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Situational awareness - February 14, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday's news at a glance: Congress negotiates a massive funding bill to avoid another government shutdown. Utah lawmakers may take the wraps off their tax cut proposal later this week. McCay dropping his bid to repeal SB54.

UtahPolicy.com mailbag!

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))


Today is the 45th day of the year. There are 320 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Logos/ULCT_Logo1.jpgCedar Hills to Salt Lake City -- Communities of all sizes make planning for growth a top priority

Preparing for growth and addressing housing affordability and affordable housing are top priorities in Utah's cities and towns.  ...
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgTaking care of yourself is not a crime - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 409

It's time to discuss the major happenings from Week 3 of the 2019 Utah Legislature:...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/US_Supreme_Court_01.jpgSupreme Court to decide SB54 appeal on March 1

The Supreme Court will decide whether they'll take up the Utah GOP's appeal over SB54 early next month....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Social_Media_01.jpgLawmakers are warned blocking people on social media might lead to a lawsuit

 Utah lawmakers are being warned about how they handle their social media accounts, as blocking constituents from public pages could get them in some legal hot water....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190213_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart: Banning high-capacity magazines 'won't make a difference' in gun control

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Parkland massacre in Florida, Rep. Chris Stewart says a move to ban high-capacity magazines "won't make difference" in the gun control debate....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Guns_01.jpgBill proposes to ban domestic violence perpetrators from owning or possessing guns

 Commit domestic violence in Utah and lose your right to possess or own a firearm forever....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgMcCay says he's abandoning his bill to repeal the dual-track system for candidates to reach the ballot

One of the leading critics of the SB54 dual-path for candidates to reach the primary ballot says he is abandoning his efforts to overturn the law this year. ...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgWill it be a sales or income tax cut? Legislative leaders say they hope to have details later this week

By the end of this week we may have a better idea how a proposed $225 million tax cut for Utahns will be split up between income and sales taxes, GOP legislative leaders tell UtahPolicy.com....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Mailbag_01.jpgSend us your questions!

The UtahPolicy.com Mailbag is open for you!...
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUSTAR SBIR Center provides essential programs to Utah businesses

Funding is often one of the primary challenges faced by deep tech and science startup companies....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgCEO success stories: Clark Ivory

In the latest episode of the Salt Lake Chamber podcast "CEO Success Stories," Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, sits down with Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes, to hear about his leadership philosophy, best practices, the Utah Com...
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Jobs_PAC_Logo.jpgSalt Lake Chamber launches new political action committee

The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah's largest and longest-standing statewide business association, announced the launch of its new political action committee, the Utah Jobs PAC....
images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngMedical care prices see record rise, transportation and housing prices fall

The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index decreased 0.2 percent from December to January on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the largest drop since March 2018....
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....

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



1,159 pages. That's the size of the bipartisan spending bill to avoid another government shutdown on Friday. You can read the bill here. It will get a vote today.

Trump tries to put a good face on the massive funding package negotiated by Congress. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the deal despite the lack of funding for his border wall. The White House is doing their best to calm down Trump's supporters on the right who are not happy about the deal - https://nyti.ms/2SSJuFx

What's not in the funding package? Back pay for federal contractors impacted by the government shutdown was left out of the massive funding deal. The package also does not include an extension of the Violence Against Women Act - http://bit.ly/2N7mbm3

Trump's approval jumps after shutdown ends. President Trump's approval rating climbed 7 points after the 35-day shutdown ended. It now sits at 44%, which is one point below the highest approval rating of his presidency - http://bit.ly/2SOGaer

A federal judge rules Paul Manafort lied intentionally to prosecutors. Manafort breached his cooperation deal with prosecutors by lying about his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort could spend the rest of his life in jail - https://wapo.st/2STV2bu

Democrats plan a massive probe into President Trump and Russia. Democrats plan to use their majority in the House to launch an expansive probe into Trump's ties to Russia. They may also seek testimony from Ivanka Trump - http://bit.ly/2SWr07i

Whitaker may have "misled" Congress. House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler threatened to depose acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, saying his testimony before the committee last week was "contradicted by other evidence" - https://cnn.it/2SQ2PXL

Gun-control measure advances in Washington. A House committee passed a bill requiring background checks for all gun sales. The bill is the most significant gun-control legislation in Congress in years - https://wapo.st/2SOqS9z

Parkland one year later. One year ago today a former student slaughtered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida - https://nyti.ms/2SN2HbQ

The first 2020 debates are just 4 months away. The first two Democratic debates will be in June and July - http://bit.ly/2SRpJyb

My battery is low and it's getting dark. That's the final, haunting transmission from the Mars Opportunity Rover. NASA said the probe is officially dead after 15 years on the surface of Mars. It was initially designed to last just 90 days - https://nyti.ms/2SOrMTv

Fox News rejects ad for an anti-Nazi documentary. Network leadership said the advertisement for the Oscar-nominated movie that warns viewers about the dangers of American fascism was inappropriate - http://bit.ly/2STqBSQ

Wait...what?! The wife of Bill Shine, the current White House deputy chief of staff for communications, went on an unhinged anti-vaccination rant on Twitter, claiming the deadly measles virus could be beneficial - http://bit.ly/2SJ0nTd


1778 - The U.S. flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte renders a nine-gun salute to the USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

1849 - James Polk becomes the first sitting U.S. President to have his photograph taken.

1859 - Oregon is admitted as the 33rd state.

1899 - Voting machines are approved by Congress for use in federal elections.

1903 - The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor is established. It would later be split into the Department of Commerce and Department of Labor.

1912 - Arizona is admitted as the 48th state.

1920 - The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.

1929 - St. Valentine's Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them rivals of Al Capone's gang, are murdered in Chicago.

2005 - YouTube is launched by a group of college students.

2018 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting: 17 people are killed and 15 others are injured in one of the deadliest school massacres in history.

Policy News

WGU president to join leaders in technology, workforce development, and education on American Workforce Policy Advisory Board
Western Governors University President Scott Pulsipher is among a group of 25 U.S. governors, Fortune 500 CEOs, education leaders, and workforce association leaders appointed to serve on the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced....
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....

More National Headlines

Wise Words

One Smile

"If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love." Maya Angelou

Lighter Side

Squid or Skid

"A motorist in the U.K. was arrested yesterday after he crashed his car while swerving to avoid hitting an octopus he claimed to have seen in the road. Officials became suspicious when they couldn't find any squid-marks." - SETH MEYERS

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