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Situational awareness - February 2, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City.

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, predicting six more weeks of winter. No matter, though because we still have Utah lawmakers sticking around for another five weeks or so. 

Utah lawmakers plot to undermine the medical marijuana ballot initiative. Romney announces he will announce something about the U.S. Senate race on Feb. 15. President Donald Trump moves to release a controversial memo alleging misconduct by the DOJ.

Tick Tock:

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Here's what's driving the day:

SCOOP! Lawmakers exploring a way to undercut the medical marijuana ballot initiative

Some Utah legislators say the proposed medical marijuana ballot initiative is poorly written and may lead to unintended consequences. They're considering using the same process they took with "Count My Vote" to head off the initiative even if it passes [Utah Policy].

Mitt Romney announces he will announce

Mitt Romney posted on Twitter that he would make an announcement about the U.S. Senate race on February 15 [Utah Policy].

Week in review

Another bonkers week in Utah politics! Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down what happened and why, including their weekly segment, "Holy crap! Trump did what?" [Utah Policy]. Here's the podcast version if you'd like to listen on the go [Utah Policy].

Adding a "porn class" to Utah's sex-ed curriculum

Rep. Justin Fawson wants to overhaul Utah's sex education curriculum. He wants to create a sex-ed review committee at the state level, and add an "anti-porn" section to what students are taught [Utah Policy].

Transgender guidelines for judges

Rep. Todd Weiler is proposing a set of guidelines for judges to consider when hearing a request from transgendered Utahns who want to change their sex on official documents. The guidelines are mainly focused on making sure the person isn't requesting the change for some fraudulent reason [Utah Policy].

A new lease on life

Three young men who were arrested during "Operation Rio Grande" spoke to Republican lawmakers on Thursday, thanking them for the chance to turn their lives around [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

Lawmakers considering 'SB54-ing' medical marijuana ballot initiative (updated)

Utah lawmakers may attempt to head off the proposed ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana by using the same tactics they employed when "Count My Vote" was threatening to head to the ballot in 2014....

A little on the nose, don't you think? - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 359

 The Utah Legislature rolls through week #2....

Lawmakers hear from three men who were helped by 'Operation Rio Grande'

Putting a face on the Utah Legislature's considerable efforts to fight homelessness and the homeless drug addictions three young men who were arrested on various charges during last summer's sweep of the Rio Grande homeless areas were introduced Thursday to the H...

Romney sets Feb. 15 for U.S. Senate announcement

After months of speculation, Mitt Romney says he will finally make an announcement about the upcoming US Senate race in Utah on February 15....

Lawmakers may tackle big changes to sex ed in Utah, including an 'anti-porn' class

In an attempt to have "kids get better" sex education in public schools and give parents "flexibility" in how their children learn about sex, Rep. Justin Fawson brings the 2018 Legislature HB286....

Lawmaker proposes guidelines to follow when someone wants to legally change genders

One Utah lawmaker says courts have no guidance on how to deal with transgender Utahns who want to legally change their gender....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 359

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott have your weekly Utah political roundup....

Weekly survey: Which path should Romney take to the ballot?

If, as expected, Mitt Romney decides to run for Utah's open U.S. Senate seat in 2018, which path to the ballot should he take? Do you think he should gather signatures, or use the caucus/convention route? Vote now....

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Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune:At Denver's Outdoor Retailer, the party gets bigger - and it would take 'significant changes' for Utah to win it back--Tribune: Utah County man catches a record-breaking splake in a reservoir known for some big fish--Tribune: Hundreds of eagles will so...

New American Economy launches 15-state ad buy to push DREAMer legislation
In an effort to push Congress to quickly arrive at an immigration compromise that secures the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients-and up to an additional one million DREAMers-living in the United States, New American Economy is launching a six-figure ad buy in 15 key...

Local Headlines

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Cost increases may jeopardize Utah's unique prison system

Editorial: Court rulings on gerrymandering could have lasting effects in Utah

Auto registration bill fails to advance in legislative committee

Three outgoing Utah university presidents get a 'sweet' send-off

Bill seeks to modify Utah traffic code to permit robots to roam sidewalks

Romney tweets he's 'making an announcement' Feb. 15 on Senate race

U.S. attorney for Utah says reducing local crime is top priority

Utah lawmakers honor Christine Durham, retired Utah Supreme Court justice

Ranchers praise delay of controversial federal water rule

No more 'porn czar' in Utah

Are college tuition waivers self-imposed budget cuts?

Hughes makes surprise pitch of inland port authority to Salt Lake City

Utah state officials clarify prison budget amid concern of 'out of control' costs

Lawmaker proposes court process for transgender Utahns to legally change their gender

3 arrested in Operation Rio Grande thank lawmakers for 'new lease on life'


Editorial: We're joining the resistance (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Parents Of Teens Killed By MS-13 Say Trump Told Them Not To Give Up (CBS News)

House sets vote to ease Obamacare rules on menu labels (Washington Examiner)

'Law & Order: SVU' Depicts Brutal Rape of Female Conservative Commentator (NewsBusters)

Kissinger: 'Temptation to Deal' with North Korea 'with a Pre-emptive Attack is Strong' (PJ Media)

GOP case: FBI probe based on tainted evidence linked to Clinton (The Hill)

Republicans and Democrats do battle over 'crumbs' for working Americans in tax legislation (Washington Post)

Democratic congresswoman caught playing 'Candy Crush' during SOTU (FOX News)

Mika Brzezinski cuts off Michael Wolff over affair rumors (NBC News)

Of course it sucks for Joe Manchin. Here's why (CNN)

Amazon posts largest profit in its history on sales, tax boost (Reuters)

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway And JP Morgan Could Disrupt US Health Care And Capitalism As We Know It (Forbes)

Wise Words

True Today

"Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in'." Ronald Reagan

Lighter Side

90's Revival

"It was announced that the '90s sitcom "Murphy Brown" is coming back. Another revival - you also have "Roseanne" on ABC, "Will & Grace" on NBC, and "The Twilight Zone" on CNN." Jimmy Fallon

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