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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - February 5, 2014

Competing gas tax proposals on the Hill. A proposal could make "Count My Vote" moot. A Senate committee defers action on an anti-pollution measure.


  • 36 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 139 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 272 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 635 days to the 2015 elections
  • 700 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1006 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • Lawmakers will consider two separate proposals to change the gas tax [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Sen. Curt Bramble unveils legislation that could kill the "Count My Vote" petition drive. His bill would require parties to adopt significant changes in their nominating process or be forced to have their nominees chosen in open primaries [Tribune].
  • A Senate committee defers action on a measure that would allow Utah to have more stringent clean-air standards than the federal government [Deseret News].
  • A bill proposes to keep mentally ill persons from accessing firearms [Utah Policy].
  • A bill requiring more campaign spending disclosure moves forward [Tribune].
  • Legislators are grappling with the cost of Speaker Lockhart's education tech initiative [Utah Policy].
  • A legislative committee gives quick approval to a measure to increase the number of 80-mph zones on Utah highways [Tribune].
  • Rep. Gage Froerer unveils his bill allowing the use of some hemp extracts for medicinal purposes [Standard-Examiner].
  • The Senate approves an election reform measure that would keep state officials who are accused of election improprieties from investigating themselves [Tribune].
  • A legislative audit dings lax security at the Capitol [Standard-Examiner].
  • A committee tables a bill to decrease the costs associated with GRAMA requests [Tribune].
  • Dirty tricks have already popped up in the race for the GOP nomination in House District 57 [Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of Supreme Court justices in 1937.
  • The Arizona House of Representatives impeached Gov. Evan Mecham in 1988.
  • Secretary of State Colin Powell tells the U.N. Security Council that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

Today At Utah Policy

Lawmakers Grapple with Cost of Lockhart's Education Proposal
It's always tough for Utah legislators to say no to a request by a beloved leader for $5 million, $10 million or $20 million for a pet program, especially if the beloved leader is retiring....

'Tax Hike' or 'Revenue Increase'? The Devil is in the Details
Question: When is a vote for a tax hike not really a vote for a tax hike?Answer: When it's an election year....

Reid: Legislature, Governor Should Have Say in Selection of State Superintendent (Video)
Sen. Stuart Reid says giving the governor and legislature a say in whomever the state school board picks to be the State Superintendent will foster greater cooperation among those three groups....

How Charlie Crist Betrayed Mitt Romney
One of the more revealing moments in the Netflix documentary "Mitt" is the revelation that Florida Governor Charlie Crist stabbed Romney in the back just days before the 2008 Florida primary....

Utah is 4th 'Most Conservative' State
Despite the fevered dreams of Utah Democrats, the Beehive State is still a Republican stronghold....

Lawmakers to Consider Legislation Restricting Access to Firearms by Mentally Ill Persons
More than a decade ago, after a LDS Church security officer was shot and killed in a downtown church facility, then-Church President Gordon B. Hinckley publicly wondered out loud why a mentally ill person (as the shooter was termed to be) can still buy a gun in Utah....

Bill Takes Aim at Defining Residency for Candidates
The fallout of former Attorney General John Swallow's scandal, resignation and the appointment of a new AG continues to reflect in bills filed in the 2014 Legislature....

Featured Items

Hatch: CBO Report 'Terrible News' for Americans
Sen. Orrin Hatch responds to a new Congressional Budget Office report showing that Obamacare will cost the nation 2.5 million workers over the next decade and contribute to a $1 trillion increase in projected deficits....

Lights, Camera, Action: Utah's Economy and the Sundance Film Festival
As festivals and sporting events go, few are tied to a city or a state as closely as the Sundance Film Festival is associated with Park City and Utah....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Utah bill to lower costs for records requests stalls

Utah Senate OKs Swallow-inspired election reform

New pipeline would get Uinta's waxy crude to Salt Lake City

Panel advances Utah bill that would require more campaign disclosures

Utah lawmakers support bill to help teachers stop suicide

Legislature seeks to protect cops from crash liability

Competing gas tax changes surface at the Capitol

Paul Rolly: Signs of the times - nasty anonymous messages in GOP race

State makes it all about kids in brief against same-sex marriage

Lawmakers make urgent fix to funding for victims of rape, other crimes

Bill could make Count My Vote initiative moot

Bill for more 80 mph speed zones races through committee

Bill watered down until beer tax hike disappears

PILT money for Utah saved in farm bill as Hatch votes yes, Lee no

Deseret News

Op-ed: We all want community preservation

Editorial: Child-centric marriage

Bill seeks to limit use of CO gas at animal shelters

Rep. Rob Bishop, others target Endangered Species Act

Audit highlights sucessful cost savings in schools

Audit: 3AA football division has increased travel costs

Proposed legislation would restrict local laws targeting specific dog breeds

Lawmakers defer on 'no more stringent' environmental rule

House approves effort to protect officers from lawsuits related to pursuits

House GOP hears plan to split gas tax

Traditional marriage is the best place to rear children, Utah appeal says

Conservative? Liberal? Gallup ranks the states


Bill advanced for more teacher professional development days (Daily Herald)

Bill would allow higher speed limits (Daily Herald)

Weber juvenile detention center cut from first budget (Standard-Examiner)

Reid condemns USTAR offices as lobbying centers (Standard-Examiner)

Road project backers fear costs of school tech initiative (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Health Care Law May Result in 2 Million Fewer Full-Time Workers (New York Times)

Obama's Education Fibs (Wall Street Journal)

Congressman Cohen says Haslam's free-tuition plan a 'serious mistake' because it undermines Hope Scholarships (Commercial Appeal)

Senate sends Farm Bill to Obama with bipartisan support (NBC News)

De Blasio's month as NYC mayor: First plow the streets, then reshape the city (Christian Science Monitor)

US Army faces massive recruiting fraud scandal (AFP)

Sandra Fluke Considering Run for Congress (KVOR)

Obama: Make WiFi in schools like it is in coffee shops (NBC News)

House Leaders Said to Not Rule Out Clean Debt-Limit Increase (Bloomberg)

Rep. Robert Andrews, Democrat of New Jersey, to Resign (New York Times)

Warner offers to sign petition to deport Justin Bieber (Times Dispatch)

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