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Thursday, March 12, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Thursday - March 12, 2015

It's the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature. Lawmakers are still looking for a deal on Medicaid expansion, but time is running out. Utahns overwhelmingly support a shift in Utah's criminal justice system.


  • Today is the final day of the 2015 Legislature.
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 152
  • Days to the 2015 election - 236
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 312
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 319
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 474
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 607

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. There are less than 24 hours to go in the legislative session and lawmakers are still at an impasse on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  2. Utahns overwhelmingly back a shift in Utah's criminal justice system focusing that's focused on treatment over incarceration [Utah Policy].
  3. The Utah Senate hijacks a House bill calling for non-partisan school board elections, swapping it out with a plan for partisan elections [Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. Lawmakers are still trying to come to an accord over a gas tax hike [Deseret News].
  5. The Legislature gives final passage to historic non-discrimination legislation that includes protections for religious liberties [Tribune].
  6. The House gives final approval to legislation allowing government workers to opt out of performing same-sex marriages [Tribune].
  7. The public is split on whether police should be able to pull over drivers because they're not wearing a seat belt, but they're solidly behind a plan to ban drivers from making calls behind the wheel unless it's hands-free [Utah Policy].
  8. A bill to equalize tax revenue among school districts barely passes the Utah House and now heads to the governor [Tribune].
  9. Lawmakers send a bill making game fowl fighting a felony to the governor [Deseret News, Tribune].
  10. Former Governor Jon Huntsman joins Sen. Mike Lee's re-election campaign [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his radio "fireside chats."
  • 1947 - In a speech to Congress, President Harry Truman outlined what became known as the Truman Doctrine, calling for U.S. aid to countries threatened by communism.
  • 2003 - Elizabeth Smart was found in the custody of a panhandler and his wife in Sandy, Utah.
  • 2008 - New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after being caught in a high-priced prostitution scandal.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns Split on Primary Seat Belt Law; Favor Restrictions on Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel
Utah lawmakers passed a bill allowing police officers to pull over motorists for not wearing a seat belt. A new poll shows the public sharply divided on the issue....

Anatomy of the Medicaid Expansion Impasse
So is it down to this: Gary Herbert vs. Greg Hughes?...

Bryan Schott's Political BS: A Democratic Renaissance?
The vestigial backbone of Utah's legislative Democrats may be starting to re-appear....

Jon Huntsman Joins Sen. Mike Lee's Re-Election Committee
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has joined Sen. Mike Lee's re-election bid as co-chair....

Weekly Survey: Grading the 2015 Legislature
As lawmakers finish their work on the Hill this year, what grade would you give their efforts this year? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Chaffetz Wants Answers from Clinton
Rep. Jason Chaffetz is preparing to subpoena Hillary Clinton to answer questions about her exclusive use of a personal email account during her tenure as secretary of state....

Poll: Majority of Utahns Support Criminal Justice Reform Proposal
Perhaps you’ve noticed that Rep. Eric Hutchings has been walking around Capitol hallways with a big smile on his face....

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #228 (Video)
Things are moving quickly on Utah's Capitol Hill.  Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss where we stand on the second to last day in the session....

Featured Items

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Utah Needs to Reform its Broken Transportation Funding Formula
Utah has faced unprecedented growth over the past few decades, and its transportation needs have increased alongside that of growth. But the method for maintaining and expanding transportation infrastructure relies on an antiquated formula that ignores inflation and fuel eff...

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

Op-ed: Don't let legislators take your local control, Utahns

Op-ed: Utah losing another chance to limit money in politics

Rolly: Legislative hypocrisy on medical marijuana?

Sen. Mike Lee's re-election backed by Jon Huntsman Jr., Zions' Scott Anderson

Bill passes to prevent moving endangered species

Cockfighting bill claws its way to final approval by Utah lawmakers

Bill passes to ease UTA train crossing enforcement

Citing high level of fraud in Utah, lawmakers pass white collar crime registry

Legislature approves restrictions on police warrants

Bills to help moms who breast-feed sent to governor

Utah lawmakers set to give sage grouse consultant another $2 million

If guv signs, opting in to sex-ed class would be law, not just policy

Hope for Utah Medicaid decision is alive, but barely

Lawmakers approve $75M property tax increase for schools

Advocates say merger of dangerous waste boards would tilt in industry's favor

House kills proposal to raise car registration fees

Bill allowing govt workers to opt out of performing same-sex marriages sails to final passage

Utah Senate hijacks nonpartisan school-board bill

As victims cheer, Senate passes two bills targeting abusers

Lawmakers pass bill to discourage haves and have-nots after Utah school district splits

LGBT anti-discrimination bill clears Legislature, on its way to Utah governor

Deseret News

Op-ed: Neumont University helps fill the tech talent gap

William Fay: Why is Utah Legislature choosing homebuilders over homeowners?

Steven Manning: Make gas tax the same as state sales tax

Jay Evensen: Utah rejects constitutional convention, but Washington's fiscal problems still loom

Editorial: Senate's warning letter to Iran seems ill-timed

Senate gives preliminary approval to salary raises for some teachers

Bill to make game fowl fighting a felony clears Legislature

Bill creates white-collar criminal registry in Utah

Utah Legislature passes bills to tighten police forcible entry, surveillance laws

Legislature passes bill improving juvenile drug and alcohol correctional system

Legislature clarifies prostitution laws

Lawmakers consider several bills as 2015 Utah Legislature nears an end

Protections for nursing women clear Utah Legislature

Lawmakers advance bills to clarify parental rights in education

House approves $75M property tax increase to equalize school funding

Bills to improve school safety await governor's signature

Senate swaps nonpartisan State School Board bill with partisan substitute

Utah votes to retain firing squad method for planned execution

Ex Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to head Sen. Mike Lee re-election committee

House and Senate still negotiating over gas tax increase

Bill removing statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases passes Legislature

Chaffetz: Secret Service crash is latest incident in a culture of problems

Healthy Utah deal in the works

Utah Legislature passes two 'historic' anti-bias, religious rights bills


Editorial: Lawmakers must show commitment to funding schools (Daily Herald)

Defeat of SB259 won't stop some families from using cannabis oil (Daily Herald)

7 House Bills Congressman Jason Chaffetz is sponsoring for Utah, United States (Daily Herald)

First big hurdle jumped for new youth detention center (Standard-Examiner)

With the clock ticking, lawmakers scramble to resolve big issues (Standard-Examiner)

Antidiscrimination and religious freedom bills clear final hurdle Wednesday (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

The Clintons' Tricky Way With Words (Politico)

Cotton storms the Senate (Politico)

GOP plays defense on Iran (The Hill)

Warren clashes with Obama on trade (The Hill)

AP sues for Hillary Clinton e-mails: Did she break the law? (Christian Science Monitor)

Scott Walker: 'Maybe We're the Front-Runner' in 2016 Republican Race (Bloomberg)

Conservatives to Aaron Schock: Don't Let the Door Hit You (Bloomberg)

Clinton Launches Twitter Attack on GOP Hopefuls Over Iran Letter (Bloomberg)

Jeb Bush leaves last business commitments as campaign looms (Associated Press)

Unions step up battle against free-trade pact (Associated Press)

Senators press administration on need for AUMF (USA Today)


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