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Situational awareness - February 11, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Monday's news at a glance: Donald Trump is the 2020 frontrunner in Utah. Lawmakers advance their scaled back Medicaid expansion. Talks to avoid another government shutdown falter.

Trivia winners: Culbert Olson served as a Utah State Senator from 1916 to 1920. He moved to California and became governor of that state in 1939. The first three readers to send in a correct answer were:

  • Mike Mower (2 in a row for him)
  • Terry Camp
  • Chase Everton
  • Honorable mention for funniest answer goes to Ric Cantrell who suggested "Jim Dabakis in the future."

If you've got a stumper for our Friday contest, email it to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

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 42nd day of the year. There are 323 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_01.jpgMore Utahns say Donald Trump is their 2020 presidential pick

If the 2020 presidential election were held today in Utah, GOP President Donald Trump would get a plurality of the votes and win the state's six Electoral College votes, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_08.jpgWill Utah get Medicaid waivers from the Trump administration? Our 'Political Insiders' give their thoughts

Republican lawmakers are pushing ahead with their own version of Medicaid expansion to override the voter-approved Prop. 3. The viability of their plan hinges on securing a waiver from the Trump administration. Our "Political Insiders" are split along partisan lines on wheth...
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBob can only name dead rappers - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 408

 Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run through another crazy week in Utah politics:...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Prop_3_SB_96-01.jpegRevamped Medicaid bill will implement Prop. 3 in July 2020 if the state can't get needed waivers

The revamped Medicaid expansion bill passed by the House on Friday will implement Prop. 3, as passed by voters, if the state does NOT get expected waivers from the Trump administration....
images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngEconomic snapshot - February 2019

Utah continues to have one of the best labor markets in the nation....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Congratulations, Utahns! You won

Well, the Medicaid expansion debate in the 2019 Legislature is about over senators will throw in a few words around Monday before sending SB96 on to Gov. Gary Herbert, who will sign it and we're done....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_09.jpgHouse Republicans pitch Dems on alternative Medicaid bill, but it's clear they have enough votes to pass without them

House Republican leaders pitched the latest plan for a scaled-back Medicaid expansion to House Democrats on Friday morning, but they made it clear they don't need Democratic support to pass the proposal....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Ben_McAdams_20.JPGNational Republicans targeting McAdams in 2020

 He's been in office for just over a month, but Republicans are already aiming to oust Rep. Ben McAdams from his 4th District seat in 2020....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgRepublican leaders pitch 'fallback' plan for full Medicaid expansion if they can't get federal waivers

  Republican leaders in the legislature have landed on a "fallback" plan to fully expand Medicaid if their efforts to enact a more limited program falter....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_17.jpgHouse Republicans aiming to pass the limited Medicaid expansion bill by Friday, but changes may delay that timeline

 House Republicans are rolling toward finishing up Medicaid expansion for this session....

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



4 days until the government shuts down unless Congress can agree on a funding deal.

Shutdown talks falter. House and Senate negotiators are at an impasse ahead of Friday's deadline for a deal to avoid another government shutdown. Democrats are insisting on limiting the number of migrant detainees held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sources say the two sides have stopped communicating - https://politi.co/2N1qQpM

Bezos leaker revealed? Sources inside AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, say Michael Sanchez, the brother-in-law to Jeff Bezos' mistress leaked the couple's texts to the tabloid - http://bit.ly/2N0fNgq

Trump's schedules show more "executive time." Newly leaked personal schedules show President Trump spent half of last week in unstructured "executive time." The White House is furiously seeking the staffer who is leaking his schedules to the media - http://bit.ly/2MYSljA

A clue about Mueller's investigation. A lead prosecutor made a comment during a closed-door hearing last week that suggests the special counsel is continuing to pursue the theory that people in President Trump's orbit were discussing deals to end economic sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine - https://nyti.ms/2N1p8ES

2020 watch:

  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar entered the 2020 fray on Sunday announcing her candidacy for president - https://nyti.ms/2MXCGks
  • Klobuchar is under fire for allegedly mistreating her staffers - http://bit.ly/2N0gVRc
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren officially launched her presidential run on Saturday. She took a shot at President Trump saying "he may not even be a free person in 2020" - https://nyti.ms/2MY3Vvv

Impeachment vote. Texas Democrat Al Green says he will call for a vote on his resolution to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump - http://bit.ly/2N6TANX

Newsom slams Trump's "manufactured" border crisis. California Governor Gavin Newsom will plull all members of the National Guard who have been deployed to the Mexico border, saying the state will not take part in the Trump administration's "manufactured crisis" - https://nbcnews.to/2SFLfpC

Tax refund anger. Millions of Americans are getting a nasty surprise this tax season as they're learning their tax refunds are less than expected or they owe money because of the tax overhaul bill passed by Congressional Republicans - https://wapo.st/2MXlk7x

Anti-vaxxer children are seeking immunizations. More and more children of parents who refused to vaccinate them are getting inoculations to protect themselves from contagious diseases - https://wapo.st/2N10ynp

Another teacher strike. Thousands of teachers in Denver are hitting the picket lines Monday morning, advocating for more certainty in their salaries - https://cnn.it/2MYs596

The Border Patrol can't hire enough people. The Border Patrol is having trouble recruiting and keeping agents. The agency is more than 1,800 people short of their hiring goals - https://politi.co/2MYAitS

Wow! Former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt stormed off his own podcast after he was asked about advising Howard Schultz, who is considering an independent bid for president in 2020 - http://bit.ly/2MYBrla

Oh, great. A bat that got loose at an Indiana Pacers game last week may have exposed several people in the arena to rabies - https://abcn.ws/2N1NMVz


1794 - The first session of the U.S. Senate opens to the public.

1812 - Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry is accused of "gerrymandering" for the first time.

1929 - Miss Bobbi Trout, an 18-year-old "tomboy" who took up flying to avoid dishwashing, broke three world aviation records.

1990 - Buster Douglas, a 42:1 underdog, knocks out Mike Tyson in ten rounds to win boxing's World Heavyweight title.

2006 - Vice President Dick Cheney shot Texas attorney Harry Whittington in the face while participating in a quail hunt on a Texas ranch.

2013 - The Vatican confirmed Pope Benedict XVI would resign the papacy as a result of his advanced age.

Policy News

Senator Romney announces support for William Barr
Senator Mitt Romney released the following statement in support of William Barr's nomination to serve as Attorney General of the United States:...
Sens. Lee and Harris introduce Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act Wednesday, a bill that would remove per-country caps for employment-based green cards....
Rep. Stewart announces '11 city town hall tour'
 Congressman Stewart announces that he will host town halls in 11 cities within Utah's 2nd Congressional District....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgDon't miss the Salt Lake Chamber's Small Business Summit
Join us for the Salt Lake Chamber's Small Business Summit: Ignite & Inspire next Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Salt Lake City Marriott University Park....
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:Utah's skiers and snowboarders took advantage of the snow dumped by a series of big storms --Salt Lake Tribune: In a first, Utah eco-group sues feds over San Juan energy leases that threaten the 'last great frontier for America...
images/Resized_Logos/CYBER24_season_2_logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 44: CISA's first emergency directive
In late January, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued agency's first Emergency Directive, outlining current and potential risks posed to Federal agencies....

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger." Buddha

Lighter Side

Presidential Harassment

"Yes, presidential harassment - it's like sexual harassment, only Republicans take it seriously." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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