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Thursday, May 21, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Top Things You Need to Know for Thursday - May 21, 2015

Welcome to Thursday. The weekend is almost here. Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul are crusading against the National Security Agency and reauthorizing the Patriot Act, but they are out of touch with citizen opinion, according to a Rasmussen poll. Here are your other news highlights for Thursday:

-At GOP House caucus, leaders indicate desire to get past SB54 and prepare for 2016 elections (Utah Policy).

-Latest poll numbers show Att. Gen. Sean Reyes in good political shape (Utah Policy).

-Some legislators want TRAX rail service extended to Utah County (Utah Policy).

-Utah has the fourth-highest five-year population growth rate in the country, according to new census estimates (Deseret News). 

-Utah energy officials say proposed federal rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants could undermine the affordability and reliability of Utah electricity (Salt Lake Tribune). 

-A legislative audit that found flaws in accounting methods used to measure Utah's water supply suggests the need to overhaul state law (Deseret News).

-Sen. Orrin Hatch disputes the assertions of a recent HBO special linking deaths in the military to dietary supplements (Salt Lake Tribune). 

-At the first prison relocation open house, many wonder: why not just rebuild the prison in Draper? (Salt Lake TribuneDeseret News). 

-City Weekly takes in-depth look at the firing of Justin Miller by SL County Mayor Ben McAdams and Miller’s countercharges.


  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 82
  • Days to the 2015 election - 166
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 243
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 250
  • Days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary - 251
  • Days to the 2016 Utah primary election - 405
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 538

Today At Utah Policy

Transportation Beat: Some Legislators Want TRAX Service in Utah County
Key Utah legislators encouraged Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to figure out a way to extend TRAX rail service over the Point of the Mountain into Utah County to serve the high-growth area of northern Utah County and the large high-tech and retail businesses there like Adobe a...

GOP Leaders Intend to Comply with SB54
Sunshine GOP House caucusUtah House Republicans hold an “open” caucus on the Capitol plaza Wednesday because their third-floor caucus room is being remodeled. House Republicans usually allow the public and media into their caucus meetings. Democratic Ho...

Poll Numbers Show Atty. Gen. Reyes in Good Political Shape
GOP Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is looking good as he approaches his 2016 re-election, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.Reyes gets a 53 percent “naked re-elect” number in the new poll by Dan Jones & Associates.An incumbent wants to be above 50 percent in any ...

CW Cover Story: 'Fast Bucks'
City Weekly's Stephen Darktakes an in-depth lookat the still-unfolding dispute (involving claims and counter-claims of possible criminal wrongdoing) between three luminariesof the Utah Democratic Party: Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, political consultant Donald Dunn, an...

Conservative Group Targets Bishop, Stewart
The Club for Growth launches a new round of TV and digital ads condemningfour GOP lawmakers, including Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, for supportingthe Export-Import Bank....

Paul, Lee Filibuster Patriot Act Extension
In a long speech intended to tie up the Senate for hours, Rand Paul (with the help ofa few other libertarian-minded senators, including Mike Lee) urges Americans to "open rebellion" against the government's surveillance practices....

No Worries About NSA Surveillance
I admit that I worry about a lot of things. But the National Security Agency is not one of them. I have only so much ire, and I can’t waste it on inconsequential things like whether the NSA is spying on me, listening to my phone calls, or reading my email. I prefer to ...

Featured Items

Press Release: Women's Group Fails Utah on Women Issues
A new state-by-state analysis released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that Utah ranks last in the nation (50th) for political participation and 50th for work and family, receiving “F” grades in both areas. Politica...

Utah Launches Nation's First Comprehensive Econ Dev Map
This week the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) and EDCUtah launched a premier interactive economic development map called, which showcases Utah's "fastest internet in the west" along with key infrastructure information.L...

Salt Lake Chamber Celebrates Hinckley Institute's 50 Years
For five decades, the Hinckley Institute has championed student and community civic engagement. The last 10 years, specifically, have been marked by explosive growth—particularly on a global level.The Salt Lake Chamber has been a long-time supporter of the Hinckley Ins...

Gov. Herbert Hosts Colorado Governor & Industry Leaders at Energy Summit
The Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit will be held Wednesday and Thursday this week at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The summit will include keynote remarks from top energy leaders, as well as 12 Breakout Sessions with more than 85 expert speaker...

Sen. Lee's Poll Numbers Show Continued Improvement
Well, Mike Lee is almost there.And who would have thought it just a year ago?A new UtahPolicy poll shows that Utah’s freshman GOP U.S. senator has a 47 percent “naked re-elect” number.That doesn’t mean nearly half of Utah voters want Lee to run again ...

Press Release: Provo Chief Makes Crime Prevention Case to Expand Health Coverage
Provo Police Chief John King on Tuesday called on state policymakers to accept federal funds to extend health insurance coverage to 97,000 Utah residents.His reasoning: expansion of health coverage could prevent future crime and violence and save the state money. A...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

With 1 million Utah students expected in 2050, lawmakers warned they need to plan

Utah energy officials blast feds' 'clean power' rules

Tesla, Utah auto dealers urged to break impasse

Money-laundering charge filed against former A.G. Swallow; witness list unveiled

Orrin Hatch calls HBO report 'inaccurate'; HBO stands by "Real Sports" telecast

Utah prison relocation meeting comes back to, 'Why leave Draper?'

Deseret News

A. Scott Anderson: Trade promotion authority is critical for Utah and the nation

Stuart Reid: Despite study results, religion in America should only fear what it does to itself

Editorial: Recent Kathmandu, Baltimore responses show need to measure social progress, not just economic growth

Tax commissioner will not seek reappointment

'Marching to the same drummer': Educators, lawmakers work toward 10-year education plan

Lawmakers: Audit underscores need for larger water discussion

Groups chase air pollution to keep businesses, people on Wasatch Front

Utah lawmakers begin task to 'carefully' consider medical marijuana

First prison relocation open house changes few minds

'Another piece to the puzzle': Census reveals Utah's growth among top in nation


Coalition hopes to end local homelessness by 2016 (Daily Herald)

Nation's professionals offer advice for downtown Spanish Fork (Daily Herald)

Sheriff: Obama's ban on military equipment to law enforcement has little impact (Standard-Examiner)

Many high school students making up credits to graduate (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

A mad, messy rush to vacation (Politico)

Hillary's speech disclosures come under fire (Politico)

Fight over Benghazi docs to hit House floor (The Hill)

Paul wages Patriot Act filibuster with call for an 'open rebellion' (The Hill)

Bin Laden fixated on attacking U.S. interests: documents (Reuters)

Obama turns up heat on climate change, national security (Christian Science Monitor)

Jindal enacts 'religious freedom' order despite firms' discrimination concerns (Guardian)

'What the hell?' Boehner rips VA for firing almost nobody, year after Shinseki resignation (FOX News)

Fox News to Limit First Presidential Debate to 10 Republicans (New York Times)

Nebraska lawmakers vote to ban death penalty, by margin big enough to override veto (Los Angeles Times)

Messina in the cross hairs at pro-Clinton super PAC (Politico)


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Wise Words

Give Thanks

"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."TecumsehBrainy Quote

Lighter Side

"According to a new report, since he's been governor, Chris Christie has spent $82,000 at a concession stand at MetLife Stadium. Now, I know it seems like the perfect story for a Chris Christie joke but I'm actually on a Chris Christie joke diet. So nothing for me, thanks." Jimmy Fallon Political Humor

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