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Friday, February 7, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today - February 7, 2014

Negotiations over Medicaid expansion continue. Herbert renews his call to ban wood burning stoves and fireplaces. House Republicans divided on a plan to move the prison.


  • 34 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 137 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 270 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 633 days to the 2015 elections
  • 698 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1004 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • Lawmakers are continuing to negotiate with Gov. Herbert over Medicaid expansion [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The House Republican caucus is divided over a plan to move the state prison away from Draper [Deseret News].
  • Herbert again calls for legislators to ban wood burning stoves and fireplaces, but there's quite a bit of pushback from the legislature [Utah Policy, Standard-Examiner].
  • A proposal by Sen. Wayne Harper to hike fees for electric cars is raising some eyebrows [Deseret News].
  • Utah Senators endorse a resolution calling on Congress to come up with a reliable plan to fund PILT payments so rural counties can budget without uncertainty [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers consider a bill to expand preschool education for at-risk kids [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The Senate pushes forward a measure allowing school districts to convert classroom time into professional development for teachers [Tribune].
  • Legislators say the state is spending too much money to use a Clearfield storage facility [Standard-Examiner].
  • A bill targeting "revenge porn" moves out of a House committee [Tribune].
  • State water officials are worried Utah's lower than normal snowpack will lead to more drought in the summer [Tribune].
  • Mormons in Congress create an informal caucus where they gather monthly to focus on faith instead of politics [Tribune].
  • Holladay City officials discuss a proposed ordinance prohibiting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people [Tribune].

On this day in history:
  • The 11th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1795.
  • Author Charles Dickens was born in 1812.
  • President John F. Kennedy imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba in 1962.
  • The Beatles arrived in New York for their first American tour in 1964.
  • The Soviet Union's Communist Party gave up a monopoly on power by allowing other political parties to compete in elections in 1990.
  • A federal appeals court ruled California's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in 2012.

Today At Utah Policy

Bob Bernick's Notebook: 12 Days Down...
A couple of observations as the 2014 Legislature wraps up its second week.-- Is it just me, or do the senators and representatives seem a little more relaxed, even happier, this session?I haven't seen so many smiles and general joking around for some time.Ronald McDonald was...

Herbert Pushing Ban on Woodburning Stoves and Fireplaces
GOP Gov. Gary Herbert has asked Republican legislative leaders to prohibit wood burning in home stoves and fireplaces from early December to March in counties that are often clogged with bad air in Utah inversions....

Effort to License E-Cigs Runs Into Online Opposition
You never know how social media will play in a legislative issue.Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, says if you go online and readcommentsabout hisHB112, the control of so-called e-cigarettes, one may believe Ray wants to outlaw the product, or tax it out of business....

Is Utah Losing Economic Development Dollars Due to Poor Air Quality? (Video)
Some lawmakers are worried the perception the state has poor air quality may be driving away businesses that would like to relocate here. Sen. Stuart Adams says there's no direct evidence for that happening, but the poor air quality is a concern for lawmakers....

Proposals Aim to Slow State Spending Growth
The battle over allocating new tax revenue growth every year in the Utah Legislature is always intense....

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Apocryphal Stories and the Air Quality Boogeyman
There's a story making the rounds on Utah's Capitol Hill about a private jet full of corporate executives looking to possibly move their business to the the Beehive state....

Featured Items

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #175
It's the end of week #2 of the 2014 Utah Legislature. Becky Lockhart wants to spend $300 million on technology in the classrooms, a statewide non-discrimination bill is dead and lawmakers try to pass a gas tax hike without actually raising taxes.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott ...

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune:Ski Lift of the Week: Hidden Lake Express at Powder Mountain--Tribune:Black Diamond's innovative avalanche air bag may help save lives -- For the?latest wildlife news and information?and the?fishing report?visit theDWR websiteWeekend EventsNew Films-- ...

Weekly Survey: Lockhart's Technology Proposal
What do you think of Speaker Becky Lockhart's proposal to spend as much as $300 million on technology in the classroom? Vote now!...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Prison relocation idea needs careful scrutiny

UTOPIA claims bill would hinder debt repayment

Utah Senate OKs changing six classroom days to teacher prep time

Lawmakers debate home vs. preschool for youngsters

Mormons in Congress launch informal caucus

Utahns won't see further cuts in food stamps

Bill to prevent 'faithless electors' stalls

More beer money could go to alcohol, substance abuse

Herbert backs repeal of law that ties hands of state regulators

Bill tightening residency laws headed to Senate

Medicaid expansion far from decided in Utah

Most comments back proposed Holladay antidiscrimination plan

'Revenge porn' bill advances to Utah House

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: A Christmas tree tax? Farm bill is full of surprises

Editorial: Cockfighting should be a felony in Utah

House passes bill directing local beer tax revenues to prevention programs

Committee approves preschool bill for at-risk students

Bill would give enrollment preference to grandchildren of charter school founders

Sen. Mike Lee's prayer-dinner talk offers personal reflections

Teens, doctors, legislators call for regulation of e-cigarettes

House Republicans not ready to endorse prison move

Utah lawmakers invited into deaf, blind classroom as school asks for funding

Committee delays action on goblin toppling bill

Gov. Herbert calls his plan for Medicaid expansion a tough sell

Bill looks to clarify law on sexual abuse of a child

Effort to criminalize 'revenge porn' passes House committee

Family Research Council weighs in on Utah gay marriage case

Committee delays action on goblin toppling bill

National Headlines

Obama official: 'F--k the EU' (The Hill)

McMorris Rodgers faces ethics review (The Hill)

Doubt cast on immigration reform (The Hill)

Speaker: Immigration Overhaul Tough to Pass (Associated Press)

Senate Fails to Pass 3-Month Extension of Jobless Benefits (New York Times)

James Carville joins Fox News as contributor (Los Angeles Times)

Source: Obama offers to stay away from some Senate races (CNN)

Religious Freedom Is a Tenet of Foreign Policy, Obama Says (New York Times)

Gun bill brings emotional testimony to Oregon Capitol (Statesman Journal)

Glenn Greenwald Will Basically Dare American Authorities to Arrest Him (The Wire)

Jobs data improves, but weak exports may hurt growth (Reuters)

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Wise Words

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Lighter Side

A petition on the website asks the U.S. to deport Justin Bieber. If they get 100,000 signatures, the White House has to respond. They already have 87,000. The Canadian military is scrambling jets and mobilizing troops along the border to make sure this doesn't happen." Jimmy Kimmel Political Humor

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