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Situational awareness - January 24, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Let's talk about the Legislature! Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott will break down the latest happenings on the Hill and take your questions live on Facebook around 9 am this morning. Join us on our Facebook page.

Legislative Republicans swipe at the AG's office with a proposed bill. Rep. Chris Stewart has to walk back a claim about the Russia investigation. Mueller wants to interview Trump about his firing of Comey and Flynn.

Tick Tock:

If you have any story ideas, tips, suggestions or complaints, I'm always available at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

Tell your friends they can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Here's what's driving the day:

Lawmakers pick a fight with the governor's office

The House introduced legislation to force the AG's office to give them a legal opinion when they ask for it. You'll remember the Legislature wanted Attorney General Reyes to give them an opinion on the 3rd CD special election process, but Gov. Herbert blocked it [Utah Policy].

Rep. Stewart walks back a shocking claim about the Russia investigation

Rep. Chris Stewart suggested that the infamous Fusion GPS dossier on possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia is tainted because the British agent, Christopher Steele, who assembled the dossier may have worked with Russian agents. When we asked Stewart to clarify those remarks, he said he was trying to point out the irony of claims that the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia [Utah Policy].

Lawmakers may help foster better fathers in Utah

Rep. Mike Winder is proposing legislation to create a commission to help fathers have a better relationship with their children [Utah Policy].

Legislative odds and ends

Check out some of the tidbits and quips our reporters gathered on the Hill. Rep. Chris Stewart tries to make a Caddyshack reference, but it was clear he was talking about another movie [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

'Scene' on the Hill - Day #2

Here are some news quips, quotes, and tidbits from our Capitol Hill reporters on day #2 of the 2018 Utah Legislature....

Rep. Stewart casts doubt on probe into Russian election meddling

Rep. Chris Stewart, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that the controversial Fusion GPS dossier, which alleges connections between the Trump campaign and Russians during the 2016 election, cannot be trusted. He claims the information it contains may ...

Lawmakers introduce bill requiring AG's office to give them legal opinion, setting up possible separation of powers fight with the governor

As expected, the GOP-controlled Legislature is aggressively going after Attorney General Sean Reyes for his decision last year not to give lawmakers his opinion on whether Republican Gov. Gary Herbert acted appropriately in deciding on his own the U.S. House special election...

Legislature may create a commission to help create good fathers

Watch out deadbeat dads, or fathers who aren't really interested in being fathers....

CYBER 24 podcast: Protecting your credit after a cyber breach

When news of a cyber breach breaks, consumers across the country start worrying about whether or not their personal data was exposed and how that could negatively impact their credit....

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Policy News

Sutherland Institute announces new president
Sutherland Institute announced Rick Larsen as its new president. Larsen succeeds former president Boyd Matheson, who recently announced his departure. ...

Bipartisan Senate coalition introduces bill to permanently ban earmarks
U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today introduced a bill to make permanent ...

Relief from medical device tax becomes law, after Love urges action
Congresswoman Mia Love is pleased that her request to relieve the Medical Technology Industry of the job-killing Medical Device Tax has been passed into law, as part of the vote to approve a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the Federal budget....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Speaker Hughes' War on Big Pharma

Holladay panel rejects plan for Cottonwood Mall site, saying it's out of touch with the city's vision for its future

Sen. Hillyard: Colleges and universities can figure out what 'civil liberties' means

After poaching a desert bighorn in Utah, prominent Arizona guide loses hunting rights in 47 states

Mitt Romney would romp to Senate victory over Jenny Wilson if election were held today

Using a government laptop or smartphone to play politics? If so, that's a public record under proposed legislation.

Sutherland Institute names Rick Larsen as new president

Breast-feeding in public is already legal in Utah, but this lawmaker wants to make it crystal clear

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart: The real scandal isn't possible Russian meddling in election, it's taint of politics in CIA and FBI

What will Utah look like in 2050? Public officials plan for the state's future.

Utah House GOP slaps at governor for refusing special session last year

67 Utah state employees complained of workplace abuse since July 2015 - seven bosses or co-workers were disciplined

Poor, working families would get up to $600 more a year under proposed tax credit that's got momentum in the Legislature

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: A message bill about the value of a child with Down syndrome

Derek Miller: Silicon Slopes rises above Silicon Valley

Op-ed: Perhaps Mormons are the most politically malleable

Editorial: Inmates deserve the written word

Sen. Mike Lee explains voting against bills shutting down, reopening government

San Juan commission blasts A.G. for 'political games' prosecuting sheriff

Utah faith leaders refer to Joseph Smith in urging lawmakers to pass victim targeting bill

Utah lawmaker seeks to create first responder for mental health, suicide prevention

Bill would allow Utah schools to install bolt locks on classroom doors

Resolution affirms civil liberties of Utah college students

Grieving parents lobby for research into opioids' fatal effects on breathing

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart: Trump investigation issues 'extraordinarily concerning'

Utah in 2050: Local officials urged to plan for Utah's population boom


State of Utah County address focuses on positives going into 2018 from 2 commissioners (Daily Herald)

Months after his resignation, Jason Chaffetz speaks to crowd in Provo (Daily Herald)

Editorial: Utah lawmakers must unite, address teen suicides (Standard-Examiner)

Weber, Davis homeless counts may be affected by Operation Rio Grande (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

FBI Informant Says 'Secret Society' Held Secret Meetings Off-Site (PJ Media)

Scientists Get Buried In Snow At Davos While Lecturing On Global Warming (Daily Caller)

Davos CEOs' optimism booms on Trump tax cuts (FOX Business)

Emmanuel Macron invited to White House for first state visit of Trump administration (CBS News)

Oprah in 'awe' of West Michigan group finding common ground after '60 Minutes' interview (Grand Rapids News)

World must 'wake up to threat from tech giants' (Telegraph)

Tony Perkins: Trump Gets 'a Mulligan' on Life, Stormy Daniels (Politico)

Why The Delay Correcting False Alert? Hawaii Governor Forgot Twitter Password (NPR)

Trump and the media are trying to destroy each other, Howard Kurtz says (Politico)

New California policy opens door to illegal immigrant voting (FOX News)

Rupert Murdoch wants Facebook to pay for 'trustworthy' news (Mercury News)

Wise Words


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Lighter Side

Time Estimates

"In a new interview, White House special counsel Ty Cobb said that he expects the Russia investigation to wrap up in the next four to six weeks. Though based on his mustache, he's not great at estimating how long something will last." Seth Meyers

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