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Situational awareness - January 31, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!


Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 4 (2/3/2020)

Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 12 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 33 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 42 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 152 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 278 (11/3/2020)

Days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature: 338 (1/25/2021)

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

  • Impeachment trial could wrap up Friday.
  • Utah lawmakers again eyeing changes to SB54.
  • Coronavirus declared a global health emergency.


Today's guest quizmaster is Tom Love who sends in this brainteaser:

"When did Utah first institute a tax on food and what was it known as?"

Send your answers to mailbag@utahpolicy.com. The third reader with the correct answer will get to ask next week's trivia question.

Good luck!

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_07.jpgRomney will vote for impeachment witnesses
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
As expected, Sen. Mitt Romney will vote on Friday to hear additional witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Mike_Bloomberg_02.jpgMcAdams endorses Bloomberg
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Ben McAdams has endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgNo more signatures? Utah legislators working on a major change to how candidates get on the ballot
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
It's the issue that just won't die on Utah's Capitol Hill. Once again, there is an effort afoot to bring changes to the state's dual-path nominating system, more commonly known as SB54. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: The effort to kill SB54 is all about Mike Lee and 2022
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Will the re-election of one high Utah official pave the way for denying voters the possibility of electing more moderate or "mainstream" Republicans to office?
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgHouse and Senate Republicans seek to forge a relationship with SLC Mayor Mendenhall
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
In a continuation of Republicans on Capitol Hill welcoming Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall to office, the new mayor addressed the House and Senate GOP caucuses on Thursday at their invitation, receiving a warm welcome in both.
images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Christensen_01.jpgImpeachment: An Historical Overview (Part 4)
By Michael E. Christensen, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final installment of a four-part series by renowned public policy scholar Michael Christensen placing the impeachment of Donald Trump into historical context. Part 4 provides observations and outlines what history teaches about the Trump impeachment.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Matheson_Courthouse_02.pngOne lawmaker says Utah voters should elect judges, not have them appointed by the governor
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution would radically change the way judges are chosen in the state.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_30.jpgUtah has plenty of money to spend on education this year, but there's not much for everything else
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
The legislature will have plenty of money to spend on public and higher education this year, but the message to lawmakers on other state spending is to tighten their belts.
images/1000px_Mugs/20200129_Herbert_SOTS.jpgHerbert takes a victory lap in his final State of the State address
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah GOP Gov. Gary Herbert gave his final State of the State address to Utahns Wednesday night, and as expected he touted all of the good things happening in the Beehive State.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt__Romney_06.jpgLawmaker introduces measure to recall U.S. Senators, but says it's not about Mitt Romney
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A state lawmaker wants Utahns to be able to recall their U.S. senators if enough want to do so.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_35.jpgLawmakers off to slow start in 2020 Utah Legislature
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Well, you don't see this very often.When the 75-member Utah House and the 29-member Senate met for chamber debate and voting Wednesday morning, they had no bills before them.
images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Christensen_01.jpgImpeachment: An Historical Overview (Part 3)
By Michael E. Christensen, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This is the third of a four-part series by renowned public policy scholar Michael Christensen placing the impeachment of Donald Trump into historical context. Part 3 focuses 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


Impeachment trial could end Friday

Republicans appear to have enough votes to reject calling extra witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. A vote to acquit Trump could take place as soon as Friday evening [Politico].

Chief Justice John Roberts again refused to read a question from Sen. Rand Paul during Thursday's Q&A session [The Hill].


The World Health Organization called the coronavirus a global health emergency on Thursday. The number of confirmed cases in China have topped 8,000 [Bloomberg].

Weak economic growth

The U.S. economy grew at just 2.1% in the last three months of 2019. Economic growth for all of last year was just 2.3%, the weakest since Donald Trump's election in 2016 [AP].

Brexit day

Britain officially leaves the European Union today [Bloomberg].

Sad trombone

Part of President Trump's border wall fell over in high winds, landing on the Mexican side of the border [CNN].

President Trump's border wall is vulnerable to being knocked over by flash flooding. That problem will require hundreds of storm gates that must be left open for months every summer according to engineers familiar with the plans [Washington Post].

Bloomberg's Super Bowl ad

Democrat Michael Bloomberg's $11 million Super Bowl ad focuses on gun control, not Donald Trump [Mashable].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgCurtis resolution reiterates no legal justification for war with Iran in AUMF
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a resolution emphasizing that the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) did not provide legal justification for war with Iran.
YWCA Utah announces new CEO
YWCA Utah's Board of Directors is pleased to announce Liz Owens, a longtime social justice advocate, as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Free tax help reaches more residents through community partnerships
Tax season for Westminster College accounting students is an opportunity to gain practical experience while serving the community.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report -- KSL.com: Mountain-man shooting event grows in northern Utah-- KSL.com: Eminent domain proposed by lawmaker as a way to carve future recreation trails
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber lauds passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement
The Salt Lake Chamber lauds the action of President Donald Trump and the United States Congress with the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a vital trade pact the Chamber has promoted throughout most of 2019.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngStill time to join us on Feb. 5 for a lunch seminar on legal strategies when doing business with China
Join the World Trade Center Utah and Harris Bricken to learn what to expect while doing business in China under phase 1 of the newly signed trade deals. Learn from international attorneys Dan Harris, Rob Lamb and Jonathan Bench as they discuss how the legal landscape is changing how business is done in China. Lunch will be provided.

More National Headlines


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.

Wise Words


"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver."Martin Luther

Lighter Side

Too Much Trump Tweeting

"He tweeted eight times in 20 minutes this morning. I wish Trump's Twitter account worked like when you log into online banking - you can only do it three times before they lock you out."- JIMMY KIMMEL

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