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Situational awareness - February 12, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Tuesday's news at a glance: Congressional negotiators reach a tentative deal to avoid a government shutdown, but Trump's Fox News allies slam the bargain. Republicans in the Utah Legislature block the voter-approved Medicaid expansion and replace it with a scaled-back version. The LDS Church comes out against a bill to replace 3.2 beer with stronger brews at Utah grocery stores.

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 43rd day of the year. There are 322 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Mailbag_01.jpgSend us your questions!

The UtahPolicy.com Mailbag is open for you!...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgPoll: Most Utahns can't name their legislators

OK kids, here's a civics question: Can you name either your Utah House member or your Utah Senate member?...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Bears_Ears_01.jpgSenate blocks measure to prevent new national monuments in Utah

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted down a proposal to block presidents from unilaterally declaring new national monuments in Utah....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_05.jpgGOP-backed Medicaid expansion replacement signed into law by Gov. Herbert (Updated)

On a nearly straight party-line vote, the Utah Senate gave the final legislative approval to the scaled-back Medicaid expansion on Monday morning. SB96 overrides Prop. 3, which was approved by 53 percent of voters in November. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill into law Monda...
images/1000px_Mugs/Katie_Matheson_01.jpgGuest opinion: Will of the people

There are a number of legislators and anti-Medicaid expansion advocates who continue to bluster over what exactly Utah voters meant when they cast their votes for Medicaid expansion in 2018....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Carbon_Emissions_01.jpgUtah Democrat says the state should start taxing carbon emissions

A state House Democrat wants to completely change how Utah deals with carbon emissions, taxing them directly while giving all kinds of tax breaks to a variety of carbon-producing businesses and low-income and senior citizens....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/US_Constitution_01.jpgOne Utah lawmaker thinks this is the year Utah joins the effort to rewrite the U.S. Constitution

Sometimes, in the bustle and politics of pressing issues, the really big work of the Utah Legislature can pass us by....
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....

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Lawmakers reach a tentative deal to avoid a government shutdown. Will Trump sign it? Negotiators say they have an "agreement in principle," which includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, but no wall - https://politi.co/2N0eyOc

President Trump's allies at Fox News hate the agreement. Sean Hannity called the deal a "garbage compromise"  - http://bit.ly/2N0SkM2

President Trump and Beto O'Rourke hold competing rallies in El Paso. Trump pushed for his long-promised border wall while O'Rourke disputed Trump's claims that the city was crime-ridden until the construction of a border fence - https://wapo.st/2N0QSJA

  • A Trump supporter in a MAGA hat attacked a BBC cameraman at Trump's campaign rally Monday night - https://bbc.in/2N2lBGe

Sexism on the campaign trail. There are six women running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, and researchers say voters tend to use stereotypes for female candidates that they don't use for men - https://nyti.ms/2N2AnwP

Trump tax cuts leading to smaller tax refunds. The average tax refund is 8.4 percent lower under the tax reform passed by Republicans at the end of 2017 - https://nbcnews.to/2N0xkVK

  • GOP strategists are worried those lower tax refunds could lead to some blowback for President Trump's re-election bid - http://bit.ly/2N3jhPo

Did...Did Trump just steal Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan? Trump seemingly co-opted Clinton's "Stronger Together" slogan from 2016, and Twitter promptly shredded him for it - http://bit.ly/2N1TW8d

A staggering wealth gap in America. A new study concludes that the 400 richest Americans own more than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent - http://bit.ly/2N8KEYp

Democratic lawmaker apologizes for using "anti-Semitic tropes." Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar was rebuked by other members of Congress for suggesting Israel's allies in American politics were motivated by money - https://wapo.st/2N1QmLj

One of President Trump's judicial nominees is apologizing for her writing on date rape. Neomi Rao, who is Trump's nominee for the D.C. appeals court, said she regretted her writings in college that partially blamed date rape victims for their assaults - https://wapo.st/2N22jRl

Tobacco use soaring among children. 4.9 million high school and middle school kids used tobacco products in 2018, up from 3.6 million the previous year. The rise is driven primarily by growth in e-cigarette use - http://bit.ly/2N008xL

Insects are dying off in massive numbers. Researchers say more than 40% of insect species could become extinct in the next few decades, which could have a catastrophic effect on the planet - https://cnn.it/2N0fke4


1541 - Santiago, Chile, was founded.

1733 - Englishman James Oglethorpe founds Georgia and its first city at Savannah.

1909 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded.

1914 - The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is put into place.

1963 - Construction begins on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

1999 - President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the U.S. Senate in his impeachment trial.

2000 - Charles Schulz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip, died of colon cancer at age 77.

Policy News

43 women completed political training with Women's Leadership Institute, consider run for public office
The Women's Leadership Institute (WLI) recognized 43 women who completed its six-month bipartisan Political Development Series (PDS) and are now considering running for public office....
Sens. Lee, Romney and Rep. Bishop congratulate Hill AFB on new software sustainment center
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rep. Rob Bishop sent a letter to Col. Jon Eberlan, Commander of 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Friday, congratulating him on the opening of the base's new Software Sustainment Center....
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....

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

Lighter Side

Prayer Works

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also at the prayer breakfast. Both Trump and Pelosi walked in the room and prayed they wouldn't be seated next to each other." - JIMMY FALLON

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