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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - February 27, 2014

Lawmakers could be heading toward a face-off over Medicaid expansion. "Count My Vote" organizers say they've already collected 100,000 signatures. Legislators meet with members of the LGBT community.


  • 14 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 15 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 19 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 19 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 21 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 58 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 117 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 250 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 613 days to the 2015 elections
  • 678 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 984 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • A showdown may be brewing between House and Senate Republicans over whether Utah will accept federal Medicaid expansion money [Deseret News].
  • The group behind "Count My Vote" announce they've already collected 100,000 signatures [Daily Herald, Standard Examiner].
  • SB 54, which would make "Count My Vote" moot, is not going to pass in time to force Gov. Herbert's hand on a veto before the end of the 2014 session [Utah Policy].
  • A proposed Constitutional amendment to give political parties complete control in how they choose their nominees advances [Tribune, Standard Examiner].
  • Lawmakers meet with members of the LGBT community [Tribune, KSL].
  • Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 case file a brief with the court claiming Utah's ban on same-sex marriage treats those couples as "legal strangers' [Deseret News].
  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart's plan to expand technology in Utah's schools passed out of a House committee, but there are still questions on how Utah is going to pay for the bill's massive price tag [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A number of bills designed to strengthen Utah's control over federal lands within the state move ahead on the Hill [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers take the first step toward approving a sales tax hike to fund mass transit [Tribune].
  • A proposed bill would impose harsher penalties for texting while behind the wheel [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  • Sen. Ralph Okerlund is backing a bill to help protect farmers and ranchers from environmental regulators [Tribune].
  • A bill would allow judges to consider a parent intentionally exposing children to pornography as a factor in child custody cases [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • The District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress in 1801.
  • The Reichstag caught fire in Berlin in 1933. The ruling Nazi party blamed the fire on Communists, which they used to suspend civil liberties in that country.
  • The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limited a president to two terms, was ratified in 1951.
  • President George H.W. Bush announced the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
  • Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect in 1997.
  • Fred Rogers, host of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, died in 2003.
  • Conservative author William F. Buckley died in 2008.

Today At Utah Policy

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Plans, Agendas and Relevancy
As Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, "Where shall I go?" The reply? "Depends on where you want to end up."...

No In-Session Veto Showdown Coming Over Bill that Would Neuter 'Count My Vote'
A bill that would neuter the Count My Vote citizen initiative is being held in the Utah House, giving time for supporters of SB54 to negotiate with CMV leaders....

Bill Would Increase Penalties for Texting While Driving
Millions of Utah drivers could be affected by a bill written because of a tragic auto accident in Southern Utah....

Utah GOP Produces Commercial to Raise Awareness of Caucus Meetings (Video)
The Utah GOP has produced a commercial to help boost attendance at their neighborhood caucus meetings next month....

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....

Featured Items

Life in Utah 2014 Edition: Why We Love Utah
The 2014 edition of the Life in Utah magazine has been released!...

Weekly Survey: Countering "Count My Vote"
Sen. Curt Bramble's SB 54 would essentially make the "Count My Vote" citizen's initiative moot. What do you think will happen with Bramble's legislation this session?Let us know in our weekly survey....

First Wearable State Government App Created for Google Glass by
Utah.govannounced today the availability of OnTime for Glass, a first-of-its-kind transit-tracking app for Google Glass....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Utah pollution is a moral issue, too

Lawmakers OK anti-suicide bill that would give gun-safe rebate

Utah panel advances Big Brother vs. First Amendment bill

Bill passes to allow hunting before taking hunter-ed classes

Schools could cut class time

Bill to allow liquor samples at Utah distilleries stalls

Bill would protect Utah agriculture from environmental regulators

Money questions remain with $200M school tech upgrade

Lawmakers advance raft of bills to further state control over lands

Big tax hike for public transit could be on its way

Bill would amend Constitution to let parties pick nominees

Panel kills bill to criminalize destruction of geo features

Audit finds poor oversight of Utah schools' online education

Bill: Porn exposure to kids could affect custody fights

Bill would amend Constitution to let parties pick nominees

Deseret News

Op-ed: Rethink education funding, stop Lockhart

Dan Liljenquist: Negative impact: the Affordable Care Act, pensions and hourly workers

Editorial: Banishing free exercise of religion from the public square

Utah State Democratic Hispanic Caucus announces Utah Diversity Day at the Capitol

House panel questions bill on alcohol distilleries

School technology bill clears first hurdle

House passes bill allowing swap of classroom days for teacher training

Senate bill aims to toughen Utah texting-while-driving law

Panel approves option for local transportation tax

Lawmakers pass on goblin toppling bill

Utah leaders question proposed military cuts

Committee likes bill making child exposure to pornography a custody factor

Senate, House may be squaring off over Medicaid expansion


Bill would help state get land from federal government (Daily Herald)

Lockhart bill for student e-tablets clears first hurdle (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Cannabis bill is compassionate (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

GOP revives focus on Lois Lerner (Politico)

Joe Biden in Winter (Politico)

Washington unrolls red carpet for Ben Affleck's Congo activism (The Hill)

Camp challenges GOP with radical tax reform (The Hill)

Tax plan sends shockwaves down K Street (The Hill)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes religious freedom bill (CNN)

House Republicans unveil tax reform plan -- does it stand a chance? (FOX News)

Thousands of Clinton documents still being kept private, could be released soon (FOX News)

NSA Wants to Keep Phone Records Longer Because of Privacy Lawsuits (TIME)

To Pay for Infrastructure Repairs, Obama Seeks Tax Changes (New York Times)

Report: Keystone Contractor Followed Federal Rules (ABC News)

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