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Thursday, February 26, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things you Need to Know for Thursday - February 26, 2015

Medicaid expansion may be dead this session. Madsen unveils medical marijuana legislation. Prison move could cause political fallout.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 14
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 166
  • Days to the 2015 election - 250
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 326
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 333
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 488
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 621

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. The Utah Senate passes the Healthy Utah plan, but House leaders say the plan is dead [Utah PolicyTribune, Deseret News].
  2. Sen. Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund says there's a good chance the 2015 session will end without lawmakers taking action on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy].
  3. Sen. Mark Madsen unveils his proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Utah after admitting he tried cannabis on a recent trip to Colorado [Deseret NewsTribune].
  4. If lawmakers give the Prison Relocation Commission the final say on moving the prison, it could cause political problems for some legislators [Utah Policy].
  5. Conservative groups are leading the charge against a bill calling for Utah to join a Constitutional Convention [Utah PolicyTribune].
  6. Real Salt Lake owner Del Loy Hansen rescinds his offer to pay for a minor-league soccer stadium at the Utah State Fairpark [TribuneDeseret NewsABC 4Fox 13].
  7. A House panel advances a measure to reduce the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit on public transit [TribuneDeseret News].
  8. A proposed bill would have the ultimate effect of stripping former Attorney General John Swallow's state pension if he's convicted [Tribune].
  9. Former Senator Bob Bennett announces he's suffering from pancreatic cancer [Utah PolicyDeseret NewsTribune].
  10. A new report says Utah's tourism industry is bouncing back following the great recession [Deseret NewsTribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1919 - Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
  • 1952 - Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the United Kingdom had an atomic bomb.
  • 1993 - A powerful bomb exploded in the parking garage below the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The blast killed six people and injured more than 1,000.
  • 2012 - Trayvon Martin was shot to death in Florida during an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defense.

Today At Utah Policy

Prison Relocation Could Cause Collateral Political Damage
The surprise announcement in Tuesday’s open House GOP caucus that Republican leaders don’t want the Legislature as a whole to decide where the new half-a-billion-dollar prison will be built, upon reflection, shows not only a bit of political dodge ball,...

Conservative Groups Rallying Against Call for Constitutional Convention
Oh, the power of citizen involvement and emails....

House Says Healthy Utah is Finished
Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes may say fellow Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Medicaid expansion is dead in the House, but Senate leaders and the bill’s sponsor say “not so fast.”...

Sen. Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund Discusses the Budget and Medicaid Expansion (Video)
Utah Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, says he is worried the 2015 Legislature will end with no action on Medicaid expansion....

Former Sen. Bob Bennett Announces He Has Pancreatic Cancer
Former Sen. Bob Bennett said via his Facebook page Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer....

House Puts Bill Designating Official State Dog in the Pound
It was not quite afternoon, but it was a bad dog day for SB53 in the House Rules Committee on Wednesday....

Senators Pass Healthy Utah; Leadership Worried Session May End With No Action on Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah plan cleared another legislative hurdle on Wednesday morning, but that may be the end of the line for Medicaid expansion during the 2015 session....

Legislation Targets Statue of Limitations in Roads Fight
In Utah’s fight against federal land management, sometimes you take huge steps – like trying to sue to get state control of all those millions of acres – and sometimes you take small bites....

Featured Items

'Right to Try' Legislation is Elegant Private-Sector Solution
Like most people, I have had family members and friends suffer incurable illnesses. In some cases, we have been aware of experimental medications that have seen positive results in early tests. But the drugs have not been available, lacking final approval by the federal Food...

Why is the Legislature Talking About the Gas Tax In a Banner Economic Year?
Utah begins 2015 with significant economic momentum, and Utah’s economy is the envy of the nation. So why would the Utah Legislature be discussing increasing the motor-fuel tax with a growing economy and record state revenue surpluses?...

The Case For Reform and Against Healthy Utah
Utah has long been a conservative leader and a beacon for innovative reform. We are a state that strives to do the right thing and believes in honoring the commitments we make to our residents while fulfilling the constitutional mandate to balance the state’s budget ea...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Tooele County is still the wrong place for Utah State Prison

Utah House panel: Ease penalty for concealed guns on public transit

Move an endangered animal in Utah? Go to prison

How Homeland Security shutdown would affect U.S., Utah

Former Utah Sen. Bennett diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Panel wants to license autism therapists

Bill proposes spending $75M on school technology

Counselors would get more suicide prevention training under bill

Bill could strip Swallow's pension if he's convicted

Sponsor of Utah medical marijuana bill acknowledges sampling the product in Colorado

House leader on Medicaid expansion: 'We're done'

Utah House shoots down call for constitutional convention amid talk of 'evil and conspiring men' and quotes from former LDS apostles

Deseret News

Dan Liljenquist: In order to confront Islamic State group, we need to understand and confront 'radical' Islam

Op-ed: Legislature should invest in effective transportation infrastructure

Editorial: Legislature should look to keep school board elections nonpartisan

Salt Lake City to begin economic action plan effort

Panel OKs bill reducing penalties for concealed weapons on buses

Former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett has pancreatic cancer

New license proposed for Utah professionals who treat autism

Leaders celebrate Utah's $7.5B tourism industry

Illinois professor could help Utah draft religious liberty, nondiscrimination bill

Bill would fund education for families experiencing intergenerational poverty

Hundreds assemble to demand patch for Utah's $11.3B transportation system 'pothole'

Statewide school technology bill passes first legislative hurdle

Lawmakers consider academic turnaround programs for low-performing schools

House Speaker Greg Hughes kills hopes for Healthy Utah plan

Move to reduce student testing passes House

Bill OK'd allowing all children to petition for restoration of parental rights

Lawmakers to hear bill that would expand medical marijuana use in Utah


Editorial: Use of cannabis oil should be expanded (Daily Herald)

Lawmakers still have big issues to tackle in remaining three weeks of session (Daily Herald)

Lehi city administrator resigns (Daily Herald)

Utah Senate stifles clean air bill after industry lunch (Standard-Examiner)

Bill to lower penalty for carrying weapons on mass transit advances (Standard-Examiner)

Group's attorney questions funds used for Kaysville Christmas party (Standard-Examiner)

State Senate panel endorses expansion of UTTR (Standard-Examiner)

Pending bill to regulate e-cigarette products won't include hefty tax (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Senate edges away from a shutdown over DHS funding (The Hill)

Homeland funding fight shows GOP leaders' diverging interests (The Hill)

For Asian Americans, a changing landscape on college admissions (Los Angeles Times)

Islamic State threat is 'real,' NYPD's top cop says after 3 Brooklyn men charged in plot (Newsday)

CPAC a vice presidential stage for some seeking Republican ticket (Washington Times)

Scott Walker Is Set to Deliver New Blow to Labor in Wisconsin (New York Times)

With marijuana legalization, green rush is on in D.C. (Washington Post)

Jonathan Gruber Ousted From Massachusetts Health Panel (Huffington Post)

Christie on 2016: 'I can walk and chew gum at the same time' (MSNBC)

Garcia says 'working class' to power bid for Chicago mayor (Associated Press)

FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Expected to Unleash Court Challenges (Wall Street Journal)

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