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Situational awareness - January 29, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City

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

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

  • Republicans don't have enough votes to block impeachment witnesses...yet.
  • House Republicans want to pursue some sort of tax relief for Utahns this year.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert will deliver his final State of the State address on Wednesday.


Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 5 (2/3/2020)

Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 13 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 34 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 43 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 153 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 279 (11/3/2020)

Days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature: 339 (1/25/2021)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_34.jpgLawmakers may add other programs that benefit children to education funding earmark
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah's constitution says income tax money can only go toward public and higher education. As lawmakers look for ways to create more flexibility in the budgeting process, they are exploring adding other state programs to that constitutional earmark.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_33.jpgHouse Republicans still eyeing tax relief despite failure of reform package
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 As Utah lawmakers moved Tuesday to officially repeal the huge tax reform package, talk was surfacing about what to do with the $160 million that would have come in state income tax cuts if the reform had held.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_25.jpgLawmakers quickly repeal tax overhaul bill as referendum effort officially qualified for the ballot
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
With little debate, the House and Senate repealed the huge tax reform package members passed just over five weeks ago. The repeal effort passed with just one vote against in both the House and Senate. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThe quest for parking spaces - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The 2020 Utah Legislature is underway as lawmakers quickly decide to repeal the tax reform bill they passed just one month ago. Don't expect much else to happen with tax reform this year, though.
images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Christensen_01.jpgImpeachment: An Historical Overview (Part 2)
By Michael E. Christensen, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This is the second of a four-part series by renowned public policy scholar Michael Christensen placing the impeachment of Donald Trump into historical context. Part 1 provides an introduction and an overview of the Andrew Johnson impeachment. Part 2 focuses on the impeachment of Richard Nixon; Part 3 will focus on the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Part 4 will provide observations and describe what history teaches about the Trump impeachment.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_28.jpgBill would require women who have an abortion or miscarriage to decide what to do with the remains
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Women who have an abortion would be required to decide what to do with the fetal remains under a new bill on Utah's Capitol Hill.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_House_02.jpgLawmakers uncertain about future of tax reform as 2020 Utah Legislature gets underway
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
On the opening day of the 2020 Utah Legislative Session, House Speaker Brad Wilson took a direct shot at the referendum effort to overturn the tax reform bill passed by lawmakers just last month.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_09.jpgRomney says it's 'increasingly likely' Republicans will vote to hear from witnesses following Bolton revelations
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday morning that the bombshell revelations from former national security adviser John Bolton's forthcoming memoir will likely push other Republicans to vote to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Christensen_01.jpgImpeachment: An Historical Overview
By Michael E. Christensen, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This is the first of a four-part series by renowned public policy scholar Michael Christensen placing the impeachment of Donald Trump into historical context. Part 1 provides an introduction and an overview of the Andrew Johnson impeachment. Part 2 will focus on the impeachment of Richard Nixon; Part 3 will focus on the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Part 4 will provide observations and describe what history teaches about the Trump impeachment.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Witness fight

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he does not yet have enough votes to block witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial [Washington Post].


The trial moves into the question phase today as Senators are allowed to query both sides. Questions must be submitted in writing and signed. They will be read aloud by Chief Justice John Roberts [New York Times].

A trio of Democratic Senators are mulling whether to vote to acquit Trump [Politico].

Republicans have shifted their arguments, conceding the president is probably guilty of withholding aid to Ukraine for political purposes, but they say that's not impeachable [CNN].

Non-starter in the Middle East?

President Trump released his long-awaited Middle East peace plan that gives Israel most of what it wants while offering Palestinians a state with limited sovereignty. Most experts say the plan has little chance of success [AP].


More than 6,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in China, passing the number of people who were stricken by SARS [Washington Post].

British Airways is suspending all flights to and from mainland China due to the outbreak [Fox News].

The White House is considering a ban on flights between the U.S. and China [USA Today].


House Republicans are sounding the alarm ahead of November's elections because Democrats are outpacing them in fundraising [Politico].

Hostile takeover?

Democrats are already planning for a rocky transition period in case President Donald Trump loses the 2020 election. Democrats are worried Trump's political team won't act in good faith to ensure a smooth transition if they lose in November [Politico].


Americans are set to inherit $764 billion this year according to a new study. Most of that wealth will be tax-free [Bloomberg].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgRomney: We must act now to prevent looming debt crisis
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs participated in a hearing on the causes of America's unsustainable fiscal path.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgSen. Lee statement on President's Middle East peace plan
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Tuesday after reviewing President Trump's Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People:
Ogden City counted among 50 best U.S. cities for starting a business in 2020
In a study released on Inc.com and powered by Startup Genome, a research and policy advisory organization, Ogden City has been named as one of the 50 best U.S. cities for starting a business in 2020. These 50 cities, known as Surge Cities, help showcase where the next great business centers will be located in the coming decade.
Utah employers encouraged to bring preventive health screenings to the workplace
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is partnering with employers throughout the state to make access to quality healthcare more convenient for employees.
Utah Leopold Conservation Award seeks nominees
Know a Utah farmer, rancher or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 Utah Leopold Conservation Award.

More National Headlines


1820 - Britain's King George III, who lost the American colonies, died at the age of 82.

1850 - Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the U.S. Congress. 

1861 - Kansas is admitted as the 34th state.

1886 - German Karl Benz was awarded a patent for the gasoline-driven automobile.

1907 - Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American U.S. Senator

1980 - The Rubik's Cube makes its international debut at the Ideal Toy Corp. in London.

2002 - In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush described "regimes that sponsor terror" as an Axis of evil, in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

2009 - Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is removed from office following his conviction on several corruption charges.

Wise Words

Strategic Planning

"If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people."Confucius

Lighter Side

Go Home

"The trial did not end until almost 10 p.m. last night, but Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein walked out of the Senate chamber at 8:45. She said good night to two reporters standing nearby and left the Capitol. Well, that's a bold new take on the Democrats' battle cry: When they go low, we go home."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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