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Thursday, February 25, 2016

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Thursday's Talking Points - February 25, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 56th day of the year. There are 310 days left in 2016.

The last GOP debate before "Super Tuesday" is tonight. Romney says Trump's tax returns may be hiding a "bombshell." Dunnigan's Medicaid expansion bill is introduced.

The clock:

  • Two days to the South Carolina Democratic Primary (2/27/2016)
  • Five days to the "Super Tuesday" primaries and caucuses (3/2/2016)
  • 14 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - (3/10/2016)
  • 25 days to the GOP presidential debate in Salt Lake City - (3/21/2016)
  • 26 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 34 days to the last day the governor may sign or veto bills (3/30/2016)
  • 58 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 74 days to the last day a veto override session may begin (5/9/2016)
  • 124 days to the 2016 Utah primary election - (6/28/2016)
  • 144 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 151 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 257 days until the 2016 presidential election - (11/8/2016)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. The GOP presidential field faces off in their final debate before next week's "Super Tuesday" primaries [CNN, Politico].
  2. President Barack Obama is reportedly considering Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval for the Supreme Court [Washington Post].
  3. Mitt Romney suggests Donald Trump's tax returns might contain a "bombshell." Trump fired back on Twitter (of course) [Politico, New York Times, CBS News].
  4. A new national poll shows 8 out of 10 Hispanic voters have an unfavorable view of Trump [Washington Post].
  5. Rep. Jim Dunnigan's long-awaited Medicaid expansion bill finally emerges on Utah's Capitol Hill, but advocates say it doesn't go far enough to extend health coverage to needy Utahns [Deseret News, Tribune]. A new poll shows 68% of Utahns support lawmakers passing some sort of Medicaid expansion, but that support is not as robust among Republicans [Utah Policy].
  6. Lawmakers move ahead with a plan to repeal Salt Lake City's ability to raise sales taxes which was initially passed as a way to help mitigate the impacts of moving the prison to Salt Lake City [Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Two bills allowing the state to collect sales taxes for online purchases move forward on the Hill [Tribune].
  8. Utah Senators vote to repeal the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators. Instead, that power would fall back to state legislatures [Tribune, KUER].
  9. A Utah House committee kills a proposal to provide equal treatment of married gay couples who want to adopt or be foster parents [Tribune, Deseret News, Fox 13].
  10. The Utah Senate approves Sen. Todd Weiler's resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1791 - The First Bank of the U.S. at Philadelphia became the first national bank chartered by Congress.
  • 1836 - Samuel Colt patented his revolver.
  • 1870 - Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Miss., was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African-American to sit in Congress.
  • 1948 - Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.
  • 1913 - The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.
  • 1964 - Underdog Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) stunned the boxing world with a TKO of Sonny Liston, winning the world heavyweight championship.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns Favor Some Sort of Medicaid Expansion

As Rep. Jim Dunnigan's long-awaited Medicaid expansion bill finally sees the light of day on Utah's Capitol Hill, nearly 70% of Utahns say they favor lawmakers doing something to expand the program to help uninsured Utahns....

Thatcher Proposes Legislation to Decriminalize Many Offenses

Sen. Daniel Thatcher has unveiled a massive bill that does one simple thing - get rid of nearly every class C misdemeanor in the state....

Weekly Survey: Lobbying by the LDS Church

So far this session the LDS Church has weighed in on medical marijuana and proposed hate crimes legislation. Have these efforts helped or hurt the legislative process? Vote in our weekly survey....

Lee Fails to Derail Trump

Sen. Mike Lee traveled to South Carolina last week to broker a plan to stop the momentum of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, reports Bloomberg, but the effort fell flat, and Trump scored decisive victories in both S.C. and Nevada....

Bishop and Grijalva: A Congressional Odd Couple

E&E profiles Reps. Rob Bishop and Raúl Grijalva, who maintain a cordial working relationship on the Natural Resources Committee despite their radically different political ideologies....

Proposal to Tighten Utah Law on Political Groups Could Create a Loophole

Politics does make strange bedfellows....

Policy News

Senator Lee Discusses Supreme Court Vacancy on Senate Floor
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered remarks on the Senate floor in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and addressed the matter of the vacancy in the Supreme Court. ...

Hatch Release: With President's Signature, Customs Legislation Becomes Law
After years in the making, legislation is now in place to modernize U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and provide job creators and manufactures with effective tools to meet the needs of the 21st century economy....

Hatch Release: Internal Watchdog Confirms Administration's 'Missteps' Led to Botched Rollout
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) highlighted a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) which detailed a case study into the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) management...

Gallup Confirms Utah Residents Most Positive About State Economy
Utah is at the top of the Economic Confidence Index, a measure on economic conditions and outlook....

Inclusion of Main St. - Economic Summit Panel Talks Shop on Starting a Local Business
Maybe your aspirations aren’t to make millions. Maybe you’d like to just make a living doing what you love....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Legislators talk local control but they want to micromanage my neighborhood

Editorial: Utah legislators fail to act on air quality measures

Utah Senate votes to crack down on Mantua ‘speed trap’ in Box Elder County

Utah Senate declares pornography a ‘public health crisis’

Utah panel blocks bill to ensure LGBT equality in adoption, foster care

House will hear stricter water-heater emissions bill

Salt Lake City initiates resident survey for mass-transit preferences

Utah Senate rejects proposal to charge fees for full-day kindergarten

Swallow named co-defendant to Johnson in federal election fraud case

Advocates push for Medicaid expansion, but House plan would leave many without

Researchers: Don’t blame drought for low Great Salt Lake

Though ‘Columbus is a hero to a lot of people,’ Utah Senate will consider a switch to Indigenous Peoples Day

Bills advance to collect tax from online sales to Utahns

House approves ban on noncompete clauses

A rainy day fund for Utah’s higher education buildings?

Utah’s Mike Noel again takes aim at federal law enforcement, wants to give locals more control

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: GOP's Utah debate won't boost the state much, but still is a good thing

Op-ed: Legislature, public must act to save children's brains

Op-ed: Utah seniors reap benefits from Medicare Advantage

Dan Liljenquist: The perils of presidential elections

Editorial: Changing the makeup of key legislative committees is a bad idea

Utah House panel rejects gay couples adoption, foster care bill

Committee OKs bill withdrawing S.L.'s ability to raise taxes for prison costs

FEC officially adds ex-Utah A.G. John Swallow to election fraud case

Proposal to charge fees for optional full-day kindergarten fails in Senate

One Medicaid expansion bill gains favor of leadership, but people still want more

Utah Tax Commission honored for uncovering tax refund fraud

Bill calls for 'homeless to housing' initiative, enhanced role for city, county mayors

Bill authorizing clean-burning water heaters clears committee

An ID for the homeless a step toward getting help

Utah Senate declares porn a public health crisis

Will the Great Salt Lake be reduced to dust?

Committee advances bill to rename Columbus Day in Utah


Editorial: Herald editorial: Politicians smart to take advantage of technology (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Northern Utah air quality is a moral issue. Start testing diesels (Standard-Examiner)

Medicaid expansion a moral imperative, proponents say (Standard-Examiner)

Bill advances to siphon state transportation dollars for future water projects (Standard-Examiner)

Study evaluates humans' impact in dropping Great Salt Lake (Standard-Examiner)

Two education bills change year-end tests for students, teacher evaluations (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Nevada's GOP governor being vetted for Supreme Court (The Hill)

After big Nevada win, Trump gets first lawmaker endorsements (The Hill)

Bernie's South Carolina surrender (Politico)

Obama strikes back at GOP on Supreme Court fight (Politico)

The Only Strategy For Hillary Clinton Is To Scorch The Earth (BuzzFeed)

Republican Race Puts Donald Trump and Paul Ryan on Collision Course (New York Times)

Senate Republicans and the Supreme Court: Where Is This Headed Exactly? (New York Times)

Harry Reid endorses Hillary Clinton (CNN)

Ammon Bundy, others plead not guilty in Oregon refuge case (Associated Press)

Ex-California state senator sentenced in racketeering case (Associated Press)

Melania Trump speaks! And she says … not much. (Washington Post)


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