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Situational awareness - January 10, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Legislative leaders are increasingly frustrated over school funding impasse.
  • Gubernatorial hopefuls debate in St. George.
  • Impeachment trial could begin next week.

"Damn right, Mike!"

Late-night host Stephen Colbert praises Sen. Mike Lee for standing up to President Trump on Iran. 

Watch the clip below:

Friday trivia

The first trivia question of the new year (and decade) comes from Rep. Brady Brammer.

"Name the person that was a deputy marshal of Great Salt Lake City and also owned and operated the Hot Springs Hotel and Brewery located at what is now known as the Point of the Mountain."

Send your guesses to me via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com. The third person with the correct answer gets the honor of asking next week's question.

Good luck!


Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 17 (1/27/2020)

Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 24 (2/3/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 53 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 62 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 172 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 298 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgLawmakers frustrated by efforts to find new way to fund schools
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
If the Utah Education Association, and other public education advocates, don't come to the table to have "honest discussions" about finding a long-term, stable education funding source, then another state income tax rate cut is coming, for sure, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson told UtahPolicy.com on Thursday.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200109_Lee_Fox.jpgLee: 'We are in a position where we easily could get into a war with Iran'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee caused a stir on Wednesday when he erupted after a closed-door briefing about the attack that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities Work podcast: Big City/ Little Town- Similarities in spite of differences
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
From rural Colorado to metro Maryland, there are many differences in local landscapes across the nation. Yet, more often than not, local leaders wrestle with similar issues.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200108_Lee_Fox_02.jpgLee says Trump administration officials refused to answer his questions about strike on Iranian military leader
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee caused serious waves when he ripped a military briefing about the attack that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, saying it was "insulting" and the worst he's ever seen. Lee took to Fox News Wednesday night to explain why he was so angry.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200108_Lee_Fox.jpgVideo: Sen. Mike Lee furious after 'insulting' briefing on Iran strike
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee was furious on Wednesday following a briefing on President Donald Trump's decision to order an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasim Soleimani, calling it the "worst briefing on a military issue" he's seen in his nine years in Washington.
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Hughes_02.jpgPodcast: Greg Hughes on his run for Utah Governor
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Then there were six. Former House Speaker Greg Hughes jumped into the race for Utah governor on Wednesday.
images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_05.jpgHerbert proposed budget boosts education, Medicaid and transportation spending
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert, in his new budget recommendation for 2020-2021, calls for an increase in spending of 5.4 percent over the current year's budget, and nearly $300 million more in public education funding.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives podcast: Alternative fuel vehicles
By Dan Bammes
The number of vehicles powered by electricity has been growing steadily in Utah, but they're still only 1.6% of new vehicles sold in the state. Eventually, they'll have an impact on air quality, but that's years away. A new research report from Utah Foundation shows there may be opportunities to have a bigger impact sooner by focusing on trucks and buses powered by electricity or other alternative fuels such as natural gas.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune




House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will send the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate "When I'm ready," but insists it will be "soon" [NBC News].

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his Republican colleagues to expect President Trump's impeachment trial to begin next week. Republicans were told they should not expect to go home next weekend [The Hill].

War Powers

The House voted 224-194 to prevent President Trump from taking further military action against Iran without the approval of Congress [Washington Post].


U.S. intelligence officials say the Ukrainian flight that crashed outside of Tehran this week was struck by an anti-aircraft missile [Newsweek].

Iranian officials deny they mistakenly downed the Ukranian airliner and have called on the U.S. and Canada to share any information they have on the crash [AP].

(Sad trombone)

John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, is wrapping up his nearly two-year-long investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Justice Department officials say he found nothing worth pursuing. [Washington Post].


Harvard Law students are reluctant to apply for federal clerkships with Trump-appointed judges. Some of those judges received no clerk applications from Harvard students [Boston Globe].


The increasingly tough labor market has Taco Bell boosting pay for some restaurant managers to $100,000 per year [Bloomberg].


The social media giant says it won't back down from its policy allowing politicians to lie in ads [New York Times].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSen. Lee introduces abortion is not healthcare act
 Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) today introduced the Abortion is Not Healthcare Act, a bill that would prevent the tax deductibility of abortions.
Real Women Run gears up for 2020
2020 is a milestone year for both women and civic engagement across the country, with 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. With several high profile electoral campaigns and over half of all legislative seats and countless county level positions up for election in 2020, civic engagement is crucial. Women's participation in the political process is essential, and attending a Real Women Run event is a great way to start to this milestone year.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgRomney, colleagues introduce legislation to improve broadband access for Utah's rural schools
U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Boozman (R-AR), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Connected Rural Schools Act to help close the digital disconnect for rural students. The legislation will ensure that broadband and other internet accessibility technologies are eligible for funding from the existing Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program.
Utah students to be honored for winning investment strategies at January 10 awards banquet
Students, teachers, government officials and local business leaders will celebrate the 32 winning students and teachers of the Stock Market Game fall 2019 statewide competition during an awards banquet on January 10. The banquet, hosted by Utah State Treasurer David Damschen, will feature student speeches, information about the competition and opportunities to learn more about financial responsibility.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: More animals are being killed illegally in Utah, DWR says--KSL.com:Salt mounds forming at Great Salt Lake are 'rare,' 'unique' geologists sayNew Films-- 1917: Tribune reviewConcerts-- Guest Artist Double Reed Roundup, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center,Brigham Young University, Campus Drive and Heritage Drive, Provo, free-- "Erica Hansen presents: Women of Country Music" Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Grand Theatre, 1575 South State Street, Salt Lake City, $12-$23-- "Isabel Leonard sings Mozart," Utah Symphony, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, $10-$92-- Vocal Point, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center,Brigham Young University, Campus Drive and Heritage Drive, Provo, $11-$13
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSTEP grant application deadline January 24
Thanks to the success of our Utah companies over the past year, the State of Utah has received the largest increase in the country to our State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant allocation, with $500,000 in grant funding coming to WTC Utah to help Utah small businesses enter and expand into dynamic global markets. WTC Utah administers these funds with a goal to increase the number of Utah businesses exporting and exploring significant new trade opportunities.

More National Headlines


1776 - Thomas Paine published the pamphlet "Common Sense."

1861 - Florida becomes the third state to secede from the Union.

1878 - A constitutional amendment that would give women the right to vote was introduced in the Senate. It wasn't until 42 years later that the amendment was enacted.

Wise Words


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lighter Side


"These people are out of their minds. Soon, they're going to start claiming they saw images of Trump appear in their food: 'It was a miracle! I saw Trump's face in a piece of toast!'"- SETH MEYERS

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