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Situational awareness - January 30, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Governor Gary Herbert gives his State of the State address tonight.

Tuesday's news at a glance: Utahns support Herbert's plan to modernize the sales tax system. The Legislature could pass a hate crimes law this year, but not without making some "tweaks" to the bill. Congress begins negotiations to avoid another government shutdown.

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 30th day of the year. There are 335 days remaining in 2019.

6 days until President Trump gives his State of the Union address (2/5/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

362 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_01.jpgPodcast: Gov. Gary Herbert on tax cuts, Medicaid expansion and gun rights

Gov. Gary Herbert is set to deliver his 10th State of the State address Wednesday night.Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick sit down with Herbert ahead of his annual address to discuss some of the most pressing political issues including:...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgPoll: More than 6 in 10 Utahns support Gov. Herbert's tax modernization proposal

 Utahns across the board like GOP Gov. Gary Herbert's idea of broaden the sales tax base, and cutting the rate, a new UtahPolicy.com poll finds....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_16.jpgSenate leaders say hate crimes bill may be headed for some changes

It may be only the second day of the 2019 Legislature, but it appears that Utah is on the verge of adopting a workable hate crimes bill - one that includes protections for the LGBTQ community....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190129_Stewart_MSNBC.jpgStewart accuses James Comey and James Clapper of lying to Congress when asked about Roger Stone

Rep. Chris Stewart said Tuesday that President Donald Trump should not be held responsible for those associated with his campaign who have been indicted for lying to Congress. Additionally, Stewart accused former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intel...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgGovernor's office ramping up pressure on lawmakers to cut sales, not income taxes this year

Watch for an interesting debate coming out of GOP Gov. Gary Herbert's office over the next few weeks as he and Republican lawmakers haggle over whether to cut the state sales tax or personal income tax this year....
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_01.jpgPresident Trump's approval rating still below 50 percent in Utah

 President Donald Trump's approval rating is still below 50% in Utah according to a new UtahPolicy.com survey. Stretching back to the 2016 election, the president has never enjoyed majority support in the Beehive state....
images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngUtahns confident in current business conditions but think conditions will get slightly worse

The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index decreased 1.9 points to 113.9 in January. The year-over-year CAI dropped by 4 points. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index decreased 6.4 points to 120.2 this month....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_12.jpgPoll: Utahns want lawmakers to spend the state's big budget surplus on education

Most Utahns agree with GOP Gov. Gary Herbert the Legislature should give a big tax cut this year....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_10.jpgProposed bill lowers the threshold for citizen initiatives to get on the ballot

 Rep. Steve Handy, a supporter of the citizen initiative process, has introduced a bill that would slightly lower the bar to getting a petition on the ballot....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_09.jpgLyman introduces bill to punish the 'illegal' closure of a public road

It didn't take freshman Rep. Phil Lyman long to make his presence known in the 2019 Legislature he introduced a bill Monday that could throw in jail anyone who "illegally" closes a public road in the state....
images/1000px_Mugs/Chaffetz_Cox_01.jpgPoll: Cox, Chaffetz lead the 2020 gubernatorial pack, but more than a quarter of Utahns are undecided

The 2020 gubernatorial race is still a long way off, but a new UtahPolicy.com survey suggests Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and Fox News commentator Jason Chaffetz are the frontrunners for he GOP nomination....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190128__Opening_Day.jpgUtah House and Senate waste no time getting down to business on opening day

 New Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson upped the ante on Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday, calling for an at least $225 million tax cut this year, more than Herbert's $200 million....
images/1000px_Mugs/Brad_Wilson_01.jpgPodcast: Previewing the 2019 Utah Legislature with House Speaker Brad Wilson

New Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson joins Managing Editor Bryan Schott to discuss the 2019 Utah Legislature....
images/1000px_Mugs/Stuart_Adams_01.pngPodcast: Previewing the 2019 Legislature with Senate President Stuart Adams

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams sits down with Managing Editor Bryan Schott to preview the 2019 Utah Legislature....

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Deseret News

Editorial: America is aging alone, that's a problem

Utah House approves formal appointment of new legislative auditor general

Utah's commissioner of higher education announces retirement at end of year

Utah House passes criminal code cleanup bill that would repeal laws against adultery, sodomy

Resolution would make Utah Constitution gender neutral

Utah public school funding up more than $1 billion since 2012

Utah asks U.S. Supreme Court not to hear lawsuit against candidate nomination law

Utah House panel advances bill to allow candidates to use campaign funds for child care

Bill to stop regulation on resale of event tickets passes through Utah Senate committee

Bill replacing Prop. 3 Medicaid expansion passes committee

Water reform, a first state forest and curbing air pollution on tap for Utah Legislature

About face? Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says 'never say never' about possible re-election bid

Salt Lake Olympics backers seeking $15M to attract sporting events to Utah over next decade

Newly sworn-in Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson vows to have listening ear

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Utah sales tax reform: Better now than later

He helped appoint new presidents at each of Utah's eight public colleges. Now, the state commissioner of higher education is stepping down.

Where did 3,000 Utah students go? An audit finds big gap between online preschool's enrollment and how many kids later showed up in kindergarten

Presidential hopeful Howard Schultz just got 'ratioed' on social media. Here's what that means, along with a look at its Utah roots.

From guns to contraceptives to standardized tests: here are five education bills to watch during Utah's legislative session

Senate plan to replace Medicaid expansion puts would-be beneficiaries back on the individual insurance marketplace

Jenny Wilson takes the oath of office as new Salt Lake County mayor

Utah Sen. Mike Lee again pushes bill to end restrictions on firearm silencers. A big silencer company is based in West Valley City.

Bill letting Utah candidates use campaign funds for child care sails through House committee

Judge rules that Grayeyes does indeed live in Utah, affirms Navajo Dem's spot on San Juan County Commission


Should Utah County change its form of government? A petition has been filed that says it should (Daily Herald)

Kent Millington sworn in to represent Utah, Tooele counties on UTA Board of Trustees (Daily Herald)

Elected sheriffs 'a vestige of the Old West,' and should be appointed, Utah legislator says (Standard-Examiner)

Weber County Commissioners shift $7,000 travel allowance from pay, move will save $21,000 in 2019 (Standard-Examiner)


16 days until the government runs out of money.

Lawmakers begin negotiating to find a way to avoid another shutdown. House and Senate negotiators are discussing border security and other issues. Republicans suggested tying an increase in the nation's borrowing limit to funding for President Donald Trump's border wall. That idea was rejected out of hand by Democrats - https://wapo.st/2G8KVsE

President Trump's advisors are pushing for another shutdown in February. Campaign advisers for Trump's re-election efforts are telling him the last shutdown improved his standing ahead of the 2020 campaign, so another one might be advantageous - http://bit.ly/2GbazwN

Trump met with Putin in November with no aides from the U.S. present. President Trump had several minutes with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in November without a note taker or interpreter from the U.S. there. The Washington Post previously reported that President Trump had taken extraordinary steps to hide details of his previous conversations with Putin - http://bit.ly/2FWHTZi

Democrats tap Stacy Abrams to deliver the response to the State of the Union. The Democrat who narrowly lost the Georgia gubernatorial contest gets the prime speaking spot following President Trump's speech - https://wapo.st/2FYDfKo

Hillary Clinton is not running for president. Her former campaign manager says the speculation is just "catnip" for the media - https://cnn.it/2G2eOfd

Intelligence directors say Trump's foreign policy is based on faulty assumptions. CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Tuesday that North Korea is unlikely to give up their nuclear weapons, ISIS is still a major force in Syria, and Iran is not currently pursuing a nuclear weapon - https://cnn.it/2G8dsOW

Texas Republicans are worried Trump could lose their state in 2020. They're sounding the alarm that the Lone Star State could go blue in a presidential election for the first time since 1976 - https://washex.am/2G0ncLS

Polls! Polls! Polls!

  • Americans trust Nancy Pelosi more than they do Donald Trump - http://bit.ly/2FUZfWB

  • 56% of Americans say they will "definitely not" vote for President Trump if he is nominated by Republicans in 2020 - https://wapo.st/2FYHIg9

  • 58 percent of Americans oppose another government shutdown. 54 percent said they would blame President Trump and Congressional Republicans if there is another shutdown - https://politi.co/2FYVqQe

  • 70 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction, the highest level recorded since September of 2017 - http://bit.ly/2FUXEA5

  • Sen. Kamala Harris is starting to gain traction with Democratic voters - https://politi.co/2FWKkuU

Democrats in Congress may ban members from sleeping in their office. As many as 100 members of Congress sleep in their offices as a way to show voters their frugality - http://bit.ly/2FYeYEb

Eric Trump says Democrats are pushing an anti-American message. He said the party has become "radicalized" and their message is "insane" - http://bit.ly/2FYs83R

Howard Schultz says he might run for president because Democrats are moving too far to the left. He cited the proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to slap a 70 percent marginal income tax rate on the wealthy as part of why he's considering an independent run - https://cnb.cx/2FY7P6M

Trump's company will expand checks of employee's legal status. Following reports that they hired undocumented workers at Trump's golf courses, President Trump's company announced they would institute E-Verify for employees - https://wapo.st/2FYST8G

Harley Davidson turned a profit, but it was wiped out by President Trump's tariffs. The motorcycle manufacturer barely broke even last quarter - https://bloom.bg/2FYRXB5

"Almost instant frostbite." The dangerous cold blitzing parts of the midwest prompted the Postal Service to cancel mail service, and businesses are closing to keep workers safe. The wind chill of 25 below zero can cause frostbite in as little as five minutes - http://bit.ly/2G8QgAg


1649 - British King Charles I was beheaded by order of Parliament.

1798 - The first fight to break out on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives began when one congressman spat in another's face.

1835 - A gunman fired twice on Andrew Jackson, the first attempt on the life of a U.S. president. Jackson wasn't injured.

1933 - Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

1948 - Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by a Hindu extremist.

1968 - Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces launched a massive attack, known as the Tet Offensive, against South Vietnam, the United States, and their allies.

1969 - The Beatles' last public performance on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

1979 - The Iranian government announced it would let Shiite Muslim leader Ayatollah Khomeini return from exile. Washington responded by ordering the evacuation of all U.S. dependents from Iran.

Policy News

Salt Lake City's Peter Makowski wins 40 under 40 award in economic development
Peter Makowski, Business Recruitment and Retention Manager for Salt Lake City's Department of Economic Development has been selected as a winner in the economic development profession's 40 Under 40 awards, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic d...
Curtis, House Foreign Affairs Committee introduce cyber diplomacy bill
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) joined a group of his colleagues from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in introducing H.R. 739, to support United States international cyber diplomacy....
McAdams calls on House Democratic leadership to prioritize infrastructure
 Congressman Ben McAdams has signed a letter to the House Speaker and Majority Leader asking for quick movement on a series of infrastructure bills to address long-running needs in Utah and across the United States. ...

More National Headlines

Can the Republic Survive the Mainstream Media? (American Thinker)

Some Dems float idea of primary challenge for Ocasio-Cortez (The Hill)

Coffee clash: Schultz slammed by fellow java magnate (Politico)

In N.H., Bloomberg compares Warren's 'ultra millionaire tax' with chaos in Venezuela (Boston Globe)

Howard Schultz: America doesn't want far-left ideas like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 70% marginal tax targeting the wealthy (CNBC)

Court Ruling: Planned Parenthood Sting Videos Were 'Not Deceptively Edited' (PJ Media)

Roger Stone's not guilty plea shows collapse of Russian collusion narrative (USA Today)

Texas Town Committed To Green Energy For 25 Years, Now Residents Are Paying The Price (Hot Air)

New Poll Shows Plummeting Support for Impeachment, Less Public Faith in Mueller (Townhall)

Newt Gingrich: Democrats and Never Trumpers will put Trump back in the White House in 2020 (FOX News)

A City That Opened Its Doors To Asylum Seekers Has Come To Regret It (Hot Air)

Wise Words

Sense of Self

"All the great organizations in the world, all have a sense of why that organization does what it does." Simon Sinek

Lighter Side


"According to a new report, Kushner has taken over the shutdown talks. Great, so Mideast peace and the opioid epidemic are all wrapped up! No? You're just the only person he knows? O.K." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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