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Situational awareness - January 9, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Utah lawmakers say they may have to make cuts, even though they're expecting a big budget surplus. Mitt Romney was treated for prostate cancer over the summer. The Trump administration is eyeing a narrowly targeted military strike against North Korea.

Tick Tock:

Welcome to our daily rundown of the important news stories you need to know. Send me your tips, story ideas, corrections or rants at bschott@utahpolicy.com. I'd love to hear from you.

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Here's what's driving the day:

Budget, budget, budget

Utah lawmakers expect the state to see a big budget surplus next year, but most of that extra money is already spoken for. In fact, legislative leaders say they'll start $21 million in the hole, which means they may have to make cuts [Utah Policy].

Mitt Romney's health issues

Sources close to Mitt Romney say the former GOP presidential nominee was treated successfully for prostate cancer over the summer. This is significant since Romney is reportedly mulling a bid for U.S. Senate this year [Utah Policy].

McCay looking to move up?

GOP sources tell us Rep. Dan McCay is seriously eyeing a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Orrin Hatch. McCay told us "no comment" when we asked him about it [Utah Policy].

Lawmakers are looking to boost education funding

Legislators are seriously considering a couple of tax reforms that will boost Utah's school funding, but they won't come close to the amount of money that will be going into education under a proposed ballot initiative [Utah Policy].

Could tax cuts lead to a bigger tax bill?

Tax cuts on the federal level could mean some Utah taxpayers will see a bigger state tax bill in 2018. We explain [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

Utah lawmakers will see a big budget surplus in 2018, but will start $21 million in the hole

So, will Utah State government get windfalls of upwards of $150 million from the federal Republicans' tax reform?...

McCay reportedly eyeing U.S. Senate run in 2018

Several Utah Republicans tell UtahPolicy.com that Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, is gearing up for a U.S. Senate run, possibly against Mitt Romney....

Mitt Romney was treated for prostate cancer over the summer

Mitt Romney, the former GOP presidential nominee who is currently mulling a bid for Utah's open U.S. Senate seat, was treated for prostate cancer over this summer according to multiple reports....

Utah taxpayers could see a slight increase in state taxes because of federal tax overhaul

So, what does the Republicans' federal tax reform mean to your Utah State personal income tax?...

Lawmakers considering tax reforms to boost school funding, but they still won't raise as much as proposed ballot initiative

Two legislative property tax "reforms" that could bring in more than $700 million into public schools over the next decade is, as of now, not enough to stop the Our Schools Now citizen initiative....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Congress

There's a U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2018 as well as all four U.S. House seats. Here's our list of rumored and declared candidates....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate

2018 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year, including an unexpected one because of a retirement. Here's our running list of candidates for those seats....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House

Next week candidates can start gathering signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who's in, who's out and who's challenging....

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Policy News

Governor lowers flags in memory of Thomas S. Monson
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has ordered the lowering of the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of Utah on Fri., Jan. 12, 2018 to honor the life and service of Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who will be lai...

Fox Files: 'Service'
A few events and announcements during the last week have led me to reflect on those who serve our communities, the various types of service, and how service to one another positively impacts our state....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Stewart's proposal to turn parts of Grand Staircase into a national park degrades the meaning of national parks

Utah's top coal producer is fighting to reverse a California city's ban on exporting coal and open new markets for local mines

Mayor announces yearlong deployment to Afghanistan with Utah Army National Guard

Gehrke: Why Matt Hillyard was the most universally beloved figure at the Utah Capitol

Aide: Mitt Romney was 'successfully treated' for prostate cancer last year

Even with a surplus, Utah legislative leaders eye tax hikes

Deseret News

Gary Herbert: Thank you, Sen. Hatch

Editorial: Utah is poised as a model for state policymaking

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox tells Vox that 'Romney is royalty,' Bannon 'would get his head handed to him' in Utah in new interview

Herbert to testify on San Juan County national monuments

Sen. Orrin Hatch says Oprah Winfrey would have a shot to be president

Sen. Orrin Hatch honors 'dear friend' President Thomas S. Monson on Senate floor

Utah Education Savings Plan managing $12B in assets

Ex-Superfund site now one of fastest-growing neighborhoods

New federal tax law may not mean windfall for Utah coffers after all

Mitt Romney was treated for prostate cancer over summer


Weber County leaders aim for growth, development by fostering culture, arts (Standard-Examiner)

Americans continue to move west, but not to Utah (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Roseanne Barr Says Her TV Character Supports Trump: 'It's Just Realistic' (The Wrap)

Obamas criticized for lavish library plans, including 'test kitchen' (FOX News)

Huma Abedin backed up her emails to Anthony Weiner's laptop after leaving the State Department (Daily Mail)

FBI agents' text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks (The Hill)

Trump greeted at Georgia-Alabama game with roaring cheers (AJC)

Prospect of President Winfrey thrills Dems (The Hill)

Oprah isn't the only celebrity who might have a future in politics (CNN)

Nevada judge dismisses case against Cliven Bundy and sons, says government cannot retry them (Los Angeles Times)

Extreme hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most costly US disaster year on record (Washington Post)

Google, Twitter face new lawsuits alleging discrimination against conservative voices (Washington Post)

S&P 500 and Nasdaq close at record highs as optimism on US economy remains (CNBC)

Wise Words

First Quality

"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others." Aristotle

Lighter Side


"President Trump announced that he wants to send astronauts back to the moon for the first time in 45 years. And then the president was startled when Melania yelled, "I'll go!" Harry Styles

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