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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - March 13, 2014

Final House report on John Swallow investigation says the former AG put a "for sale" sign on the office. Lawmakers put an extra $168 million into the public education budget. Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund collapses from an apparent heart attack.


  • Today is the last day of the 2014 Legislature
  • Tomorrowthe Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 5 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 7 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 7 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 43 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 103 days until Utah's 2014 primary elections
  • 236 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 319 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 599 days to the 2015 elections
  • 664 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 970 days to the 2016 presidential election
Today's Utah political news highlights:
  • The Utah House releases their damning report of the investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow, saying he hung a veritable "for sale" sign on the office trading favors for cash [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The report also concludes Swallow may have broken 8 laws [Tribune].
  • The Senate approves two reform bills that sprung out of the investigation into Swallow [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers add $168 million in funding to the public education budget [Deseret News].
  • Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund collapses during a meeting and is rushed to the hospital [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  • A bill providing incentives for a downtown Salt Lake City convention hotel wins final passage [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Rep. Kraig Powell abandons his effort to remove the so-called "Zion Curtain" from Utah restaurants [Tribune].
  • The House gives a thumbs up to the creation of a commission to find a new home for the Utah prison [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The Senate approves a proposal to expand a public/private partnership to provide more opportunities for at-risk children to attend preschool [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A bill pushing for more transparency from USTAR is on the way to the governor's desk [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Senate approves a measure requiring all state and local agencies to educate employees on federalism [Tribune].
  • A judge hears arguments over Utah's decision to not recognize same-sex marriages performed following the ruling that Amendment 3 was unconstitutional [Deseret News, Tribune].
On this day in history:
  • 1639 - New College was renamed Harvard College for John Harvard.
  • 1781 - Astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.
  • 1852 - "Uncle Sam" made his debut as a cartoon character in the New York Lantern.
  • 1868 - The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson began in the U.S. Senate.
  • 1884 - Standard Time was adopted throughout the United States.
  • 1901 - Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States died at the age of 67.
  • 1906 - Suffragist Susan B. Anthony died.
  • 1925 - Tennessee passed a bill prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools.
  • 1930 - Clyde W. Tombaugh announced the discovery of the planet Pluto.
  • 1938 - Defense attorney Clarance S. Darrow died at age 80.
  • 2012 - The Encyclopaedia Britannica discontinued its print edition after 244 years.

Today At Utah Policy

Bryan Schott's Political BS: Nothing Beside Remains
He who laughs last, laughs best....

Investigation Says Swallow Hung a 'For Sale' Sign on AG's Office
Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow hung a "for sale" sign up on his door, and helped his friends and others who donated tens of thousands of dollars to his political campaign, the newly-released, $4 million report by a House special investigation committee concludes....

Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund Rushed to Hospital (Updated)
State Sen. Ralph Okerlund had an apparent heart attack Wednesday afternoon during a joint leadership meeting....

Liljenquist Says He's Not Challenging Stewart
The Capitol rumor mill is rampant with speculation that Dan Liljenquist is gearing up to challenge Rep. Chris Stewart for the GOP nomination in 2014. According to Liljenquist, that couldn't be further from the truth....

Herbert Takes Swipe at Lockhart, Talks Budget, Medicaid
Scoreboard! It's clear Gov. Gary Herbert thinks he is coming out ahead of Speaker Becky Lockhart in the 2014 Legislative Session....

Featured Items

Breaking Down Utah's Caucus Political Process
Didn't have a chance to attend caucus training at the Salt Lake Chamber this week?...

Weekly Survey: Grading the 2014 Legislature
What grade would you give to lawmakers as they finish the 2014 Legislative session? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #180
Things are popping on the Hill with just a day and a half left in the 2014 Utah Legislature.Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott talk about whether House Speaker Becky Lockhart lost in the budget battle with Gov. Gary Herbert and if there are some political games afoot with Medicaid...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Legislature again puts a stop to needed contribution limits

Bill to reform USTAR goes to governor

House report: John Swallow broke as many as 8 Utah laws

Utah Senate leader suffers apparent heart attack

Sex abuse-prevention education bill on its way to the governor

Senate OKs post-Swallow reforms

SLC convention-center hotel bill clears Legislature

Senate OKs federalism-education bill

Judge rejects lawsuit over Utah's belated air-quality plan

Senate: Carrying a gun not disorderly conduct

Utah lawmakers heed Mormon church, keep Zion Curtain

Senate cuts, then passes clean-air bills

Senate kills bill to grant grandparent visitation rights

A 'For Sale' sign on the A.G.'s office?

House OKs new prison commission

Key findings of House investigation into Swallow

Autism bill passes both Utah houses

Senate OKs preschool plan for at-risk kids

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Lockhart's iPad-in-every-backpack plan lacked vision

Jay Evensen: Obama's comedy appearance - let's blame Nixon

Editorial: In making educational progress in Utah, no single solution will suffice

Editorial: Unfinished legislative business on Medicaid, and on clean air fuel standards

Utah lawmakers add $168 million to public education budget

House passes bill in response to revealing audit of USTAR

Convention hotel bill passes Utah Legislature

Senate approves bill to fund preschool with private dollars

Deadline fast approaching for Affordable Care Act health coverage

Bill requires health plans for children on autism spectrum

House passes bill setting up prison relocation commission

Power struggle at Utah Legislature over transmission line

Utah Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund 'doing well' after being rushed to hospital

House report: John Swallow hung 'for sale' sign on door of attorney general's office


Senate amends child abuse prevention bill (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Pols kill donation limits again (Standard-Examiner)

HAFB, IRS workers among those losing $1.4 billion to sequestration (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Republican wins crucial Florida Congressional race (BBC News)

Fla. loss a blow to Democrats' 2014 hopes (The Hill)

GOP to Dems: Don't spin Fla. loss (The Hill)

Senate mulls limited Russian sanctions (The Hill)

GOP seeking 5-year mandate delay (The Hill)

Obama threatens vetoes of bills limiting power (The Hill)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer won't seek a third term, ending months of speculation (Associated Press)

Reports: Obama to issue executive order expanding overtime pay (Washington Post)

President Obama makes shopping stop at New York Gap as part of minimum wage campaign (New York Daily News)

This small fundraiser shows one of Hillary Clinton's biggest advantages in 2016 (Digital First Media)

Snowden speaks to tech crowd in Texas by video link (Associated Press)

Kathleen Sebelius: We don't know how many people have paid ACA premiums (Politico)

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Lighter Side

Proposed Budget
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