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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday - March 18, 2015

Speaker Hughes reflects on the 2015 session. Lawmakers are developing a bad procrastination habit. Death penalty opponents want Gov. Herbert to veto the firing squad bill.


  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 146
  • Days to the 2015 election - 230
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 306
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 313
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 468
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 601

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Speaker Greg Hughes reflects on lessons learned during the 2015 Legislature [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  2. Lawmakers passed 528 bills this year, but 277 of those passed in the final week of the session [Utah Data Points].
  3. Death penalty opponents are putting pressure on Gov. Gary Herbert to veto legislation allowing the firing squad as a means of execution in the state [Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. Clean air advocates say few inversions this season took the focus off the issue during the legislative session [ABC 4].
  5. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker testifies before Congress in favor of the Obama administration's transportation plan [Tribune].
  6. The Utah Transit Authority moves to cut executive bonuses and salaries [Deseret News].
  7. Some students at Jordan High School hold a bake sale to highlight the wage gap between men and women [Fox 13].
  8. Congressman Aaron Schock resigns abruptly following allegations he submitted phony mileage reimbursements [Politico].
  9. Rep. Chris Stewart slams the Secret Service during a budget hearing, suggesting misbehaving agents be reassigned to "the furthest tip of the Aleutian Islands" [Tribune].
  10. The Presbyterian Church votes to include same-sex marriage in their definition of marriage [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the interning of Japanese-Americans.
  • 1963 - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that state courts were required to provide legal counsel to criminal defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.
  • 1965 - Soviet cosmonaut Alexi Leonov became the first person to walk in space.
  • 2005 - Doctors removed the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive after a wide-ranging fight over the brain-damaged Florida woman's care that involved President George W. Bush and Congress.

Today At Utah Policy

Speaker Hughes Reflects on the 2015 Session (Video)
Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes talks about what did and didn't happen during the 2015 Utah Legislature....

Podcast: Speaker Hughes Reflects on the 2015 Session
Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes talks about what did and didn't happen during the 2015 Utah Legislature....

A New Trend In the Utah Legislature Toward Procrastination
At Utah Data Points, Adam Brown analyzes the last nineUtah Legislaturesand notes a shift toward considering more and more bills during the final fourdays of the General Session....

Could the Obama Administration Basically Ignore a Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare?
The Obama Administration could lose a Supreme Court case over Obamacare, yet leave the law squarely in place....

Democrats Have a Built-In Advantage Heading Into 2016
There's one big reason for the Democrats to be optimistic they'll keep control of the White House in 2016 - a growing dominance in the Electoral College....

Poll: Utahns Want Attorney General Elected Instead of Appointed
15 months after former Attorney General John Swallow resigned from office, an overwhelming majority of Utahns think that office should still be elected rather than appointed by the Governor....

Hatch: Kill Patent Trolls for Good
In an op-ed for Wired, Sen. Orrin Hatch calls for legislationto protect small andmid-sized businesses and startups from patent trolling lawsuits....

Featured Items

Joe Foss Institute Salutes Passage of Utah Civics Education Initiative
Utah became the fourth state, after Arizona, North Dakota and South Dakota, to pass legislation to implement the Civics Education Initiative, joining a growing nationwide effort to ensure every U.S. high school graduate has the basic tools they need to become informed, engag...

City Launches New Digital App Featuring Easy Access to Services, Reporting and More
Salt Lake city announces a new, multi-platform free digital application that creates 24/7 access to City services and a host of helpful information for residents and visitors....

A Vision Called the 'Ridgetop Complex'
St. George Mayor Jon Pike says his city receives offers every week from people wanting to develop land on the plateau above Bluff Street, where planes once roared before the city moved its municipal airport to Warner Valley. But the city envisions something special for ...

Lincoln Nehring Selected as President and CEO of Voices for Utah Children
Voices for Utah Children has named Lincoln Nehring as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. ...

Utah to Honor Top Science and Tech Innovators at Annual Gala
The Beehive State has recently stolen the national spotlight as an impressive innovation hub, and it’s time once again to recognize the stars. ...

Business Thanks Legislators for Investing In Utah's Future
Today Utah’s business leaders expressed sincere appreciation for the work of the State Legislature. ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Utah spends another $12 million on futile fight

Salt Lake City's Becker to Congress: Pass Obama's transportation plan

Legislative attorney tapped for State Office of Education job

Utah's Stewart: Ship rogue Secret Service agents to 'furthest tip of the Aleutian Islands'

Death penalty opponents ask Herbert to veto Utah firing squad bill

Man who spurred Utah's 'revenge porn' law sentenced to jail

Election machines focus of first Salt Lake County audits

House Speaker Hughes laments his 'obstructionist' image, expects to reach Medicaid deal

Deseret News

Richard Davis: Vladimir Putin is a world menace - the U.S. and Europe must take a stand

Jay Evensen: Tackle the West's drought with market-driven solutions

Aging dams, forecasted drought discussed at day 1 of water conference

Salt Lake City launches new app giving users 24/7 access to city services

More than 6,000 sign petition to veto return of firing squad

UTA slices executive bonuses, salaries hoping to boost public confidence

National Headlines

In states with the first 2016 primaries, Democrats ask: Where's Hillary? (Washington Post)

Bibi bounces back (Politico)

Cheney: Obama and Holder are 'playing the race card' against critics (The Hill)

House passes bill to overhaul EPA Scientific Advisory Board (The Hill)

US Lawmakers Grill Secret Service Chief Over Misconduct (VOA News)

Aaron Schock resignation: Did 'Downton Abbey' tastes do him in? (Christian Science Monitor)

Wasserman Schultz opts against Senate run (JTA News)

The GOP's Budget Test (Wall Street Journal)

Jeb Bush Rejects Idea of Raising Federal Minimum Wage (Associated Press)

Rand Paul to announce presidential campaign April 7 (USA Today)

France, Germany and Italy Say They'll Join China-Led Bank in Rebuff to US (New York Times)


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Wise Words


"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." Abraham Lincoln Brainy Quote

Lighter Side

Sleeping In
"New research found that people who wake up early are more productive than people who sleep in. Or as Congress put it, 'Whoa - is it noon already?'" Jimmy Fallon Political Humor