Utah's Daily Policy Resource, Brought to you by Utah Policy

Message Center

The 2018 Utah Policy candidate tracker is online.

Check out our latest list of candidates for office in 2018.

Congressional candidates

Utah State Senate

Utah State House

You can send additions to these lists to UtahPolicy.com here


zions bank ad

Situational Awareness: Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Utah Policy Daily will take off President's Day on Monday. Have a great holiday weekend and we'll re-connect on Tuesday.

Realistic solutions are elusive as nation struggles with another horrific school shooting. Low-key Mitt Romney announcement expected today. U.S. Senate struggles mightily with immigration reform. Bernick: Too many state employees hanging out at the Legislature? Webb: Yes, 'elitists' spend big money on politics including to prop up the caucus/convention system.

Tick Tock:

More than 70 million Americans listen to podcasts every week. Check out our podcasts and get our interviews with Utah political newsmakers and "Bernick and Schott on politics." Hosts Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick have more than 60 years combined experience covering Utah politics, so they bring you knowledge and insight that's unprecedented. You can subscribe using iTunesGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

I'm always available for you to send story ideas, tips, suggestions or if you want to spend some time talking about soccer. You can always hit me up at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

If you have friends or colleagues who would enjoy receiving this daily news rundown, tell them they can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Here's what's driving the day:

Utah and Mormon community respond to school shooting

LDS community mourns Florida shooting victims, including two Mormon girls [Deseret News].

Legislators pass minor school safety bill, but debate how to best protest students [Tribune].

Romney to make it official

Romney calls legislative leaders in advance of announcement; most back him [Deseret News]. Romney would be a junior senator, but would have large impact and influence [Tribune]. Governor and GOP legislators defend Romney against attacks by Republican state chair [Tribune].

What about those 'elitists' using wealth in Utah politics?

Webb: Far right has its own wealthy patron bankrolling anti-Count My Vote efforts [Utah Policy].

Speaker Greg Hughes said to be on short list for Salt Lake Chamber CEO

Hughes says he's focused on finishing current legislation session, but wouldn't rule out a Chamber role. [Deseret News].

Is vote-by-mail too successful for some legislative leaders?

Bob Bernick: Mail-in balloting is becoming very successful. Some legislative leaders are suggesting "fair compromise" omnibus bill to make reforms [Utah Policy].

Temporary changes made in Senate leadership

Sen. Kevin Van Tassell will serve as majority leader while Sen. Ralph Okerlund prepares for possible heart and kidney transplants [Deseret News].

SB136 ushers in exciting new era for Utah transportation

Legislation breaks down silos and creates integrated, multi-modal approach to infrastructure development [Utah Policy].

National headlines:

On this day in history:

TrademissionsUtahPolicy 1 18

Today At Utah Policy

What about those 'elitists' using wealth in Utah politics?

For years, the far right in Utah has complained about the "elitists" and "wealthy few" who seek to "buy Utah's elections" by supporting the Count My Vote initiative. So it's hard not to escape the irony maybe the hypocrisy of the caucus/convention diehards being bankr...

Bob Bernick's notebook: Is vote-by-mail too successful?

Utah's mail-in balloting process is becoming very successful.Maybe too successful.UtahPolicy is hearing that GOP legislative leaders are considering doing something this session about the mail-in voting process in the state....

Proposal aims to crack down on state employees lobbying lawmakers

Some Utah legislators believe there are too many state employees up on Capitol Hill during the 45-day general session lobbying them and taking up state resources....

Local media employees reportedly being pressured to nix public support for bill banning non-compete contracts

It's not often major news organizations publicly lobby the Utah Legislature....

A fight Romney probably doesn't need to pick - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 361

Mitt Romney delays his Senate announcement. When he begins his campaign, he reportedly plans on avoiding questions about President Trump....

McCay pushing to eliminate constitutional warnings on proposed legislation

Legal review "notes" that opinion a proposed bill is unconstitutional are, once again, being attacked from within the Legislature....

Rep. Hemingway taking care of ill wife in New York

Utah Rep. Lynn Hemingway, D-Millcreek, has missed all of the 2018 Legislature so far, now more than halfway through....

SB136 ushers in exciting new era for Utah transportation & UTA

The 2018 legislative session is in full swing and legislators have introduced an unprecedented number of new bills to date. There is a bill currently making its way through the legislative process that could fundamentally change how the state makes transportation investments...

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 361

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott examine another big week on the Utah political landscape....

Weekly survey: What initiatives do you think will make the 2018 ballot?

There could be six initiatives on the 2018 ballot, but only if their backers can gather the required number of signatures before mid-April....

Hughes: Expect lawmakers to pass 'some tax relief' this year

Look for a state personal income tax cut coming this year, says Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes....

Report: Dougall may challenge Romney for GOP nomination: 'I think he's beatable'

Utah State Auditor John Dougall says he may challenge Mitt Romney for the Utah GOP Senate nomination this year....

Utah Foundation ad

Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune:It was supposed to be eagle day, but mild winter weather brought birds of a different feather to Utah refuges instead--Tribune:Utah's warm winter drives elk out of Hardware Ranch, leading to the early end of another popular outdoors event-- Tribune: Mo...

President Niederhauser Announces Temporary Changes In Senate Majority Leadership
Today President Niederhauser, with unanimous support of the Senate Majority Caucus, named Senator Kevin Van Tassell as Senate Majority Leader Pro Tem. Senator Van Tassell, who was serving as the Senate Vice Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee, will temporarily fi...

Housing prices still on the rise as Wasatch Front consumer price index ticks upwards in January
The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4 percent from December to January on a non-seasonally adjusted basis....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: The Mormon church can be better at handling domestic violence

Threats to college and university campuses may outweigh the privacy of sexual assault victims, Utah lawmakers say

Utah lawmakers reject bill calling for mental-health care to be based on scientific evidence

Gehrke: LDS Church-owned media and some Utah companies are suffocating workers with noncompete clauses

Despite questions about its constitutionality, panel advances plan to let Legislature directly defend state laws in court

Lawmakers give final approval to replace statue of Philo Farnsworth with Martha Hughes Cannon in U.S. Capitol

Senate committee sends bill that would create a low-income tax credit to the floor for final vote

Senate shakes up leadership as Majority Leader Okerlund prepares for possible heart, kidney transplants

A potential Sen. Mitt Romney would have no seniority, but would that matter?

Gov. Herbert says new toughest-in-nation DUI law will stand without major changes

Rural counties could use more money from hotel taxes to pay for roads under a bill moving forward in the House

Mitt Romney a carpet-bagging outsider? Governor, lawmakers say he understands Utah well

After another shooting, Utah lawmakers pass a school safety bill - but say solutions are unclear

But it's historic: Derelict house, propped up by red tape, now can come down to make way for students

Salt Lake County township leaders soon may be called 'mayor'

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Why we're letting Russians tell us how to vote

Editorial: Meaningful work for inmates points to lower recidivism

Panel OKs bill creating sex assault reporting guidelines for Utah universities

Bill allowing schools to install bolt locks to barricade classroom doors passes

Online jobs initiative aims to stop export of young adults from rural Utah

Utah House snuffs out tobacco-free Capitol bill

Utah Legislature has spoken: Philo T. Farnsworth needs to make way for Martha Hughes Cannon

Businesses showcase clean-technology products at Utah Capitol

Herbert talks drugs, alcohol, abortion

Temporary changes made in Senate leadership

Committee OKs bill giving $1M for counties to fight intergenerational poverty

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes on short list of candidates to lead Salt Lake Chamber

Mitt Romney to launch Senate bid Friday, culling Utah lawmakers' support


Study: Utah could save money with death penalty ban; bill could make it happen (Standard-Examiner)

Utah Rep. Dixon Pitcher won't seek re-election, Ogden lawyer to vie for spot (Standard-Examiner)

'Two-way street': Logan neighborhood councils back in effect under Mayor Daines (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

The Media Stopped Reporting The Russia Collusion Story Because They Helped Create It (The Federalist)

DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Hid Wife's Fusion GPS Payments From Ethics Officials (Daily Caller)

Oprah says God hasn't told her to run (CBS News)

Sharyl Attkisson Explains the Origins of the 2016 'Fake News' Narrative in TedX Talk (PJ Media)

CIA Argues The Public Can't See Classified Information It Has Already Given To Favored Reporters (Daily Caller)

Trump says he'll visit Florida, emphasize mental health after school shooting (Politico)

Local law enforcement: No ties between militia and Florida high school shooter (Tallahassee Democrat)

Senate Fails To Advance Any Immigration Proposals (NPR)

Rebuffing Sessions, senators advance criminal justice reform bill (CNN)

Peter Thiel, retreating from Silicon Valley's tech scene, is moving to LA (Los Angeles Times)

Dow rallies 306 points, notches 5-day winning streak (CNBC)

Wise Words

Standing Alone

"A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone." Henry Kissinger

Lighter Side

Elon Musk

"Elon Musk's company SpaceX is pretty amazing. They've successfully launched the world's most powerful rocket into space headed towards Mars. The rocket is named Falcon Heavy, although it prefers to be called Falcon Hey I'm Just Big-Boned." James Corden

facebook link twitter link youtube link

podcast link

Listen to Stitcher

Listen on Google Play Music

Webb Publishing, LLC, 44 West Broadway #2502, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Sent by info@utahpolicy.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact