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Situational awareness - December 3, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

The Utah Legislature meets today to consider the alternative to Prop. 2. The session gets underway at 10 am.

Thanks for reading Utah's most comprehensive daily political newsletter. We get you up to date on the most important local and national political stories of the day. Follow our social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook.

I'm not crying...you are: Sully the service dog, who worked with former President George W. Bush, lies next to Bush's casket in a picture posted by Bush's spokesperson with the caption "mission complete." Sully will accompany Bush's casket to Washington where it will lie in state at the U.S Capitol. 


How are we doing? If you have any news tips, suggestions, complaints or just want to give us some feedback, feel free to drop us an email.

Executive summary: Prop. 2 won't be the first voter-approved ballot initiative that the Utah Legislature has undone. Women candidates gained ground in Utah in the 2018 midterms. The U.S. and China call for a cease-fire in their trade war.


  • 56 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)

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

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

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

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

  • 338 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

  • 428 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

  • 702 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

  • utah economic outlook public policy summit

    Today At Utah Policy

    images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_11.jpgLegislative leaders say they have the votes to pass the alternative to Prop. 2. But what might happen if it fails?

    Monday's special session to pass an alternative medical cannabis bill that would override Prop. 2 seems like a fait accompli as Speaker Greg Hughes has repeatedly said he has the votes. But what happens if the bill unexpectedly fails or is blocked?...
    images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgWhy lawmakers may not be shy about changing the redistricting law

    Three important laws were enacted by voters in the November election, and the question has been asked many times: Will the Legislature change these laws embodied in Propositions 2, 3 and 4?...
    images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_07.jpgWomen candidates made modest gains in Utah during the 2018 midterms

    While it may not have been the "Year of the Women" in Utah politics, as in other states this election a lot of women ran for the state Legislature and local county offices, a review by UtahPolicy.com finds....
    images/Screenshots/20181202_Lee_Kasie_DC.jpgSens. Lee and Sanders discuss their measure to end U.S. involvement in Yemen's war (with video)

    Sens. Mike Lee and Bernie Sanders have formed an unlikely alliance to push a bipartisan measure to will get the U.S out of the Saudi-led war in Yemen. ...
    images/Resized_Mugshots/Mia_Love_25.jpgMia Love suggested Republicans lost because of poor relations with minority groups? Our 'Political Insiders' have some opinions

    Last week, Republican Mia Love blamed the attitude of the GOP toward racial and ethnic minority groups for their troubles, saying the party and President Trump have failed to build real relationships with those groups....
    images/Screenshots/20181202_Lee_Fox_Immigration.jpgLee discusses immigration, says group of migrants at the U.S./Mexico border is like 'mob rule' (with video)

    Sen. Mike Lee recently from a trip to Guatemala and Mexico where he investigated possible immigration solutions....
    images/Logos/SL-Chamber-Logo.pngSalt Lake Chamber & Women's Leadership Institute release 'Best Practices Guide for Closing the Gender Wage Gap'

    The Salt Lake Chamber along with the Women's Leadership Institute released the "Best Practices Guide for Closing the Gender Wage Gap."  ...

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    Deseret News

    Pignanelli and Webb: Political intrigue amidst the holiday season

    Op-ed: The business solution for gender pay equality

    Editorial: When government chooses winners and losers, American families suffer

    How Utah can close the gender wage gap

    Fresh off 'marathon' Senate race, Jenny Wilson announces 'sprint' for Salt Lake County mayor

    Utah governor: President Trump's treatment of Rep. Mia Love 'petty'

    Did race play role in Love's labors lost?

    Report: IOC won't award both 2026, 2030 Winter Games next year

    Report finds number of uninsured children in Utah up more than 20 percent

    Shireen Ghorbani announces run for Salt Lake County mayor

    Former President George H.W. Bush praised as 'devoted servant,' 'man of deep conviction'

    U.S. pollution reductions have prolonged lives by 1.5 years, study finds

    Medical marijuana special session: How did Utah get here?

    Utah policymakers to consider sales tax reform to keep up with modern economy

    Utah enrollment in ACA exchange down 11 percent so far, but industry leaders, advocates not alarmed

    Salt Lake Tribune

    Op-ed: Utah cities are working to address growth

    Op-ed: Reclaiming Utah's place as the 'Center of Scenic America'

    Op-ed: Government could learn something from business

    Editorial: We can run from higher density, but we can't hide

    Business groups declare war on Utah's worst-in-the-nation wage gap for women

    Gov. Herbert's office prepares plan to expand sales tax and increase the tax on food

    Jenny Wilson announces plans to run for county mayor - now and in 2020

    Lawmakers will decide Monday whether to replace Prop 2 with a different medical cannabis measure

    Congressman-elect Ben McAdams goes office hunting as he preps to join Congress

    The Utah cannabis bill as drafted would exclude hundreds of medical providers from recommending cannabis. Will lawmakers change it?

    'Among the greatest heroes of the American Century': Utah leaders remember George H. W. Bush

    New version of Utah Medical Cannabis Act broadens list of providers who can recommend marijuana

    Former congressional candidate Shireen Ghorbani enters the race for Salt Lake County mayor

    Voters say Trump and a disconnect with Mia Love prompted them to cast their ballots for Ben McAdams


    • Congress is considering a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown while Washington mourns the death of former President George H.W. Bush - https://nyti.ms/2FW77YH

    • Former President George H.W. Bush will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol until Wednesday. After that, Bush will be transported to his final resting place at Texas A&M University - https://nyti.ms/2FW6Y7B

    • President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary ceasefire in their trade war. The news sent stocks soaring in Asia on Monday morning - https://cnn.it/2FWpoou

    • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is laying the groundwork to launch a 2020 presidential bid that his advisors say would be bigger than his 2016 run - http://bit.ly/2FW5DO7 

    • Whistling past the graveyard...Despite big losses during the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans are not doing much reflection on why the party suffered a rout in November - https://nyti.ms/2FZCnpx

    • President Trump said over the weekend he plans to withdraw from the NAFTA agreement to force Congress to quickly pass a revised version of the trade pact - https://nyti.ms/2FWZvVK 

    • The Trump administration is preparing to make another attempt at passing a $1 trillion infrastructure package - https://on.wsj.com/2FWr3KK

    • The CIA is increasingly confident that they have evidence that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - https://nyti.ms/2G67wrg 

    • CNN got access to Jamal Khashoggi's private WhatsApp messages. The journalist was increasingly critical of the Saudi leadership and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman - https://cnn.it/2G8LZi3

    • The Supreme Court is set to consider a case this week that could have a major effect on the prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. At issue is whether states can prosecute someone for the same offense if they are prosecuted by federal authorities - https://wapo.st/2FUyq5x 

    • President Trump says he's planning another face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in early 2019 - https://fxn.ws/2FU9LOz

    • The FBI is still investigating former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and his alleged coordination with Russians following Trump's election in November 2016 - http://bit.ly/2FXzd5B

    • Former FBI director James Comey will testify before House Republicans in private this week after trying to force a public hearing - https://cnn.it/2FWrswW

    • The Trump administration is moving quickly to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration - https://nyti.ms/2FW7dzx 

    • Families of Americans detained in Iran are asking the Trump administration to deny visas to the children of top-ranking officials in the Iranian government - https://nbcnews.to/2FTISKB

    • A North Dakota man pleaded guilty to planning to flip President Trump's limo with a stolen forklift - http://bit.ly/2FYorMs 

    • A high school newspaper in Arkansas was suspended for publishing an investigation into the transfer of five football players to a rival high school - http://bit.ly/2FZCH7J

    • Media news: Nexstar Media Group has reached an agreement to acquire Tribune Media for approximately $4.1 billion. The deal affects two local stations, Ch. 4, which is owned by Nexstar, and Ch. 13, which is owned by Tribune - https://reut.rs/2FYe6Ap 

    • Note for parents. A new report says old-school toys, like blocks, puzzles or even cardboard boxes, are better for young children - http://bit.ly/2FYm5x6


    • 1800 - The Electoral College casts votes for President and Vice President that resulted in a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

    • 1818 - Illinois becomes the 21st state.

    • 1833 - Oberlin College, the first truly coeducational college in the U.S., opened with an enrollment of 29 men and 15 women.

    • 1901 - In a State of the Union message, President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a 20,000 speech to the House of Representatives asking Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits."

    • 1929 - The Ford Motor Co. raised the pay of its employees from $6 to $7 a day despite the collapse of the U.S. stock market.

    • 1967 - Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant at Cape Town, South Africa.

    • 1973 - Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.

    • 1984 - Poison gas leaked at a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, the world's worst chemical disaster. Government officials said about 3,000 people died shortly after the leak.

    • 1989 - President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared the Cold War over during a summit in Malta

    • 2013 - A federal judge ruled that Detroit was eligible for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

    Policy News

    New report finds more kids in Utah uninsured
    The number of uninsured children nationwide increased by about 276,000 children last year, the first significant increase in a decade, according to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families....
    Senate calls on State Department to continue search for missing Utahn
    Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) secured unanimous consent Thursday for passage of a Senate resolution calling on the State Department to continue its investigation into the likelihood that Utahn David Sneddon was abducted by the current totalitarian North Korean regime....

    More National Headlines

    Curtains for the Clintons (New York Times)

    Democratic socialist wunderkind Ocasio-Cortez compares her election to landing on the moon (Daily Mail)

    US will hold off on raising China tariffs to 25% as Trump and Xi agree to a 90-day trade truce (CNBC)

    Sherrod Brown: 'I don't know' if I'm best person to run vs. Trump (Politico)

    'He's going through a pretty rough time': Avenatti crashes and burns (Politico)

    Ocasio-Cortez: 'Frustrating' that lawmakers oppose 'Medicare for all' while enjoying cheap government insurance (The Hill)

    George H.W. Bush left both a liberal and conservative legacy at the Supreme Court (USA Today)

    Kamala Harris to decide on 2020 White House run 'over the holiday' (HuffPost)

    Florida election official Brenda Snipes rescinds resignation after governor moves to immediately suspend her (The Hill)

    James Comey To Testify Privately To The House Judiciary Committee (NPR)

    Dow futures surge more than 400 points after Trump and Xi agree to pause the US-China trade war (CNBC)

    Wise Words


    "We know what works. Freedom Works. We know what's right. Freedom is right." George H. W. Bush


    Lighter Side


    "It's been a busy 24 hours for the president. . . .Trump flipped on the Christmas tree lights and Michael Cohen flipped on Trump." - JIMMY FALLON


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