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The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

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Situational awareness - February 18, 2020

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City


There are 18 working days remaining in the 2020 Utah Legislature

4 days to the Nevada Democratic caucuses (2/22/2022)

11 days to the South Carolina Democratic primary (2/29/2020)

14 days to the Utah presidential primaries (3/3/2020)

23 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

133 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/30/2020)

259 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

342 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Lawmakers discussing a one-time tax rebate instead of a tax cut this year.
  • Utahns believed the tax reform package would raise taxes instead of cutting them according to a new poll.
  • Pete Buttigieg campaigns in Utah.
  • Mike Bloomberg qualifies for Wednesday's Democratic debate.


Apparently, Friday's question from Natalie Gordon was incredibly difficult as exactly one reader got the correct answer to her query:

Which one of Natalie's great-great-grandfathers served on the Provo City Council, was the first person in Utah County to operate a printing press, and was the Utah Territorial Superintendent of Schools? He also served as Provo Auditor and Recorder, Utah County Clerk, Chief Clerk of the Territorial Legislature, and the recorder at the St. George Temple.

Only Orrin Colby knew L. John Nuttall was the correct answer. As the winner, he gets to ask this Friday's question.

BTW - Natalie says her ancestor is buried in the Provo Cemetary if anyone wants to take a road trip.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_20.jpgLawmakers discussing possible tax rebate instead of a tax cut this year
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
UtahPolicy.com is told that lawmakers are squaring off over whether to cut taxes this year following the failure of the tax reform package. House members are pushing for a cut, but Senate leaders are balking because they want to address the structural imbalance in the state's budget. Lawmakers had $160 million teed up for a tax cut, but there is a worry that they may need that money next year to avoid financial problems.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Tax_Cut_02.jpgMiscommunication? Most Utah voters thought the failed tax reform hiked taxes, not cut them
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Talk about a colossal failure to get your political point across -- Utah GOP legislators and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert were giving huge tax cuts to almost every Utahn across the board -- but 88 percent of voters either didn't believe them or didn't care.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgDems might not be up to it, but Trump can defeat Trump
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Pres. Trump just can't stand prosperity. He's been on a roll, his support has been rising, and Democrats are badly divided and worried about their presidential race.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgWon't somebody think of the Republicans? Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the latest political headlines from the Beehive State.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgHalf of Utah voters say the state is on the wrong track
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah voters are unhappy with their political leadership, most say the state is going in the wrong direction.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_33.jpgHerbert threatens to veto bill undoing changes to Utah's candidate nominating process
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A bill that would effectively undo Utah's dual-path nominating process for candidates is facing a likely veto from Gov. Gary Herbert if passes. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Mike_Bloomberg_02.jpgBloomberg is pouring cash into Utah ahead of Super Tuesday vote
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is dumping truckloads of money into the state ahead of the March Super Tuesday primary.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_35.jpgPoll shows more Utahns think Democrats in the Legislature care about them more than do Republicans
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Here's another example showing Utahns are not really happy with the Republican-controlled state legislature. 

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Bloomberg on stage

Democrat Michael Bloomberg has qualified for Wednesday's Democratic debate in Las Vegas. Bloomberg jumped into second place nationally in a new poll with 19 percent support [New York Times].

Bloomberg's campaign is huge. Like, really huge [BuzzFeed].

Bloomberg has dropped $124 million on advertising in the 14 Super Tuesday states, far outspending his Democratic rivals [Los Angeles Times].


More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials called on Attorney General William Barr to resign after his "outrageous" interference in the Roger Stone case [ABC News].

The national Federal Judges Association called a first-ever emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Justice Department officials and President Donald Trump in politically sensitive cases. The group said it "could not wait" until its spring conference to discuss the crisis [USA Today].

Boy Scouts

Facing a raft of sexual abuse allegations, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection early Thursday [New York Times].


Former national security adviser John Bolton warned a crowd at Duke University that the White House could block his forthcoming memoir that describes President Trump's interactions with Ukraine [Bloomberg].


The head of a leading hospital in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak died of the disease on Sunday [Reuters].

Apple is warning investors the outbreak is hurting its business more than previously expected. The company says it will fall short of revenue projections for the upcoming quarter [CNN].


A bill to ban military-style rifles in Virginia was defeated in a legislative committee on Monday [New York Times].


Jeff Bezos pledged $10 billion to fight climate change [NPR].


Locust swarms the size of cities are ravaging East Africa [Bloomberg].


Betelgeuse is doing strange things [New York Times].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER 24 Episode 69 - Ransomware trend leverages shame to ensure payment
Many considered 2019 to be the year of ransomware as the number of incidents shot up significantly. High profile targets - big cities like Atlanta and Baltimore - were targets. So were softer targets like school districts right before school resumed in the fall. So were small towns and smaller businesses with less sophisticated defenses. 
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngNews release: Celebrate International Women's Day with WTC Utah
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Women's Business Center, invites you to attend our annual International Women's Day Celebration! 
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgJane Powers to be honored with Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award
The Salt Lake Chamber announced that Jane Powers, RN BSN will be honored with the 2nd annual Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: Zion National Park shouldn't start a reservation system, say Utah's members of Congress--Salt Lake Tribune:Proposed state park would pay tribute to Utah's dinosaurs-- KSL.com: Need a winter hike? Try White Rock Bay to Elephant Head Overlook at Antelope Island--KSL.com:Cold winter hike offers breath of solitude and health benefits--KSL.com: Curtis, 2 Democrats introduce bill to nearly triple funding for recreational trails--KSL.com:Owe child support? No hunting and fishing, Utah bill saysConcerts-- Utah Youth Orchestras and Ensembles, Friday, 7 p.m., Tabernacle, Temple Square, 50 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, free-- "Giselle," Ballet West, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; also Saturday, 2 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, $15-$89-- Jazz Night at Elite Hall, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m., Elite Hall, 83 West Main Street, Hyrum, $10-$25-- "Living Legends," Friday and Saturday, de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center,Brigham Young University, Campus Drive & Heritage Drive, Provo, $8-$13-- "Love Stories in Song with John D. Smitherman & Rachel Cox," Kayenta Arts, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Ct, Ivins, $10-$30-- "Women Rock!" Utah Symphony, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, $10-$92

More National Headlines


1841 - The first filibuster in the U.S. Senate began. It ended March 11.

1856 - The American Party, also known as the "Know-Nothing Party," nominated its first presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore. He carried only Maryland and the party soon dissolved.

1861 - Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.

1885 - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published in the United States.

1972 - The California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty.

1977 - The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden "flight" on top of a Boeing 747.

1988 - Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court.

Wise Words

Calculated Risks

"Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash."George S. Patton

Lighter Side

Bloomberg Vs. Trump

"Maybe instead of an election we should just put these two old billionaires on a jungle island with sharp sticks and force them to hunt each other, you know? Put it on pay-per-view, all proceeds go to the homeless."- JIMMY KIMMEL

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