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Situational awareness - January 31, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Thursday's news at a glance: Herbert calls for the largest tax cut in Utah's history. Utah Democrats shoot themselves in the foot. Congress tries to find a funding solution to avoid another government shutdown in February.

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 31st day of the year. There are 334 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Mugshots/Ben_McAdams_23.JPGUtahns say having a Democrat represent the state in Congress is a positive development

When Ben McAdams eked out a narrow 694 vote win in November, he became the first Democrat to represent Utah in Congress since 2014. A majority of Utahns say having a Democrat as part of the state's Congressional delegation is a positive for the state....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Jason_Chaffetz_07.jpgUtah Republicans say Chaffetz was lobbying to replace Lee if Trump had tapped him for the Supreme Court

Last summer Sen. Mike Lee was being mentioned as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. Amid that speculation, a surprising person was angling to be named as a possible replacement for Lee - former Rep. Jason Chaffetz....
images/1000px_Mugs/Herbert_SOTS_Address.jpgHerbert's State of the State address includes a call for education funding and the biggest tax cut in Utah history

Gov. Gary Herbert gave an upbeat State of the State address Wednesday in the Utah House Chamber saying despite drought, wildfires and other problems in 2018, "The state of our state is strong, it is resilient and our outlook is very bright."...
images/1000px_Logos/Democratic_Donkey_01.jpgUtah Democrats may have torpedoed an effort to deal with sexual misconduct claims because they violated their own rules

A yearlong effort by the Utah Democratic Party to address complaints of sexual harassment involving a former party official may be for naught because they didn't follow their own rules....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Guns_01.jpg'Red flag' bill allows a judge to confiscate guns if a person is deemed to be dangerous

State Rep. Steve Handy has introduced his so-called "red flag" gun bill, and while he says he's already "fatigued" by the controversy it has arisen, he will see it through the 2019 Legislature....
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_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUSTAR-supported technologies help pave way for STEM workforce development

 Utah's economy is facing a dichotomy. While the state is leading the nation in job growth, it is also facing a shortage of skilled laborers....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgUtah executives report cautious optimism about future economy

The Salt Lake Chamber released the fourth-quarter results of the Salt Lake Chamber's CEOutlook 2018-Q4 survey....
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....

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Deseret News

Derek Miller: Utah's growth requires smart policy

Editorial: Howard Schultz is starting the right conversations

Utah is more lenient regarding police misconduct than other states, audit finds

Utah judge sides with new San Juan leader on residency question

Democrat Shireen Ghorbani changes mind about running for open Salt Lake County Council seat

Senate committee takes up watershed management bill, study of water banking

Utah lawmaker driving licenses from wallets to cellphones

State of Afterschool Programs report shows Utah's efforts are making a difference

House panel endorses bill that would create committee to review drug overdose deaths

Replacement for voter-approved Medicaid expansion passes first test in Senate

Utah 'streamlines' legal fight against OxyContin maker, names family in filing

Utah Rep. John Curtis cries foul over Democrats' bill to expand Bears Ears National Monument

Bill calls for surveying teachers about why they're leaving the profession

Gov. Gary Herbert: Greatest challenge for Utah? Growth

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: How to make your legislative lobbying more effective

New Utah legislator Phil Lyman, who famously protested a trail closure, now wants to outlaw blocking such routes

Utah's waste-tire program fuels a robust recycling industry, but audit suggests it is falling flat

More than half of Utah voters say they won't vote to re-elect President Trump in 2020

Young Utahns who likely can't remember the 2002 Games are even more enthusiastic than older Utahns about latest Olympic campaign

Shireen Ghorbani to run for Salt Lake County at-large seat vacated by Mayor Jenny Wilson

Gehrke: We can refine Utah's Medicaid expansion without undermining the will of voters

As it eyes possible $1B TRAX extension, UTA warned its bond rating may soon drop

Republican Utah senators move quickly to advance Medicaid plan that would cover fewer people and initially cost more money

Auditors say Parleys Summit sound wall that some neighbors fought was built legally

Goodbye, wallets! Utah lawmaker wants to see electronic driver licenses in the state

Gov. Gary Herbert proposes dramatic cut to Utah's sales tax rate during annual State of the State address


Audit: Utah is lenient on discipline toward police officers in misconduct cases (Standard-Examiner)


15 days until the government runs out of funding.

Democrats offer zero for the border wall. In the first day of negotiations over a new funding agreement for the federal government, Democrats signal they are not going to budge on money for President Donald Trump's border wall - https://wapo.st/2G4uLl5

McConnell wants to prevent another shutdown. "Get this done," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a meeting with Republican budget negotiators - https://politi.co/2FYMzhf

Russian hackers ran a disinformation campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation into Russia's attack on the 2016 election. Hackers sent altered files to American journalists claiming to have hacked into Mueller's servers, but the journalists did not fall for the ruse - https://nbcnews.to/2G4sTJ5

President Donald Trump lashes out at the intelligence community. The president called intelligence agencies "passive and naive" after the agencies issued their annual report on global threats that directly contradicted the president on several fronts including North Korea and Iran - https://nyti.ms/2FZeVrF

Republicans in Congress may have hurt the Mueller investigation. House Republicans waited more than two weeks to name their members of the House Intelligence Committee. That delay prevented the committee from releasing witness transcripts to the special counsel - https://nbcnews.to/2G03TSX

Trump says the Justice Department will decide whether to release the Muller report. President Trump said he's "chosen to stay out of" the decision - https://nyti.ms/2FZPYMG

Trump hopes Democrats tear themselves apart ahead of 2020, but he's terrified Joe Biden will get in the presidential race. President Trump reportedly is very worried the former vice president will run for president because he sees him as the biggest threat to another term in the White House - http://bit.ly/2FZSdjk

The 2020 electorate will be the most diverse ever. Nonwhites will make up a third of elegible voters, and 10 percent of voters will be members of Generation Z, who are between the ages of 18 and 23 - https://pewrsr.ch/2FYBCw5

Mitch McConnell says a bill to make election day a national holiday is a "power grab" by Democrats. The Senate Majority Leader says the move would cost too much because it makes election day a paid holiday for federal workers - https://wapo.st/2G0WRgY

Green new deal legislation coming. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey are teaming up on legislation to transform the economy to fight climate change. The legislation could be unveiled as early as next week - http://bit.ly/2FYBhtj

Pay raise for federal workers. House Democrats passed a 2.6 percent pay hike for federal workers over Republican objections - https://wapo.st/2G2ucb6

Sanders says God wanted Trump to become president. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that divine intervention is the reason Trump is in the White House - https://politi.co/2G0G7Gn

The Fed signals no rate increases this year. The Federal Reserve has reversed its plan to further raise interest rates this year - https://nyti.ms/2G0HchB

The polar vortex continues to cripple the midwest. Punishing low temperatures have led to the death of at least eight people so far - https://nyti.ms/2G128oL

"We're getting soft." Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said closing schools because of the extremely low temperatures was a sign Americans were weak - http://bit.ly/2G2uBKE

Foxconn may drop their plans to build flat-screen panels at a plant in Wisconsin. The company was promised $4 billion in state and local tax incentives, but now says they can't compete with lower-cost panels produced elsewhere in the world - https://cnn.it/2G2rUc0


1801 - John Marshall is appointed the Chief Justice of the United States.

1917 - Germany announces it will wage unrestricted submarine warfare against all ships, including passenger carriers, in war-zone waters.

1929 - The Soviet Union expelled communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky. He was assassinated in Mexico in August 1940.

1945 - U.S. Army Pvt. Eddie Slovik, 24, was executed by firing squad for desertion. His was the first U.S. execution for desertion since the Civil War.

1958 - Explorer 1, the first successful U.S. satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

1990 - Moscow's first McDonald's restaurant opened.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_EDCUtah.pngUtah outpacing nation in health care innovation, Cambia Grove report finds
 Cambia Grove, a healthcare-focused hub where innovators and entrepreneurs convene and catalyze new solutions, and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), published a new report that found Utah is a national hotbed for health care industry inno...
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...

More National Headlines

Belarusian escort who claimed to have evidence proving Trump-Russia collusion now admits the truth (The Blaze)

Report: Trump can build wall without declaring emergency (Washington Examiner)

Tucker Carlson: Roger Stone raid shows that CNN is no longer covering Robert Mueller. They're working with him (FOX News)

On patrol with Washington's plastic-straw cop (Washington Post)

Record Cold Forces Rethink on Global Warming (PJ Media)

Virginia Gov. Northam faces backlash for comments on 3rd-trimester abortion bill (FOX News)

Shock poll: Democratic swing districts back wall, Trump immigration offer (Washington Examiner)

Howard Schultz's Radical Idea: Nothing Too Radical (TIME)

'Get this done': McConnell moves to avoid new shutdown (Politico)

Pompeo confident of Trump-Kim summit in February, tells Fox News he's helping lay groundwork (FOX News)

Sen. Rand Paul awarded over $580G after he was attacked by neighbor (FOX News)

Wise Words

Be a Good Teacher

"A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning." Brad Henry

Lighter Side


"Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk is launching his own fashion line that will include hoodies, T-shirts, flannels and carpenter pants. It's great - if you love hearing your wife say, 'No. Change.'" - SETH MEYERS

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