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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - February 26, 2014

The criminal investigation into John Swallow may continue for another three to six months. The House GOP discusses SB 54 behind closed doors. Data shows caucus attendees are not more knowledgable about politics than other voters.


  • 15 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 16 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 20 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 20 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 22 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 59 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 118 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 251 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 614 days to the 2015 elections
  • 679 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 985 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • The criminal investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow will not wrap up for another three to six months [Tribune].
  • Utah lawmakers shelved a bill on religious freedom thatwas similar to the measure causing controversy in Arizona [Tribune].
  • The House GOP closed their caucus on Tuesday to discuss SB 54, which aims to derail the "Count My Vote" citizen's initiative [Deseret News].
  • Polling shows the belief that caucus attendees are better informed about politics than regular voters is not true [Utah Data Points].
  • Opponents to "Common Core" educational standards have turned their sights on Speaker Becky Lockhart's plan to increase technology use in the classroom [Tribune].
  • Proposed legislation would prohibit schools from labeling a student who has a 3.5 grade point average as "habitually truant" for missing a lot of school [Utah Policy].
  • A House committee pushes a bill designed to punish motorists who don't use seat belts to interim study [Tribune].
  • A proposed Constitutional amendment creating a method to recall elected officials moves to the full House for consideration [Tribune].
  • A House panel advances a measure to create direct, non-partisan elections for school board members [Deseret News].
  • Farmington officials say they may sue to block the route for the proposed West Davis Corridor freeway [Tribune].
  • An audit finds poor oversight of online education programs [Tribune].
  • A state fund to help crime victims may run out of money this year unless Lawmakers make some changes [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • Napoleon escaped from exile on the island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France in 1815.
  • Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in 1919.
  • Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced Britain had developed an atomic bomb in 1952.
  • The Tower Commission issued its report on the Iran-Contra affair, concluding President Ronald Reagan did not control his national security staff in 1987.
  • A bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in 1993.
  • Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012.

Today At Utah Policy

Bill Would Nix Tax Breaks for Utah NSA Facility
No longer pleased with having the federal government's major metadata-gathering facility in Utah, a state legislator has just introduced a bill that would prevent the state, local governments, or local utilities from giving the huge building any kind of tax or fee break - or...

Survey: People Moved Away from Utah in 2013
An annual survey of where people are moving finds Utahwasone of the top states peoplemoved away from last year....

Bob Fuehr Makes His Case for Utah's 4th Congressional District (Video)
With all the press attention surrounding Mia Love, you may think she's the only Republican vying for Utah's 4th District. But, that's not the case....

Bill Would Allow Top-Performing Students to Miss School
Rep. Francis Gibson is about to give some really smart high school students a ticket to ride. Literally....

Matheson's Campaign Website Still Soliciting Donations
Despite announcing his retirement from Congress, Rep. Jim Matheson's campaign website is still actively accepting donations....

Lt. Gov. Cox on Medicaid, Count My Vote and John Swallow (Video)
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says he hasn't faced much of a learning curve moving from the legislature to the executive branch, but he has had to adjust to the scope of the work....

You Have Got to See This Video from Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox's High School Days
Ah, the wonders of the internets! We dug up this amazingcampaign video of Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox when he was running for student body president of North Sanpete High School in 1992 and asked him about it....

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox Plays the Utah Policy 'Lightning Round'
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has just 60 seconds to answer as many stupid questions as possible. It's the Utah Policy "Lightning Round."...

Featured Items

As the 'Bicycle Cluster of North America,' Ogden is the Place for Lifestyle Jobs
Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell traded his suit and tie for Spandex last fall so he could lead a group of 30 Asian-cycling company CEOs on a six-day, 420-mile scenic bicycle tour of Utah. Some of the biggest outdoor recreation media companies in Asia trailed along for the rid...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Bill for tax credit on electric cars moves foward

Senate panel advances restrictions on drone use

Bill for clean-fuel school buses motors forward

Lawmakers push for help as Utah crime victim fund is drained

Utah's first female agriculture commissioner gets things done

Utah can still tax NSA, but probably won't

Swallow, Shurtleff probe may not wrap up for 3 to 6 months

For Utah parents, hurdle to divorce could advance in Legislature

Farmington may sue to block West Davis Corridor freeway

McAdams delays boundary bill to listen to concerns

House looks at potential recall of officials

Senators: Utah narrowly dodged Arizona's fate on gay bias bill

Speaker's education plan takes fire from anti-Common Core crowd

Bill to keep Utah voter data private passes House

Deseret News

Op-ed: Honor the promise to transfer public lands

Richard Davis: Debates will improve election process for voters, candidates

Jay Evensen: Here is why Utah should not host another Olympics

Voter information bill passes House

Senate panel passes bill governing use of drones by police

Panel approves bill to extend renewable energy tax credits to solar projects

Lawmakers defer action on canal safety measure

House passes bill to swap diesel school buses with alternative fuel vehicles

Legislative committee supports biodiesel as clean air tool

House GOP discusses bill aimed at Count My Vote in closed caucus

House passes bill requiring divorcing parents to take course sooner

Committee passes bill clarifying exemptions to informed consent for abortions

Senate GOP considers taking federal Medicaid expansion money


House approves bill to change access to Utah voter rolls (Daily Herald)

Brad Wilson: Moving the prison the right thing to do (Standard-Examiner)

Utah lawmakers mull limits to drone use (Standard-Examiner)

BE lawmakers seat belt bill sent back for further review (Standard-Examiner)

Bill will extend Utah's autism program (Standard-Examiner)

Legislature moves to bottle up some Utah voter data (Standard-Examiner)

County Democratic Party Chair to run against Rep. Powell (Park Record)

Democrat lays into 'disinterested and uncooperative' Rob Bishop (Park Record)

National Headlines

The Next Shoe To Drop: Obamacare Will Increase The Cost Of Employer-Sponsored Insurance (Wall Street Journal)

ObamaCare stars fade (The Hill)

U.S. states do not have to defend gay marriage bans: Holder (Reuters)

Cheney blasts Pentagon plans to slash troop size (UPI)

Governors Malloy, Jindal have war of words after presidential meeting (WFSB)

Arizona worried legislation could cost state Super Bowl XLIX (USA Today)

Few Army women want combat jobs, survey finds (Associated Press)

Biden enjoying the spotlight amid buzz over 2016 presidential run (Los Angeles Times)

Supreme Court Reaffirms Ability to Freeze Assets Before Trial (Wall Street Journal)

George W. Bush's paintings to go on display (Houston Chronicle)

Michelle Obama announces new rules for advertising junk food at schools (New York Daily News)

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Wise Words

Hard Work
"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."
Thomas Jefferson Quotations Page

Lighter Side

Watching the Olympics
"Are you watching the Olympics? Whenever I'm watching one of these weird events, I ask myself if this wasn't in the Olympics, would I still be watching it? And the answer is always no." Jimmy Kimmel Political Humor

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