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Friday, July 31, 2015

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Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know for Friday - July 31, 2015

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Beijing wins the 2022 Winter Olympics. Utahns favor lethal injection to carry out executions. A Salt Lake City spokesperson is suspended after posting comments online critical of Mayor Ralph Becker's opponents.

The clock:

  • 11 days to the Utah municipal primary elections - (8/11/2015)
  • 95 days to the 2015 election - (11/3/2015)
  • 171 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - (1/18/2016)
  • 178 days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - (1/25/2016)
  • 179 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary - (1/26/2016)
  • 223 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - (3/10/2016)
  • 333 days to the 2016 Utah primary election - (6/28/2016)
  • 466 days until the 2016 presidential election - (11/8/2016)

Friday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Beijing is named the host of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games [Washington Post].
  2. Our latest poll finds Utahns favor lethal injection over the firing squad to carry out executions in the state [Utah Policy].
  3. Lawmakers are going to miss deadlines for coming up with a plan for Medicaid expansion and for finding a new site to move the Utah State Prison. The resolution of those issues could be weeks or months away [Deseret News].
  4. Salt Lake City spokesperson Art Raymond is put on administrative leave for using his work computer to leave online comments criticizing Mayor Ralph Becker's opponents in this year's election [Tribune].
  5. The US Economy grows 2.3% between April and June fueling speculation that the Fed may enact a rate hike for the first time in years [CNN Money].
  6. A new survey from Envision Utah finds Utahns are willing to water their lawn less to preserve water for agricultural land [Deseret News].
  7. The nonprofit health insurer Arches Mutual Insurance ended its first year in business nearly $20 million in the red [Associated Press].
  8. Sen. Orrin Hatch discusses the three-month extension for the highway bill [ABC 4].
  9. State water quality officials are taking steps to deal with toxic algae blooms in Utah Lake that killed two dogs [Tribune].
  10. Environmentalists are not happy with a plan to cut haze in Utah's National Parks [KUER].

On this day in history:

  • 1498 - On his third voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad.
  • 1972 - Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.
  • 1974 - Watergate figure John Ehrlichman was sentenced to prison for his role in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. Ellsberg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the "Pentagon Papers," documents about the war in Vietnam.
  • 1991 - The U.S. Senate overturned a 43-year-old law and voted to allow women to fly military warplanes in combat. 
  • 1991 - President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns Favor Lethal Injection over Firing Squad in Death Penalty Cases

A majority of Utahns support the death penalty, but they are split on which method of execution the state should use....

Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #247

This week ABC 4's Glen Mills fills in for Bob to run down the big stories in Utah politics....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on Politics - Episode #247

This week ABC 4's Glen Mills fills in for Bob to run down the big stories in Utah politics....

Weekly Survey: Will the LDS Church Cut Ties With the Boy Scouts?

The Boy Scouts of America voted to end their ban on adult gay scout leaders. The LDS Church says they are "reevaluating" their ties with the organization. What do you think will happen? Vote now in our weekly survey....

American Innovation Deserves Strong Protection in TPP

Chief trade negotiators are currently meeting in Hawaii to hash out what could be the final details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a twelve nation trade pact between the U.S. and Asia that promises to break down trade barriers for American exporters and unloc...

Policy News

Lee Introduces Bill to Stop HUD Zoning Rule
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement Thursday after introducing the “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act,” a bill which denies all federal funding for implementing the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new “Affirmativ...

IRS Commissioner Commits Not To Target Religious Institutions
Under direct questioning from Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), IRS Commissioner John Koskinen promised Wednesday that he would not issue new regulations stripping religious institutions of their non-profit status due to their belief that only men and women can be joined in marriage....

Hatch Champions Utah's Transportation Priorities In Highway Bill
As the Senate debates a proposal to provide a long-term extension to address shortfalls in the highway trust fund, Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, senior Republican in the United State Senate, is working to ensure Utah’s transportation priorities are part of the final pac...

Senate, House Leaders Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Protect Trade Secrets
Senate Judiciary Committee members Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Chris Coons, D-Del., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Thom Tillis, R-N.C.,together with Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. and House Members Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Jerrold Nadler, ...

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes-- Hike of the week: Snowbasin's Green Pond Loop -- For the latest wildlife news and information and the fishing report visit the?DWR websiteWeekend EventsNew Films-- Infinitely Polar Bear: Tribune review -- A LEGO Brickumentary: Tribune review -- Mission: Impos...

Abby Albrecht Joins Public Policy Team of the Salt Lake Chamber
The Salt Lake Chamber has announced Abby Albrecht as a Public Policy Area Director and Director of the Utah Transportation Coalition.  ...

Federal Lands Action Group Holds First Forum
Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rep. Rob Bishop and Chairman of the Federal Lands Action Group, Rep. Chris Stewart hosted the first in a series of forums aimed at exploring historical precedents and best practices with regard to public land managem...

Utah Foundation Research on Utah's Water Future Wins National Award
The Utah Foundation research report Flowing Toward 2050: Utah’s Water Outlook received one of the top awards for public policy research at the annual Government Research Association meeting in Denver on Tuesday, July 28th.  ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: S.L. County shouldn't put transportation tax on this year's ballot

Editorial: Cast your ballots for a stronger Utah democracy

Judge Skanchy named presiding judge in 3rd District Court

Will the Olympic Oval become the heart of Kearns?

Flagged online post revealed mayoral spokesman's anonymous campaign sniping

The Utah Effect: The $%&* people tweet by state

Salt Lake City spokesman placed on leave during probe of anonymous online political comments

Deseret News

Op-ed: Utah leaders, don't let EPA fool you twice

Editorial: After change to state pension program for public employees, personal contributions to plans slow in coming

National report shows high overall quality in Utah schools

Study: Drought impacts forests more than previously thought

IRS commits to not target tax-exempt status of churches under questioning from Sen. Mike Lee

Survey: Utah residents want crops, not homes on prime farm land

Gov. Herbert, tribal leaders celebrate 10th anniversary of Native American Summit

Poor road conditions make budgeting bumpy for Utah motorists

Resolutions on Medicaid expansion, prison relocation are weeks, maybe months away


Editorial: Recreation, arts and parks tax a step forward for Provo (Daily Herald)

Bill aimed to protect students from teacher misconduct (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

GOP support grows for hardline Planned Parenthood strategy (Politico)

Jeb crams, Donald scrams (Politico)

Obama tells liberals: I can't carry Iran deal on my own (The Hill)

Senate approves six-year highway bill (The Hill)

Joe Biden's Political Moment (National Journal)

Hillary Clinton Losing Strength in New National Polling (TIME)

Did You Ever Notice the Asterisk on Your Social Security Statement? (National Review)

Family planning budgets in crisis before Planned Parenthood controversy (USA Today)

Spike in Donor Numbers for Clinton Foundation (New York Times)

John Kasich Raises $11.7 Million Through Political Action Committees (New York Times)

Puerto Rico nears default as debt restructuring beckons (Reuters)


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