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Situational awareness - February 20, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City


There are 16 working days remaining in the 2020 Utah Legislature

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

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

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

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

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

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

340 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 recommend boosting education funding by nearly $200 million.
  • Thomas Wright turns in signatures while Aimee Winder Newton abandons the signature path to the ballot.
  • Bloomberg takes a thrashing in Las Vegas.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_22.jpgAhead of new revenue projections, lawmakers recommend boosting school funding by close to $200 million
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers anticipate they'll have somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million more to spend on education and another $30-50 million in the cash strapped General Fund when new revenue numbers are released on Thursday morning.
images/1000px_Mugs/Wright_Winder_Newton_01.jpgThomas Wright turns in signatures to get on the ballot while Winder Newton says she'll focus on the convention instead
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Two Republican candidates for Utah governor took their campaigns for the GOP nomination in opposite directions on Wednesday.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_17.jpgProposal would give school districts more flexibility in how to spend property tax revenue
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 While tax reform is dead in the 2020 Legislature, some of its distant cousins are surfacing as bills.
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_04.jpgHouse resolution to censure Romney over impeachment vote made public
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
State Rep. Phil Lyman's long-awaited resolution to censure U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney for voting to convict GOP President Donald Trump on one count of impeachment was made public Wednesday.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Police_Lights_01.jpgProposed legislation would prohibit cops from investigating themselves
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah cops, whether they work for a city, county, college or school district, and prosecutors should not be able to investigate themselves or those who oversee them, so says a broad-ranging bill introduced Wednesday morning.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jan_Garbett_01.jpgGarbett set to run for Utah governor as a Republican
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The crowded Republican field for governor is about to expand by one more candidate. Businesswoman Jan Garbett tells she is set to jump into the race as soon as this weekend.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_34.jpgUtah voters say schools, air quality should be top priorities for lawmakers
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Most Utahns want the Legislature to do things that will make public schools better, a new poll by Y2 Analytics shows.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200218_McAdams_Ad.jpgNational Republicans again target McAdams, this time over Pelosi speech ripping
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
National Republicans are once again hitting Democrat Ben McAdams with an ad campaign, this time targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech ripping at President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Pornography_phone_01.jpgBill requiring warning labels on internet porn clears Utah House
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A bill that would require warning labels on porn sites passed the Utah House on Tuesday, with a few interesting "no" votes.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Scooter_01.jpgProposed bill says E-scooter users couldn't sue if they're injured while riding
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
In order to protect local governments/school districts from lawsuits, a Utah legislator wants to extend government immunity to the use of scooters -- you know, those electronic two-wheelers now springing up in cities across the nation, including Salt Lake City and others locally.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgTax rebates and Russian existentialism - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott get you up to speed on the latest Utah political headlines.
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 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.

sl chamber bill nixon


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Bloomberg battered

Democratic presidential hopefuls piled on newcomer Michael Bloomberg during Wednesday night's debate in Las Vegas [Washington Post].


A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says a former US congressman offered him a pardon on behalf of President Donald Trump in exchange for denying Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee email leak. The White House and former congressman both deny the allegation [CNN].

Trump's cabinet

President Trump will name Richard Grenell, the current ambassador to Germany, as acting head of national intelligence. Grenell would be the first openly gay cabinet member. Utah's Chris Stewart was rumored to be under consideration for the post [New York Times].

Trade war

The White House acknowledged Thursday that President Trump's trade stance depressed economic growth and business development [Bloomberg].

Another Ukraine exit

The top Pentagon policy official who warned the White House against withholding military aid to Ukraine last year resigned Wednesday at the request of President Trump [CNN].


Oil and gas production may be responsible for releasing far more methane into the atmosphere than previously thought according to new research [Bloomberg].


Policy News

Utah recognized as leader in digital government
he state of Utah continues to be a leader in digital government services that benefit residents and business across the state. In 2019, and the state's digital government program received 12 awards from a variety of national and international competitions including the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the Center for Digital Government and
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgIn the wake of jettisoned tax reform, key issues remain
The monumental tax overhaul of 2019 saw a swift demise at the start of the 2020 legislative session, but the issues that motivated reform are left unresolved. To give Utahns a better idea of what that means, Utah Foundation today releases Now What? A Citizen's Troubleshooting Guide to Tax Reform. The report addresses three basic issues at the center of reform efforts: the adequacy of general fund revenue; the competitiveness of income tax rates; and a large constitutional earmark.

More National Headlines


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.

Wise Words

Be of Value

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."Albert Einstein

Lighter Side

Here We Go Again

"Bloomberg has been rising in the polls, but there could be some hurdles for his campaign. In the past, he's been accused in several lawsuits of creating an uncomfortable workplace environment for women, but he won't release women who sued him from their nondisclosure agreements. Oh, good - yet another New York billionaire with a questionable history with women."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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