent is Good Nugent (Austin Chronicle)

President Obama pushes hike in minimum wage (Associated Press)

Appealing Volkswagen vote won't be easy for UAW (USA Today)

In no one's interest for Ukraine to split apart: U.S.'s Rice (Reuters)

Water, ethics bills play big roles in 2014 session (Associated Press)





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