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Situational awareness - February 13, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Just a friendly reminder that Valentine's Day is tomorrow.

Wednesday's news at a glance: GOP leaders aim to unveil their sales tax overhaul plan sometime in the next two weeks. Legislative budget leaders say they have more funding requests than money. President Donald Trump signals he will sign a funding deal to avert another government shutdown.


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Got a burning question about politics, or any other topic? Drop us a line. We'll answer your questions (or find someone who can) in our podcasts or a future article. Send us an email at this link.


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))

  TICK TOCK   

Today is the 44th day of the year. There are 321 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_07.jpgHouse and Senate Republicans aiming to unveil their massive sales tax overhaul package sometime within the next two weeks

Now that Medicaid expansion is done, UtahPolicy.com is being told the Republican massive sales tax reform bill which would shift taxes to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars could be unveiled in just over two weeks....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_22.jpgHouse Republicans stifle proposal allowing legislators to add intent language to their bills

The House Rules Committee on Tuesday held a proposed rule that would allow legislators to write up a summary on each of their bills, telling the public and press what they want that bill to achieve even if what they said may not be the whole truth....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190212_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart: 'I'm disappointed' in compromise to avoid government shutdown

Rep. Chris Stewart said Tuesday he was encouraged that Congress was able to find a solution to avoid a government shutdown, but he was unhappy that the deal only contains a fraction of what President Trump was asking for border security....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Utah_Budget_01.jpgAppropriation requests outstripping available funds on Utah's Capitol Hill

Even with a $1.3 billion budget surplus, there's not enough money to cover all of the spending requests from lawmakers this year. ...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_01.jpgBills! Bills! Bills! Who are the most prolific legislators in this year's session?

Leaders and staff of the Utah Legislature have been complaining in recent years about the number of bills the 104 lawmakers are getting drafted and introduced each session....
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....

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  OTHER UTAH HEADLINES   

Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



  NATIONAL HEADLINES  

Shutdown averted? President Donald Trump signals he may sign the bipartisan government funding deal ahead of Friday's deadline to avoid another government shutdown. Trump is "not happy" with the amount of funding for border security in the package - https://wapo.st/2SRoBug

  • President Trump says he will get $23 billion from "other sources" to build his long-promised border wall. It's not clear what those "other sources" may be - http://bit.ly/2SLkW1f

No direct evidence of collusion with Russia. The Senate Intelligence Committee is nearing the end of their probe into the 2016 election. Democrats and Republicans on the panel say they've uncovered no evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign - https://nbcnews.to/2SLVVCV

  • Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, says any conclusion about the probe into the 2016 election is premature as they still need to interview several key witnesses - https://cnn.it/2SLlZ18

Building an impeachment case? The House Judiciary Committee hired two new "special oversight" lawyers who will be tasked with reviewing issues that could be used to build an impeachment case against President Trump - https://nbcnews.to/2SLkoZc

House Dems teeing up a massive probe of Trump and Russia. The investigations will include multiple committees, public hearings and could last well into 2020 - http://bit.ly/2N5HqEG

"Green New Deal" vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sensing an opportunity to score political points, says he will bring the ambitious resolution to the Senate floor for a vote - https://politi.co/2SOwVuX

Half a billion dollars to fight Trump. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is preparing a $500 million fund of his own money to prevent President Donald Trump from winning another term in 2020 - https://politi.co/2SRqLdm

Polls! Polls! Polls!

Massive public lands package. The Senate passed the biggest public lands bill this decade on Tuesday. The bill protects millions of acres of land and creates four new national monuments - https://wapo.st/2SOQRh8

Businesses used the Trump tax cuts to pad their bottom lines. Despite promising to raise wages as a result of the corporate tax overhaul, most companies used the cash on stock buybacks instead - https://nbcnews.to/2SRq5EQ

Wait...What?!! President Trump floats the idea of establishing a new "tradition" of a parade and fireworks show in Washington, D.C. to honor America around the 4th of July. The problem? The tradition already exists - https://cnn.it/2SOI9zv

The government shutdown hit the IRS hard. An audit found the 35-day shutdown resulted in a "shocking" number of calls from taxpayers going unreturned, and more than 5 million pieces of mail unanswered - https://nyti.ms/2SKsjGi

Boring but important. The U.S. national debt passed $22 trillion for the first time ever - http://bit.ly/2SM14Ld

  • The U.S. will soon be spending more on interest payments than Medicaid or the military - http://bit.ly/2SQX5x2

Economic warning! A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments. Economists say this is a huge red flag that, despite a strong economy, trouble may be brewing - https://wapo.st/2STUiU5


  ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY  

1861 - The first Medal of Honor was awarded. It went to Col. Bernard Irwin, an assistant surgeon serving in the first major U.S. Army-Apache conflict.

1935 - A jury in New Jersey finds Bruno Hauptmann guilty of the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, the son of Charles Lindbergh.

1945 - Thousands of Allied planes started bombing the German city of Dresden in World War II. The attack caused a firestorm that destroyed the city over a three-day period. 

1960 - After a successful test, France becomes the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons. 

1984 - Konstantin Cherneko succeeds the late Yuri Andropov as a general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


Policy News

Ivory Homes announces Utah workforce housing priority initiative
A new program to help more Utahns achieve homeownership was announced at the Utah State Capitol this week....
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....

More National Headlines


Wise Words

Courage

"Goodness is about character - integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people." Dennis Prager

Lighter Side

Apology

"Did you notice that everyone right now in public life is apologizing? Pretty much 24/7, right? The governor of Virginia apologizing, the attorney general of Virginia apologizing, actors apologizing. Everyone's coming out and apologizing, and I thought I should start tonight's show by just coming clean. They've dug up some embarrassing footage of me. It's every episode of my show over the last 25 years. I just want to say, I'm sorry." - CONAN O'BRIEN


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