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Situational awareness - February 20, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Wednesday's news at a glance: Lawmakers don't prioritize funding for proposed Hatch center. Abortion bill scaled back. Trump repeatedly attempted to interfere with federal investigations.

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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. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))



Today is the 51st day of the year. There are 313 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Screenshots/20190220_McKell_Fox.jpgMcKell says Utah cities should not be allowed to ban plastics because they're anti-business

Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, says he's proposing a ban on plastics bans because "enough is enough" with anti-business regulations....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_07.jpgLawmakers don't prioritize funding request for Hatch center

A legislative appropriations committee rejected a $2 million request to help build a proposed center honoring former Sen. Orrin Hatch. It's now up to legislative leaders to approve the funding if it's granted at all....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_21.jpgAbortion ban proposal scaled back from 15 weeks to 18 weeks

 A controversial anti-abortion bill, which assuredly would be challenged in court if passed by the Utah Legislature, will be changed slightly to give it a better chance of legal success....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Free_Speech_01.jpgRepublican lawmaker tries to rally support for campus free-speech bill held in a House committee

Utah's public colleges are not upholding student free speech, says Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, and she has several bills in the 2019 Legislature aimed at remedying the civil rights violations....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190219_Love_CNN.jpgMia Love says Trump is right to paint Democrats as 'socialists'

Former Utah Rep. Mia Love squared off against former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on CNN Tuesday over President Trump's use of a broad rhetorical brush to paint Democrats as "socialists."...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Horse_Racing_01.jpgBill seeks to legalize betting on horse racing in Utah

A new bill sponsored by Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, would give Utah counties the option of allowing horse track racing and betting....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Semi_Truck_01.jpgKeep truck ban on Legacy, but raise speed limit, say Utahns

Most Utahns don't want large, semi-trailer trucks on the Legacy Highway in Davis County, but they do want the current speed limit of 55 mph raised to 70 mph along that stretch of roadway, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows....
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgIn competing with Trump & courts, feeble Congress has only itself to blame

The uproar over Pres. Trump's emergency declaration to raise money for his border wall has both Republicans and Democrats in Congress bemoaning executive power and the diminution of the legislative branch of the federal government....
Economic Summit features Carly Fiorina and Kathy Warden

The 13th annual Utah Economic Summit, hosted by Gov. Gary Herbert, will be held May 17 at the Grand America Hotel.Presenters at the 2019 Summit include Gov. Herbert, Carly Fiorina, chair of Carly Fiorina Enterprises and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and ...
images/Shutterstock_Logos/GOP_Elephant_05.jpgPoll shows Utah GOP infighting is angering party members

The continuing battles within the Utah Republican Party's leadership structure is hurting the party among its own members even among its conservative wing, a new poll by UtahPolicy.com shows....

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



President Donald Trump repeatedly tried to hinder or end investigations over the last two years. In a tour-de-force report, the New York Times details several instances of Trump attempting to stop legal questions into his conduct. In one case Trump asked acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to install a perceived ally to oversee a probe from the Southern District of New York. There's no evidence Whitaker acted on the request - https://nyti.ms/2T35qOm

McCabe suggests President Trump may be a Russian asset. The former acting FBI director made the shocking claim on CNN Tuesday night - https://cnn.it/2T0IGi3

  • McCabe also said he was flabbergasted by the praise Trump heaped on Putin, which is why he pushed to open an investigation into the president - http://bit.ly/2IoZ2g5

WHOA! Deutsche Bank officials were so worried that the Trump Administration would default on more than $300 million in loans after Trump won the 2016 election that they discussed extending repayments until 2025, which would be after a potential second term for Trump - https://bloom.bg/2Iql2ra

House Democrats are probing a plan to sell nuclear tech to Saudi Arabia. Democrats want to know about the efforts by senior White House officials that White House lawyers vigorously objected to - https://nyti.ms/2T3FySl

Trump may fire DNI Daniel Coats. The president is reportedly growing frustrated with the nation's top intelligence official whom he views as disloyal - https://wapo.st/2T64jNV

The Trump administration wants California to return $2.5 billion in rail grant money. The request comes one day after California filed a lawsuit to stop Trump's emergency border declaration - https://nyti.ms/2T0KxDu

Justice Clarence Thomas wants to revisit libel ruling. The Supreme Court Justice is calling for the court to reconsider the 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan that made it harder for public officials to win libel suits - https://nyti.ms/2T6x4tI

Putin warns against missiles in Europe. He says Russia will target the U.S. with new nuclear weapons if missiles are deployed in Europe - https://wapo.st/2T36f9U

Space Force is go. President Trump signed an executive order to establish a new branch of the military dedicated to space. The new branch will remain part of the Air Force - https://politi.co/2Is1Gln

Trump dangles peace declaration. President Trump could formally declare an end to the Korean War when he meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a way to get him to commit to denuclearization - http://bit.ly/2T0Fva9

Family of MAGA teen sues the Washington Post. The family is suing for $250 million claiming the paper "targeted and bullied" the teenager who was involved in a widely reported altercation with a Native American activist in Washington, D.C. - http://bit.ly/2IAjudY

CNN hires conservative to oversee 2020 political coverage. Sarah Isgur, a longtime Republican operative who has been a critic of CNN, joins the network to direct coverage ahead of the 2020 election. The move is being criticized by journalists and other networks - https://politi.co/2IoZueh


1792 - The U.S. Postal Service is established.

1872 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.

1933 - Congress approves the Blaine Act to repeal federal prohibition, sending the 21st Amendment to the states for ratification.

1962 - John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

Policy News

Gov. Herbert signs nine base budget bills
Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed nine base budget bills into law this afternoon. This brings the total number of signed pieces of legislation from the 2018 General Legislative Session so far to 10.  Information on these bills can be found below....
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin WTC Utah for a luncheon with best-selling business author Dano Ybarra
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, is delighted to host a luncheon seminar with Dano Ybarra, best-selling author on leadership....
images/Resized_Logos/CYBER24_season_2_logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 45: Trends to watch in cybersecurity this year
If there's one thing we've learned through two seasons of the CYBER24 podcast (besides you need to do better managing your passwords) it's that the bad guys are always going to be a step ahead of the good guys....
images/Logos/SL-Chamber-Logo.pngPress release: Salt Lake Chamber honors small business award winners
The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah's largest and longest-standing statewide business association, held its Small Business Summit on Friday and honored four small businesses.The half-day conference, titled Ignite & Inspire, and held at the Salt Lake City Marriott University...
Press release: UAMMI, Davis County & Grow Utah announce high-tech business accelerator
RAMP, a startup accelerator exclusively focused on Utah's advanced materials and 3D print innovations, has been launched in Davis County. Dedicated to innovators utilizing carbon fiber, advanced materials or 3D printing as key components in their product innovations, RAMP wi...

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lighter Side

Running the Govn't

"'No time left to run the government?' You don't run the government now! You're basically the security guard in every heist movie. 'Murph, wake up!' 'Duhh, I was just resting my eyes!'" - SETH MEYERS

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