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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday - March 11, 2015

Time is running out for a deal on Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers are grappling with big issues in the final hours of the 2015 session. Most Utahns oppose moving the state prison.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 1
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 153
  • Days to the 2015 election - 237
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 313
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 320
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 475
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 608

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. It certainly seems like legislators are on the road to doing nothing on Medicaid expansion during the 2015 session [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  2. There are still a number of big issues left in the final two days of the 2015 session [Tribune].
  3. The non-discrimination/religious liberties bill has one more hurdle to clear after a House committee sends it to the full House for consideration [Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. A new poll shows a sharp divide in Utah on the issue of religious freedoms [Utah Policy].
  5. Another survey finds a majority of Utahns oppose moving the prison from Draper. Those results are consistent with a similar poll conducted in December. Surprisingly, Utah's Democrats seem to be changing their mind on the issue  [Utah Policy].
  6. A measure providing for non-partisan school board elections takes another step forward on the Hill after a Senate committee gives it the thumbs up [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Lawmakers send a bill allowing police officers to pull over motorists for not wearing a seatbelt to the governor's desk [Deseret News, Tribune].
  8. The Senate gives final passage to a measure restoring the firing squad as a backup plan for executions if the chemicals for lethal injections are unavailable [Tribune, Deseret News, ABC 4].
  9. Legislators ask for $500,000 to study how a transfer of public lands to state control could benefit Utah's public schools [Tribune].
  10. The public tends to side with Gov. Gary Herbert when there's a conflict between him and the legislature according to a new survey [Utah Policy].

On this day in history:

  • 1824 - The U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • 1941 - The Lend-Lease Bill to help Britain survive attacks by Germany was signed into law by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • 1993 - Janet Reno won unanimous U.S. Senate approval to become the country's first female attorney general.
  • 2011 - Japan was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake that caused a tsunami. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was severely damaged in the disaster.

Today At Utah Policy

House Republicans are Between a Rock and a Hard Place on Medicaid Expansion
Here’s the political issue for House Republicans who oppose Healthy Utah:...

Poll Shows Strong LDS Support for Religious Liberties Legislation
Want to divide Utah society along religious lines, ask them this question:...

Poll: Majority of Utahns Oppose Prison Move; Support for Move Gaining Among Democrats
Most Utahns still oppose moving the state prison away from Draper. ...

Legislators Still at an Impasse Over Medicaid Expansion
The fate of Medicaid expansion during the 2015 session could end up where it started....

Chaffetz: Why is the NFL Tax-Exempt?
Reuters interviews Rep. Jason Chaffetz about his bid to overturn the National Football League's decades-old tax-exempt status....

Poll: Utahns Tend to Side with Gov. Herbert When There's a Conflict on the Hill
Ever wonder why the GOP-controlled Utah Legislature seems more conservative than our Republican governor or even rank-and-file GOP voters in our state?...

Future Uncertain for Fix to Count My Vote Compromise (UPDATE)
A bill that could throw a party candidates’ nomination back to delegates passed the Utah House Monday night, but its future in the Senate is unclear....

Senate Committee Advances Non-Partisan School Board Election Bill
A Senate committee advanced a bill that could set up a showdown over how members of the State School Board are elected....

Featured Items

Smart Investment Supports a Strong Economy
By any standard of measurement, Utah’s economy is thriving. We can credit our success to forward-looking leaders who made smart, but difficult decisions decades ago to invest in our future. ...

Why Utah Cares is the Best Option To Help Utahns in the Coverage Gap
Last week the Utah House of Representatives passed HB446, Utah Cares, which I supported. ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Utah senators increase risk of war

Utah lawmakers want $500K to study how public land transfer may benefit schools

County sales taxes up 6.5 percent in 2014

Nonpartisan school board bill clears first Senate test

No sex ed unless Utah students opt in, bill proposes

Census: 1 of every 5 married Utahns has been remarried

Anti-discrimination bill moves toward a final vote

Senate slashes proposed tax on natural-gas motor fuel

Tweaked ban on burn bans clears Utah House

Utah appears on verge of restoring firing squad for executions

After years of battles, bill finally passes to toughen seat-belt laws

With 2 days to go, high-profile issues remain unresolved on Capitol Hill

Bill to ban price-fixing for contacts heads to governor

Legislature OKs consistent funding for charter schools among districts

Utah may toughen cockfighting laws after years of trying

Deseret News

Op-ed: Block schedule provides more flexibility for high school students

Op-ed: Car manufacturers still unable to sell directly to Utah consumers

Op-ed: Utah's leaders should focus on fixing potholes, not running the Internet

Richard Davis: In selecting state school board members, Utah needs citizen process, not political process

Editorial: Legislature to be commended for seeking more improvements on state's exemplary open-records laws

Southern Utah STEM initiative gets OK from legislative committee

Nonpartisan State School Board bill moves to Senate

Bill would make parent opt-in requirement for sex education

House speaker: Up to Senate, governor, to make next move in Healthy Utah negotiations

Additional math requirements for high schoolers get House approval

Senate approves bill to equalize property tax for school capital funding

Bill to ban fixed contact lens prices passes House

Legislature passes bill allowing police to stop motorists not wearing seat belts

Bill to legalize firing squad executions passes Legislature

Student crisis line bill goes to House floor

Governor 'not satisfied' with proposed increase to school funding

House passes resolution calling for Utah workers to build new prison

Utah House panel endorses anti-bias, religious rights bill


Chaffetz honors heroes during Spanish Fork town hall meeting (Daily Herald)

Brad Wilson: Banner year for education funding (Standard-Examiner)

Editorial: Allow Tesla to sell cars in Utah (Standard-Examiner)

Bill to expand funding for Centennial Scholarship dies in House (Standard-Examiner)

Last days of legislative session clouded by confusion (Park Record)

Senate votes to expand ATV road access, speed limits (Park Record)

Summit County officials to focus on transportation, environment and planning (Park Record)

National Headlines

Hillary's Moment in Pink (Politico)

GOP presidential hopefuls back Senate letter to Iran (The Hill)

Criticism by Obama raises Scott Walker's stature in 2016 field (The Hill)

Obama announces changes for student loan repayment (Reuters)

Clinton says should have used government email address (Reuters)

Loretta Lynch's Long Wait May Soon Be Over (TIME)

Investors See Potential Opportunity in Marijuana Reform Bill (Wall Street Journal)

House Dems hail 'courage' of Wikipedia NSA lawsuit (The Hill)

Obama to visit Phoenix VA hospital that sparked scandal (Associated Press)

ATF abandons proposed bullet ban, gun owners relieved (WCYB)

The Supreme Court and the Democrats' Preemptive Surrender on Obamacare (Huffington Post)


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