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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Tuesday - March 10, 2015

Teachers rally at the Capitol for more education funding. Medical marijuana legislation narrowly dies in the Senate. Lawmakers still looking for a compromise on Medicaid expansion.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 2
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 154
  • Days to the 2015 election - 238
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 314
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 321
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 476
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 609

Tuesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Educators pack the Capitol to rally for more education funding, but it's not clear if it had any effect on lawmakers [Tribune, Deseret News].
  2. The medical marijuana bill falls by one vote in the Utah Senate [Tribune, Deseret News]. A poll shows 66% of Utahns would support legalizing medical cannabis [Utah Policy].
  3. Time is running out for the House and Senate to come to a compromise on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. The Utah House changes the rules after Democrats force a vote on Healthy Utah [Tribune].
  5. Utahns overwhelmingly support a hike in the gasoline tax [Utah Policy]. Lawmakers advance two competing plans to raise gasoline taxes [Deseret News].
  6. A proposal to send primary election results back to the parties if no candidate gets above 40% squeaks through the House [Tribune, Deseret News]. Lawmakers may be mulling changing the plan to include instant runoff voting [Utah Policy].
  7. Most Utahns support proposed "right to die" legislation [Utah Policy].
  8. The Utah House rejects legislation allowing car manufacturers from owning a dealership in Utah. That means plans for a dealership in Utah are now very much in doubt [Tribune].
  9. Utah Senators kill an attempt to increase fines for air quality violations [Tribune].
  10. The Utah House unanimously approves legislation that could strip former Attorney General John Swallow's state pension [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1496 - Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.
  • 1862 - The U.S. Treasury issues the first American paper money.
  • 1876 - Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first telephone message to his assistant in the next room: "Mr. Watson, come here. I want you."
  • 1997 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" debuted on the WB network.

Today At Utah Policy

Utahns Overwhelmingly Want Lawmakers to Raise Gas Taxes
Nearly two-thirds of Utah voters want the 2015 Legislature to raise the state gasoline tax, a new UtahPolicy poll finds....

More Than 6 in 10 Utahns Favor 'Right-to-Die' Legislation
Lawmakers decided a proposed "right-to-die" bill needed further study. However, a clear majority of Utahns would approve of legislation allowing a terminally ill patient the right to choose to die....

Lawmakers Mulling Instant Runoff Voting in Primary Elections
Only 14 percent of Utahns want political party delegates to decide who goes on the general election ballot for an office, should no primary candidate get 50 percent of the vote, a new UtahPolicy poll shows....

Lee: Break Up the Higher-Ed Cartel
In a National Review op-ed, Sen. Mike Lee calls for an alternativeeducation market that gives students access to federal loan money to put toward non-traditional educational opportunities....

Time Fleeting for Possible Medicaid Expansion Deal
Utah Senate leaders are still hopeful they can reach a compromise on Medicaid expansion before the end of the 2015 session, but time is running out....

Legislators Moving Toward More Transparent Process at the End of the Session
Some “breaking news” this Monday as the Legislature rushes to finish its 2015 general session by Thursday at midnight....

66% of Utahns Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana
2/3rds of Utahns favor making medical marijuana legal according to a new survey....

Is the Utah House Following the Rules for Meeting Notices? (Updated)
One has to ask: What is the real purpose of giving a 24-hour notice for standing committee agendas in the Legislature?...

Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Appoint State School Board Members in Limbo
In a puzzling move, a House committee passed a plan to put a proposed constitutional amendment on how state school board members are selected on the ballot in 2016 but declined to advance the actual amendment. ...

55% of Utahns Want Healthy Utah, 20% Prefer House Alternative
The 2015 Legislature will mostly be remembered for the knock-down, drag-out battle over Medicaid expansion. ...

Featured Items

Weekly Survey: Will Utah Ever Legalize Medical Marijuana?
Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, is proposing legislation to make medical marijuana legal in Utah. Our "Political Insiders" think it's not an issue of "if" but "when" that happens....

Winning the Political Game: How to Stay Visible with Voters
With municipal elections coming up this year, mayors and city council members seeking re-election need to communicate pro-actively with voters. You don't want to start your formal campaign too early, but it's never too early to communicate with voters....

Medical Device Start-Up Celebrates Important Milestone
PenBlade, a developer and manufacturer of safety scalpels, graduated from their space at BioInnovations Gateway on Wednesday, March 5th. The company has outgrown the space they have been occupying at BiG, and will be headed to Church and State for further expansion.BiG, a Ut...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Fully expand Medicaid to truly help needy Utahns

Op-ed: Utah's justice-reform effort is good, conservative government

Editorial: Utah Legislature resists school spending, local control

Is parade of ed-tech bills aimed at helping schools or vendors?

Legislative resolution: Drilling is 'best use' for Cedar Mesa and San Rafael Swell

Funding advances to renovate USU stadium, U.'s Orson Spencer Hall

House, Senate pass competing gas tax bills

House changes rules after Dems attempt to force vote on Healthy Utah

Bill to increase air quality fines dies on Senate floor

Bill advances to allow ATVs on most Utah roads, even busy highways

Senate, House still hoping for compromise on Medicaid expansion

Bill to set prison relocation process easily passes House

House OKs bill to ban tattooing minors

House barely passes tweak to new primary election process

'Metro township' bill advances for unincorporated S.L. County

Senate advances bill to allow carrying concealed gun without a permit

Bill advanced to regulate Lyft, Uber

House votes 75-0 for Lockhart highway designation

House votes to broaden aggravated child abuse law

House unanimously backs bill that could strip Swallow's pension

Tesla dealership in doubt after House rejects online-sales bill

Utah's Mike Lee, Orrin Hatch sign GOP letter to Iran; White House furious

Utah Senators defeat medical marijuana bill by one vote; lawmakers still 'intrigued' by idea

Rally fails to sway lawmakers on education funding

Deseret News

Op-ed: Power should go to the people - SB54 is step in the right direction

Editorial: An increased gas tax is a short-term fix; let's consider long-term solutions

Utah House panel endorses bill banning powdered alcohol

Committee recommends partisan State School Board bill for House debate

Deedee Corradini remembered as a visionary leader and for her love of family

House, Senate pass competing bills to raise Utah gas tax

House passes bill to outlaw tattoos for minors under 14

House approves bill naming portion of I-15 after late speaker, Becky Lockhart

Utah Senate narrowly defeats medical marijuana bill

House narrowly passes fix to Count My Vote compromise

House passes bill to regulate e-cigarettes onto Senate

Got gun? Senate passes bill saying you don't need a permit

Higher ed performance funding bill gets unanimous Senate approval

Bill banning powdered alcohol clears full House

Lawmakers, educators consider consequences of opting children out of testing

Off the table for now in Utah, wood smoke regulations fuel fights elsewhere in U.S.

Advocates urge lawmakers to improve system, not just new prison

Lawmakers scuffle over bills to tighten police body camera, surveillance rules

Utah House panel delays action on anti-bias, religious rights bill

Educators rally expressing dissatisfaction with proposed funding for schools

House plays keep-away from Senate with Healthy Utah alternative


Bill to scale back Good Landlord program advances to House (Standard-Examiner)

Bill to ban powdered alcohol advances to House (Standard-Examiner)

Coalition of advocates underscores need for criminal justice reforms (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Feds interviewed Harry Reid for Robert Menendez probe (Politico)

Clinton likely to address email scandal (The Hill)

Iran dismisses GOP letter as 'propaganda ploy' (The Hill)

Left turns on Hillary (The Hill)

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin Signs Bill Curbing Union Fees (New York Times)

Obama announces initiative to boost high-tech training, hiring (McClatchy)

Clinton Avoids Email Controversy at Women's Event (ABC News)

Supreme Court revives Notre Dame's challenge to contraceptive policy (Los Angeles Times)

Menendez case would test Justice Dept. anti-corruption unit (Associated Press)

In Senator Graham's e-mail boycott, refusal to bow to 'every 15-second crisis' (Christian Science Monitor)

Videos at Trial Capture Carnage and Perpetrators of Boston Marathon Bombing (New York Times)


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Wise Words

Modern Educator

"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts." C. S. Lewis Brainy Quote

Lighter Side

"President Obama said he wants the United States to establish an embassy in Cuba by April. When asked if Cuba would establish an embassy here, Obama said, 'What do you call Miami?'" Jimmy Fallon Political Humor