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Situational awareness - February 13, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Lawmakers abandon the attempt to hijack the medical cannabis initiative. Lawmakers may attempt to force Attorney General Sean Reyes to sue opioid manufacturers. Trump's budget has big cuts for social programs, but a big boost for the military.

Tuesday morning scoop: UtahPolicy.com has learned Jan Garbett, who was Democrat Vaughn Cook's running mate in the 2016 gubernatorial race, is set to run for the 2nd congressional district seat under the banner of the United Utah Party. Garbett's husband Bryson served two terms in the Utah House in the 1980's. The couple owns Garbett Homes, so she should be able to bring some personal wealth to the race.

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Here's what's driving the day:

No more marijuana shenanigans

Lawmakers abandon the main effort to circumvent the medical marijuana ballot initiative before it gets to November's ballot [Utah Policy].

Opioid lawsuit

Even though the legislature can't tell Attorney General Sean Reyes what to do, Rep. Mike McKell is sponsoring a resolution calling on him to sue opioid manufacturers "immediately" [Utah Policy].

"Absolute right"

A new piece of legislation from Sen. Stuart Adams asserts that the legislature has the "absolute right" to intervene in lawsuits against the state over whether laws they've passed are constitutional. The bill could lead to the creation of a new legal team on the Hill that works for the legislature [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

TrademissionsUtahPolicy 1 18

Today At Utah Policy

Lawmakers abandon effort to stop medical cannabis initiative

A legislative effort to possibly circumvent the medical cannabis citizen's initiative is dead....

Bill says the legislature has an 'absolute right' to intervene in lawsuits

While it's usually the purview of the Attorney General to defend legal challenges to state law, the Utah Legislature may create their own legal team to defend constitutional challenges to laws they pass....

'We're done waiting.' House resolution calls on AG to 'immediately' sue opioid manufacturers

It's no secret that some GOP state lawmakers are not happy with Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes these days....

Guest opinion: Mining Utah taxpayers

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, dropped the Obama-era rule claiming modern mining practices made an increased fiscal responsibility rule "superfluous."...

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Policy News

Fox files: 'Teamwork'
This week we were able to formally thank our state legislators for creating an environment that's conducive for corporate recruitment in Utah....

EDCUtah elected official orientation
Join EDCUtah for our Elected Official Orientation and breakfast....

Nominations open for Governor's Medal for Science and Technology Awards
USTAR, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is now accepting nominations for the 31st Annual Governor's Medal for Science and Technology Awards....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Charter schools need state board's oversight

Schools want to send teachers to Utahns' homes, but critics say it's government overreach

Should cash-strapped Utah school districts get extra money from the state?

Utah lawmaker describes opposition to his charter-school authority bill as a 'schoolyard fight'

Where would Utah's statue of TV inventor Philo Farnsworth go if lawmakers vote to replace him at the U.S. Capitol?

Are California climate policies unfair to Utah?

Her family's from Tonga. She grew up on Salt Lake City's west side. How this 'in-betweener' got to the mayor's office.

Senate takes step to shed light on big, under-the-radar tax cuts like the one given to Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy

Resolution to place statue of polygamous suffragette Martha Hughes Cannon in U.S. Capitol clears House committee

Lawmakers reject bill that would have made it a crime to ignore people in need of assistance

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes lauds Trump's infrastructure plan after White House meeting

Hate crimes bill stalled as Senate president says no need for debate when 'it doesn't have the votes to pass'

Trump budget would create $18B fund for parks but allow sale of public lands, Interior Department cuts

Bill would require visible 'No Parking' signs in lots that tow away unauthorized cars

House Republicans move bill to create powerful new oversight committee to the floor after initial stumble

This state lawmaker wants to force the Utah attorney general to sue prescription opioid manufacturers

Here's look at 15 years of the fatal accidents involving drivers with a BAC between 0.05 to 0.08

Gehrke: Data shows few die from 0.05 DUI crashes, so let's focus on where the real danger is

Deseret News

Editorial: Latest budget deal in Congress does little more than kick the can ... again

Low-level offenders could undergo job training instead of serving jail sentences under bill

Utah House rejects bill making it a crime for failing to call 911 during assault, injury accident

Bill would make deafblindness a qualifying disability for scholarship

These 11 cities, like Cape Town, are in danger of running out of water. But what about Utah, Arizona and Nevada?

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes meets with Trump administration on road issues

Rep. Rob Bishop calls for more power for states in address to Utah lawmakers

Bill would extend more protections to Utah food truck operators

Lawmaker wants to bring back black Utah license plates for Utah State Historical Society

Utah self-defense bill passes House despite 'outraged' Democrats

Bill seeks to prevent quiet tax devaluations, inspired by Rio Tinto Stadium appeal

Utah's Martha vs. Philo debate marches on

Committee approves telehealth mental health pilot for schools

House panel OKs ban on donations to executive branch during session

School funding equalization bill would create no winners or losers, says sponsor of SB145

$2.5 million tech career incentive program wins House committee approval

Are major water reforms poised to take a dive?

Surveillance footage reviewed in alleged entrapment of Utah state senator

Senate approves bill making Utahraptor state dinosaur

Bill to remove mentally unfit elected officials advances to Utah House floor

Utah lawmakers give thumbs-down to 'hands-free cellphone bill'

Bill to create legislative oversight entity revived in House committee


BDO expires next year; school district, county, city to get tax dollar influx (Standard-Examiner)

Trump renews threat on CDBG as Logan moves forward with plans (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Comey told Congress FBI agents didn't think Michael Flynn lied (Daily Caller)

Democratic Campaign Workers Unionize Just in Time for Midterm Elections (Bloomberg)

Five takeaways from Trump's fiscal 2019 budget proposal (The Hill)

Vanessa Trump taken to hospital as precaution after white powder sent to her home (NBC News)

GOP senators question 'unusual' message Susan Rice sent herself on Inauguration Day (The Hill)

Harvard's Laurence Tribe Has Become a Deranged Russia Conspiracist: Today Was His Most Humiliating Debacle (The Intercept)

Hillary Clinton, a favorite GOP foil, plans discreet 2018 strategy (Washington Post)

CNN, Despite Trump Bump, Prepares for Dozens of Layoffs (Variety)

'We're doomed': Internet reacts to robot that can open doors (CBS News)

Stocks regain some ground after dreadful week; Dow jumps 410 points (Los Angeles Times)

Trump Administration Plans To Defang Consumer Protection Watchdog (NPR)

Wise Words


"If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade." Tom Peters

Lighter Side

New Tech

"I read today Best Buy and Target are planning to stop selling CDs in their stores. To which I say: Best Buy and Target are still selling CDs?" JimmyKimmel

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