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Situational awareness - January 24, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Thursday's news at a glance: Utahns have divided opinions about the state's medical marijuana law. McAdams signs on to an effort to end the government shutdown. President Trump folds in his standoff with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Talk to us! Send us your news tips, suggestions, complaints or feedback here

The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))


Today is the 24th day of the year. There are 341 days remaining in 2019.

2 days until Salt Lake County Democrats elect a new County Mayor (1/26/2019)

4 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)

49 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

100 days to the Utah State Republican Party Organizing Convention (5/4/2019)

130 days until the municipal election filing period opens (6/3/2019)

134 days until the municipal election filing period ends (6/7/2019)

201 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

285 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

376 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

644 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Medical_Marijuana_02.jpgPoll: 39% of Utahns say Utah lawmakers came up with a better medical marijuana law than Prop. 2. 34% say the law is worse

Utahns are split over whether the Legislature's medical marijuana solution is better than the Prop. 2 voter-approved petition, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190123_McAdams_CSPAN.jpgMcAdams joins effort to guarantee a House vote on money for border wall, but only if Trump ends the shutdown

 Rep. Ben McAdams has joined 29 other Democrats in signing a letter asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to guarantee President Donald Trump a vote on his border funding request if he ends the government shutdown....
images/1000px_Mugs/Shireen_Ghorbani_01.jpgA conversation with Salt Lake County Mayor candidate Shireen Ghorbani

 Shireen Ghorbani, fresh off her run for Congress, has jumped into the race to replace Ben McAdams as Salt Lake County Mayor....
images/1000px_Mugs/Arlyn_Bradshaw_01.pngPodcast: Arlyn Bradshaw, candidate for Salt Lake County Mayor

 On Saturday, Salt Lake County Democrats will choose a new Salt Lake County Mayor. Former Mayor Ben McAdams resigned after winning a seat in Congress....
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngCommitting to long-term economic growth: developing Utah's innovation pipelines

Today is my last day running the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR), and it is a bittersweet day.  ...
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives podcast: Drug rehab - in jail and out

  Going to jail for a drug-related crime might not seem like an opportunity for the person who's incarcerated. But while they're locked up in Utah's prisons and jails, inmates addicted to drugs might find treatment programs that could help them escape the addiction...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Tax_Cut_01.jpgWeekly survey: Will lawmakers pass a tax cut?

 Utah lawmakers are trying to decide what to do with a projected $1.3 billion budget surplus. One idea being floated is a tax cut. Let us know in our weekly survey whether you think they'll be able to get a tax cut done this year....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Reader_Survey.jpgGive us your feedback. Take our reader survey

We want to hear from you....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Transgender_flag.jpgBill bars transgender Utahns from legally changing their sex on birth certificates

 A bill for the 2019 Legislature has been filed that would stop transgender Utahns from legally changing their birth sex....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190122_Romney_podcast.jpgPodcast: Sen. Mitt Romney says he doesn't see Republicans breaking with Trump to end shutdown

Sen. Mitt Romney says he doesn't know when or how the partial government shutdown will end, and he's not sure what will break the budget impasse that is now more than 30 days old....

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Deseret News

Arianne Brown: Thoughts on the Cedar High 'Redmen' mascot from a CHS alumni

Editorial: Covington controversy highlights the harm of instant certainty

Editorial: Free exercise of religion needs strong protection

Auditor suggests tiny Utah town disband after audit reveals financial disarray

McAdams: Border wall could be part of shutdown solution

Church will not oppose hate crimes legislation, clarifies previous position

'We will be ready': Utah homelessness leaders detail timeline for transition to new shelters

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: Religion and politics don't have to conflict

Closure of the downtown Salt Lake City homeless shelter is delayed, but leaders say the transition to smaller centers is on track to start this summer

After past scandals, UTA's board adopts new policy governing 'transit-oriented developments'

Clerk in a small Utah town with 250 residents embezzled $300K in public funds over 9 years

LDS Church won't stand in the way of a tougher Utah's hate-crimes law. And says no groups, including LGBT, should be left off the list.


Ogden council, RDA board approve massive downtown redevelopment plan (Standard-Examiner)

Annual 3-day homeless count set to begin in Weber County, officials expect to see higher numbers (Standard-Examiner)


Shutdown day #34

Trump blinks first in standoff with Pelosi. President Donald Trump says he will not deliver his State of the Union address until the government shutdown is over. Earlier on Wednesday, Trump sent a letter to Pelosi saying he planned to give his speech in the House chamber next week. Pelosi replied he was not invited until the shutdown ended. On Wednesday evening, Trump backed down - https://wapo.st/2FYn8eT

Hope for a compromise? The Senate will vote on two competing funding measures to reopen the government. Both are expected to fail, but Republicans and Democrats hope the votes will point the way to a solution to the shutdown - https://wapo.st/2FTYaxj

Thursday's must-read. The author of a new book about the Trump administration has an astonishing revelation about White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and her constant leaking information to the media. Cliff Sims, who was a top aide to President Trump describes Conway as a "cartoon villain brought to life" in her efforts to stab her co-workers in the back - http://bit.ly/2FVuzU5

Preparing for the worst. The White House has asked federal agencies to identify which programs would be in jeopardy if the government shutdown lasts through March - https://wapo.st/2FWrHqc

Zero economic growth. The White House's top economist warned the government shutdown could lead to "zero" growth in the economy if it lasts through the end of the first quarter - http://bit.ly/2FWy50s

Kushner thrusts himself into negotiations to end shutdown. President Trump's son-in-law has reportedly assured the president he can personally strike a deal with Democrats to re-open the government - https://wapo.st/2FVwZSF

Aviation unions warn about safety risks due to the shutdown. In an unprecedented move, three aviation unions issued a statement urging Congress to find an end to the shutdown because of a growing safety risk posed by the government shutdown - http://bit.ly/2G0fbGh

Not helping! Lara Trump, President Trump's daughter-in-law, gave a tone-deaf answer to a question on Wednesday, saying federal workers who are not getting paid are experiencing "a little bit of pain" but they're sacrificing for the future of the country - https://wapo.st/2FVUxXF

That's a lot of money. Furloughed government workers will be owed $6 billion in back pay by the end of this week. Workers will miss another paycheck on Friday - https://wapo.st/2G0F1cS

Cohen will not testify. Citing threats against his family made by President Trump and others, Trump's former personal lawyer says he is postponing his public testimony before a House committee next month - https://wapo.st/2FKpYox

House Democrats plan to investigate Kushner's security clearance. The House Oversight Committee announced Wednesday they would probe how Jared Kushner got a permanent security clearance after reports surfaced he was targeted for manipulation by foreign governments - https://nbcnews.to/2FXu3ow

Probing Trump's foreign business entanglements. The House Foreign Affairs committee will look into whether President Trump's businesses are driving foreign policy decisions - https://cnn.it/2FWSAKy

Massive media layoffs. More than 1,000 journalists across the country lost their jobs on Wednesday with more cuts coming.

  • Gannett slashed jobs in a cost-cutting move at several papers across the nation - http://bit.ly/2G1xFpV

  • BuzzFeed warned employees they would lay off 15% of its workforce - https://wapo.st/2FK1gok

  • Verizon Media, which owns Huffington Post, AOL, and Yahoo, will lay off 7 percent of its workforce this week - http://bit.ly/2FIiDpH

Younger voters shift to the left politically. A new report says Generation Z is far more open to social change than older generations, which could dramatically reshape American politics - https://nyti.ms/2FWbVvk


1848 - James Marshall finds gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, kicking off the California Gold Rush.

1916 - The Supreme Court declares the federal income tax constitutional.

1933 - The 20th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, changing the beginning and end of terms for all elected federal officials.

Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/CYBER24_season_2_logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 42 - Protecting data on campus
In this week's episode of CYBER24, we head back to campus to discuss the cybersecurity challenges faced by universities....
New career development program for women aims to help elevate future female leaders in 40 Utah companies
The Women's Leadership Institute kicked off its new Career Development Series, which includes over 70 female participants from 40 different Utah companies and organizations. The CDS is an eight-month program designed to help mid- to senior-level women elevate their careers w...
Sen. Lee introduces bill to make Mexico City policy permanent
 Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced legislation Friday that would make the administration's "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy, formerly known as the Mexico City Policy, permanent statutory policy....
Utah Farm Bureau lists 'Issues to watch for in 2019'
The Utah Farm Bureau Federation has released its list of 'Issues to Watch For in 2019' as it implements its policy priorities during the 2019 Utah general legislative session....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgThe 10th annual Clear the Air Challenge
 Join the Salt Lake Chamber, UCAIR and TravelWise this Friday, as we kickoff the 10th Annual Clear the Air Challenge. The Challenge, issued by business, government and community leaders, is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle em...

More National Headlines

Joy Behar: We Jumped To Conclusions About The Covington Catholic Kids Because We Desperately Want Trump Out Of Office (Hot Air)

Republicans could go 'nuclear' to speed through Trump nominees (CNN)

Trump admin grants religious exemption to federally-funded foster care program (The Hill)

The High School Deplorables (Wall Street Journal)

Byron York: What if Mueller doesn't give Democrats what they want? (Washington Examiner)

If Libs Will Lie About the Covington Catholic Kids, Who Won't They Lie About? (PJ Media)

Why some Democrats are turning on Obama's legacy (Vanity Fair)

Nathan Phillips Is A Bully (Daily Wire)

Record private jet flights into Davos as leaders arrive for climate talk (Guardian)

Sheila Jackson Lee Leaves 2 Posts After Aide Says She Was Fired for Reporting Sexual Assault (New York Times)

Dear Covington boys: Everyone failed you (Catholic Herald)

Wise Words


"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." Benjamin Franklin

Lighter Side

Shutdown Cost

"The C.E.O. of Delta said the shutdown has already cost the airline $25 million. He's not that worried, because they'll make it all back if two people pay to check their bags." - JIMMY FALLON

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