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Situational awareness - January 25, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Friday's news at a glance: Romney and Lee split votes on ending the government shutdown. Herbert says lawmakers should leave Medicaid expansion alone for now. Trump associate Roger Stone is arrested.

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 25th day of the year. There are 340 days remaining in 2019.

Salt Lake County Democrats elect a new County Mayor tomorrow (1/26/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgI don't have any feet! - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 406

This week on Utah's longest running political podcast, Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott explain the big stories from the last week in Utah politics....
images/mugs/bernick-mug.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Herbert may play hardball with the legislature this year

This could be an interesting year for GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and the Republican-controlled state Legislature....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190124_Romney_MSNBC.jpgRomney votes for two bills to end government shutdown while Lee votes against both measures

 Two bills aimed at ending the government shutdown failed in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, meaning the government shutdown, already the longest in the history of the country will continue for the foreseeable future....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Gary_Herbert_07.jpgHerbert says Medicaid expansion should be implemented first, then changed later

 In a wide-ranging press conference Thursday, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert gave some interesting perspectives on big issues coming before the state Legislature, which meets in annual session Monday....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/LDS_Temple_01.jpgAnalysis: Poll numbers show LDS voters are sold on the alternative medical marijuana bill passed by Utah Lawmakers last year

 Among Utah's various religious groups, only "very active" members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the state Legislature's medical marijuana law is better than Prop. 2, the drug's legalization for various medical problems approved by most Utah...
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_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgBuilding Utah: Smart planning for Utah's transportation infrastructure

Research shows Utah's population expected to double over the next 50 years. Whether we like it or not, this growth is inevitable. How we handle this growth will have a direct impact on our future economic success and overall quality of life....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Reader_Survey.jpgGive us your feedback. Take our reader survey

We want to hear from you....
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....

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Deseret News

Derek Miller: We can love both immigrants and the wall

A. Scott Anderson: Use some of Utah's budget surplus to invest in our young people

Rep. Ben McAdams: Let's fix a broken Congress, end this disgraceful shutdown

Op-ed: States must take action to save federal government

Provo-Orem tops nation in new Best Performing Cities report

Utah Sen. Mike Lee proposes federal balanced budget amendment

Utah Sen. Mike Lee proposes bill to remove federal regulations to buy gun silencers

Utah governor says hate crimes law should be considered

Utah business gives $100K to keep Zion, Arches and Bryce national parks open

Labor shortage could impact strong Utah commercial real estate market

Salt Lake County mayoral hopefuls discuss air quality, growth during debate

Asleep in the snow: Utah volunteers count homeless living on streets

Salt Lake Tribune

Road dispute shuts access to Native American treasures in Hovenweep, Canyons of the Ancients

Utah company gives $100K to keep Zion, Arches and Bryce operating through Presidents Day during shutdown

Attorneys for the Utah Legislature say a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks would probably be found unconstitutional

This Utahn has run as an independent, a Republican and on the Constitution Party ticket, losing every time. Now, he's in the Salt Lake County mayor's race as a Democrat.

Gov. Herbert hints at support for hate crimes legislation and abortion bans, and opposition to repeals of Medicaid expansion and SB54

Building a $1 billion-plus TRAX line through the old state prison site? UTA says it's just looking and not buying - so far.

Sen. Mitt Romney voted for the GOP and Dem bills to end the shutdown. Mike Lee opposed both. Utah's senators explain why.

Salt Lake County mayoral candidates outline visions on affordable housing and climate change


Shutdown day #35

Breaking Friday morning. Roger Stone, the longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, was arrested on Friday morning by the FBI in connection with the special counsel investigation over his communications with WikiLeaks. Stone was charged with seven counts, including witness tampering - https://nyti.ms/2FXs97y

Emergency declaration on border security. The Trump administration is preparing a draft proclamation for President Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border. The draft document has identified more than $7 billion in funds for the wall -  https://cnn.it/2G4AWor

This is your fault! During a private luncheon, Republican senators ripped Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the government shutdown, which is the longest in history - https://wapo.st/2FWJmhs

Tiring of the fight. Republicans in Congress and the Trump White House are feeling more pressure to find a solution to the government shutdown as they realize they're losing the PR battle - https://politi.co/2G4DhzJ

Floating a deal? Top White House adviser Jared Kushner told members of Latino advocacy organizations President Donald Trump was willing to give permanent protections to "Dreamers" and reopen the government in exchange for $25 billion for border security - http://bit.ly/2G3kYLf

Democrat rips Cruz over "crocodile tears." Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett read Texas Republican Ted Cruz the riot act on the Senate floor Thursday. Cruz blamed Democrats for the current government shutdown, and Bennett unloaded on Cruz for his role in the 2013 shutdown. The clip quickly became the most-watched Senate floor speech in CSPAN history - https://wapo.st/2G088NN

Woah! Officials rejected Jared Kushner for a top secret security clearance because they worried he was vulnerable to manipulation by foreign governments, but they were overruled, and the clearance was approved - https://nbcnews.to/2G12uuS

Another missed paycheck. Federal workers miss their second payday today. The impact of the partial government shutdown will get worse as more employees are expected to seek out public assistance to get by - http://bit.ly/2FZUav5

Tone deaf and out of touch. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose net worth is estimated around $700 million, said Thursday he did not understand why furloughed federal workers are going to food banks. He suggested they simply get a loan to ride out the government shutdown until they are paid again - http://bit.ly/2G3AXZo

  • President Trump suggested that federal workers who are not getting paid should convince grocery stores to "work along" with them so they can get food during the shutdown - http://bit.ly/2FZe8Gm

Elizabeth Warren proposes a "wealth tax." The Democratic presidential candidate is pushing an annual tax on Americans with more than $50 million in assets - https://wapo.st/2FZcRPA

Trump administration to block asylum seekers. The administration said Thursday they would turn back immigrants applying for refugee status at the southern border - https://nyti.ms/2FZRfT9

Senate committee subpoenas Cohen. The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to force Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer to correct false testimony he delivered last year about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow - https://nyti.ms/2FZx4VC

Sudden resignation in Florida. Florida's new secretary of state, who has been in office for two weeks, resigned after photos of him in blackface surfaced on Thursday - https://wapo.st/2FX5GHL

A new normal? 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, and climate scientists say the Earth may not recover from the rising temperatures in our lifetime - https://wapo.st/2FZD6Wf


1533 - Henry VIII of England secretly married Anne Boleyn, his second wife.

1890 - Journalist Nellie Bly completed a trip around the world that lasted 72 days.

1915 - Alexander Graham Bell inaugurates transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1924 - The first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix, France.

1959 - The first scheduled transcontinental passenger jet flight took place, a non-stop trip from California to New York.

1961 - President John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential news conference.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin WTC Utah for a diplomatic luncheon with Mohammed S. Bataineh
 World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming Mohammed S. Bataineh, Chairman of AmCham - Jordan....
images/1000px_Logos/Inland_Port_Logo.jpgUtah Inland Port Authority Board selects Envision Utah to implement public outreach initiative
 The Utah Inland Port Authority Board has selected Envision Utah as a contractor to lead a public outreach initiative to help facilitate the development of the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City....
Provo and San Jose top Milken Institute's annual ranking of Best-Performing Cities
Utah's Provo-Orem metropolitan area took the No. 1 spot in the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities index for a second consecutive year, reflecting the robust growth of high-tech industries outside the coastal enclaves that launched the digital revolution....
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: Utah company gives $100K to keep Zion, Arches and Bryce operating through Presidents Day during shutdown--Salt Lake Tribune: Road dispute shuts access to Native American treasures in Hovenweep, Canyons of the Ancients--Salt La...
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...

More National Headlines

The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story (Atlantic)

Schumer Shoots Down Bill to Pay Coast Guard (National Review)

New York 'celebrates' legalizing abortion until birth as Catholic bishops question Cuomo's faith (FOX News)

Joe Biden's Paid Speech Buoyed the G.O.P. in Midwest Battleground (New York Times)

Ocasio-Cortez again only Dem to vote against bill to reopen government (New York Post)

NBC News takes first place in media's race to destroy Covington Catholic (Washington Examiner)

Native American activist Nathan Phillips has a criminal record (New York Post)

White House preparing draft national emergency order, has identified $7 billion for wall (CNN)

Elizabeth Warren proposes 'wealth tax' on Americans with more than $50 million in assets (CNBC)

Why Trump's immigration compromise is a shrewd move (The Week)

Crisis of Citizenship (National Review)

Wise Words


"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." Aristotle

Lighter Side

Economy Shrinking

"The federal government has been closed for 26 days, and experts say the shutdown could cause the economy to shrink. Then the president said, 'No, it's only shrinking cause it's cold outside.'" - JIMMY FALLON

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