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Thursday, March 19, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Thursday - March 19, 2015

Are Utah lawmakers passing too many bills in the final days of the legislature? Legislators approved spending another $500,000 on a controversial effort to de-list wolves. Utah's water picture gets grimmer.

Countdown:

  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 145
  • Days to the 2015 election - 229
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 305
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 312
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 467
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 600

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Lawmakers passed more than half of the bills they considered during the final week of the 2015 session raising questions that they're doing too much at the end of the session [Tribune].
  2. Legislators approved spending another $500,000 on efforts to de-list wolves as an endangered species [Tribune].
  3. Grantsville city officials approve changes in their zoning laws in an effort to block a potential move of the state prison to their community [Deseret News].
  4. Utah water experts say the past winter featured some of the driest conditions on record raising the spectre of continued drought this summer [Deseret News].
  5. A new study gives Utah a "B" grade for financial transparency, ranking the state #22 out of 50 [Tribune].
  6. New Jersey approves direct car sales paving the way for Tesla to open dealerships in that state. Utah lawmakers voted against a similar move during the just-finished legislative session [Washington Post].
  7. The NCAA basketball tournament starts today. Studies say the event will cost businesses nearly $2 billion in lost worker productivity [Wall Street Journal].
  8. A Gallup survey finds Utah workers are among the least engaged in their work, putting the state in the bottom 10 in the study [Tribune].
  9. Target will raise employee wages above the federal minimum to $9 an hour [MSNBC].
  10. President Obama will sign an executive order Thursday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the federal government [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1918 - Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established standard time zones.
  • 1931 - The Nevada Legislature voted to legalize gambling.
  • 1987 - Televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as head of the PTL Club, saying he was blackmailed after a sexual encounter with a former church secretary.
  • 2003 - An American-led coalition went to war against Iraq. The conflict began with the launch of U.S. cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs.


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A New Trend In the Utah Legislature Toward Procrastination
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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....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Superintendent's remarks sold Utah educators short

Editorial: Utah should copy automatic registration idea

House Speaker Hughes expects to reach Medicaid deal

Flurry of late bills begs question: Is Utah Legislature doing too much too late?

Deno Himonas sworn in as Utah Supreme Court justice

Utah Compact the 'gift that keeps on giving,' says national immigration-reform leader

Utah gets a 'B' for online financial transparency

Utah has high percentage of disengaged workers; many 'roam the halls spreading discontent'

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Lawmakers, not courts, should decide how to pick school board members

Dan Liljenquist: Revisiting my predictions of Legislature's 'March Madness'

Editorial: Could Utah's air quality benefit by learning from results of USC's Children Health Study?

Deno Himonas sworn in as newest Utah Supreme Court justice

Victim's widow supports Utah efforts to bring back firing squads

Grantsville makes zoning changes in attempt to block new prison

Other

Don Porter: Don't buy Legislature's spin on medical marijuana (Standard-Examiner)

Vote by mail gaining more attention in Weber County (Standard-Examiner)

Local watchdog's Envision Ogden case reaches Utah Supreme Court (Standard-Examiner)

Birds on the divide: Sage-grouse ruffles resort plans (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

GOP aims to sink Obamacare with reconciliation (Politico)

House Dems open to Medicare deal, despite concerns (The Hill)

Defense hawks back GOP budget (The Hill)

Harry Reid thanks Rand Paul for advice on injury (MSNBC)

Republicans face major governing test: passing a budget (Christian Science Monitor)

Scott Walker's consultant debacle says plenty about the fight for Iowa (Bloomberg)

Fed opens door wider for rate hike but downgrades economic outlook (Reuters)

Obama slams Republicans for 'stale and outmoded' budget debate (Reuters)

Feds won't charge drone operator over White House crash landing (The Week)

Once hesitant, Barbara Bush now backs Jeb's potential run for the White House (FOX News)

Donald Trump's new presidential exploratory committee: Is it serious? (Christian Science Monitor)

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