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Thursday, March 5, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Thursday - March 5, 2015

House panel kills Healthy Utah. Legislative leaders unveil non-discrimination and religious liberty legislation. Romney blasts Utah GOP plan to hold a caucus instead of a primary in 2016.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature - 7
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 159
  • Days to the 2015 election - 243
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 319
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 326
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 481
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 614

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. A Utah House committee kills Healthy Utah while approving the more modest Medicaid plan dubbed Utah Cares [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  2. LGBT advocates and representatives of the LDS Church are on hand for the unveiling of a combined religious liberties and non-discrimination bill [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  3. Mitt Romney sends a letter to legislative leaders blasting the Utah GOP's plan to hold a presidential caucus instead of a primary in 2016 [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. A newly released bill in the House would give the legislature and governor veto power over the prison relocation decision only if Gov. Gary Herbert calls a special session [Tribune].
  5. The Utah House and Senate appear at odds over how members of the state school board should be elected [Tribune, Deseret News].
  6. A Senate panel advances a compromise bill to prohibit drivers from talking on cell phones unless they use a hands-free device [Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Legislators give final passage to a bill raising fees for driving privilege cards for undocumented immigrants [Tribune].
  8. Rep. Marc Roberts is sponsoring legislation that would convene a grand jury if an alleged crime involves allegations of corruption against a public official or use of deadly force by a police officer [Utah Policy].
  9. Legislators advance a bill paving the way for electric car company Tesla to open a dealership in Utah [Tribune].
  10. A House committee approves a plan to rename a section of I-15 after the late Speaker Becky Lockhart [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1692 - The Salem village of the Massachusetts Bay colony began their infamous witch hunt. It eventually resulted in the executions of 19 men and women.
  • 1781 - The American colonies adopted the Articles of Confederation.
  • 1872 - Yellowstone National Park was established by an act of congress.
  • 1954 - Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five members of Congress.
  • 1971 - A bomb exploded in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol, causing $300,000 damage but no injuries. The Weather Underground, a leftist radical group that opposed the Vietnam War, claimed responsibility.

Today At Utah Policy

Healthy Utah Falls in House Committee
A House panel killed the Healthy Utah Medicaid expansion plan on Wednesday night while advancing an alternative plan of their own....

Non-Discrimination and Religious Liberty Bill Unveiled
It was a monumental moment in Utah politics, but one also for the worldwide LDS Church, as its leaders try to show their compassion for gays and lesbians after the public relations disaster of Prop 8 in California several years ago....

Lee, Rubio Unveil 'Pro-Growth, Pro-Family' Tax Plan
Sens. Mike Lee and Marco Rubio roll outatax code overhaulthat would consolidate existingtax brackets and provide for a per-child credit for parents....

Weekly Survey: Medical Marijuana
Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, is sponsoring legislation to make medical marijuana legal in Utah. Do you think Utah lawmakers will ever legalize medical marijuana in Utah? Vote now in our weekly survey....

State Issues FAQ on How Count My Vote Compromise Will Work
Few new laws have been as misunderstood or controversial as last year’s SB54, but now the State Elections Office has posted a FAQ web page on the dual-track candidate nomination law....

Non-Discrimination Legislation Carves Out Exception for Boy Scouts
How important is the Boy Scout program to leaders of the LDS Church?...

Bill Would Convene Grand Jury in Use of Deadly Force Allegations Against Police Officers
While it is late in the 2015 Legislature to introduce a bill, Rep. Marc Roberts has his new HB451 which says a grand jury will be called if the alleged crime involves a public official or deadly force used by a police officer....

Romney Hammers Utah GOP Plans for Presidential Caucus in 2016
Mitt Romney is blasting the Utah Republican Party's plan to hold a presidential caucus instead of a primary in 2016....

Poll: Utahns Split on Primary Seat Belt Law
Should police officers be able to pull over drivers for not wearing a seat belt? Utahns stand divided on the issue....

Legislative Notes Warn a Number of Proposed Bills Could Run Afoul of Federal Law
Welcome to the Legislature, freshman Rep. Norman Thurston. Two of your bills are likely illegal.And Sen. Mark Madsen’s medical marijuana bill has legal problems as well, could run afoul of federal law....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Count My Vote deal should not be changed

Free-market lawmakers take aim at Utah's restrictive car dealer laws

Bill advances to allow one-touch cellphone use while driving

Unfunded water bill 'like homeless guy buying a wallet,' but still passes Utah Senate committee

Bill passes to raise fees for immigrant driving privilege cards in Utah

Utah House leaders' new plan would give guv, Legislature veto on prison site

Mitt Romney attacks Utah GOP's plan for presidential caucus

Bill opening door for Tesla, other online dealers advances to House

House swats down partisan school board bill, Senate's preferred option

Eagle Mountain sells its electric, gas systems

Bill aimed at avoiding another liquor-permit debacle like Oktoberfest controversy

Utah tops nation for huddling into cities

Run-in with Utah law could block Tesla's grand opening plan

Mormon leaders, LGBT groups trumpet new anti-bias bill as a 'model'

Interstate 15 section may be renamed to honor Becky Lockhart

Panel rejects Healthy Utah; opts for House alternative, Utah Cares

Deseret News

Op-ed: Safety is potential concern on Bear Lake beaches

Op-ed: Consider all options before relocating state prison

Dan Liljenquist: Looking to the Supreme Court to lead a restoring balance of powers in D.C.

Jay Evensen: Open wide and swallow your tax increase, Utah

Editorial: SB296 bridges anti-discrimination, religious freedoms divide; could be a model for other states

Bill establishing water fund advances from committee

Bill OK'd to provide resources for students with learning disabilities

Becker appoints 2 people to top city leadership positions

Lawmakers find common ground on changes to cellphone bill

Pilot program would allow teachers to work year-round

Bill proposing more math for high school students moves to House

Senate advances bill to improve juvenile drug and alcohol correctional system

3 State School Board bills advance, 2 fail as partisan debate continues

Bill to boost countable ballots passes Utah Senate, awaits governor's signature

Bill to allow voting 'selfies' passes Utah Senate, awaits governor approval

Bill clarifying parental rights in education gets OK from Senate

Utah Senate rejects bill to prohibit anonymous campaign donations

Mitt Romney calls Utah GOP move to a caucus a 'bad decision'

Senate OKs bill for school crisis reporting app

Utah Cares contains potentially expensive, fatal holes

House committee approves proposal to name highway section after Becky Lockhart

Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah plan fails in House committee

LDS Church, LGBT advocates back anti-discrimination, religious rights bill


Utah drivers of all ages affected by pending pieces of legislation (SU Independent)

Need to know: Changes for the prison relocation selection process (Daily Herald)

Opt-in gun safety class for eighth graders pushed by lawmaker (Standard-Examiner)

Bill advances to continue statewide mapping of broadband infrastructure (Standard-Examiner)

Smithfield family fights for Medicaid waiver bill (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

How John Boehner might rethink his speakership (Politico)

Hillary Clinton's awkward Wall St. gala (Politico)

GOP introduces bill to block Internet rules (The Hill)

US ambassador attacked in South Korea (The Hill)

All eyes on Kennedy, Roberts as justices spar over ObamaCare (The Hill)

Hillary Clinton: House Select Committee on Benghazi Seeks All Private Emails (ABC News)

Supreme Court sharply split over major challenge to Obamacare (Christian Science Monitor)

GOP-led Senate fails to override Obama's Keystone veto, lawmakers say fight not over (FOX News)

Chris Van Hollen to run for Barbara Mikulski's Senate seat (CBS News)

Chicago mayor says state budget is 'wrong approach' (Associated Press)

Paul Krugman And Walmart's Market Wage (Daily Caller)


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Wise Words

Virtue's Ladder

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Pretty Inconvenient
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