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Situational awareness - February 21, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. There are just 12 working days until the end of the 2018 Utah Legislature.

Utahns don't support an abortion bill on Utah's Capitol Hill. Dabakis won't run again. President Trump orders a ban on "bump stocks."

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Here's what's driving the day:

Utahns are not behind a controversial abortion bill

Nearly 6 in 10 Utahns say lawmakers should not move forward with a bill to ban abortions if the sole reason is the child has Down syndrome. Legislative lawyers have said the bill would likely be found unconstitutional [Utah Policy].

Romney sprints to a massive lead

We polled Utahns to see which of the declared or rumored U.S. Senate candidates they would support in November. Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney has a 46-point lead over his closest competitor, Democrat Jenny Wilson. No other candidate got more than 3-percent against Romney [Utah Policy].

Bill to ban media non-compete contracts stoking tensions

House Speaker Greg Hughes is battling with big media companies over a bill that would ban non-compete contracts for professionals in the news media [Utah Policy].

Dabakis retiring

Democratic firebrand Sen. Jim Dabakis announced suddenly on Tuesday that he would not run for re-election in 2018. Dabakis said it was time to "get the hell out of the way" and let others serve [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines: 

National headlines:

On this day in history:

TrademissionsUtahPolicy 1 18

Today At Utah Policy

Most Utahns oppose a controversial abortion bill under consideration by lawmakers

Most Utahns oppose a bill now before the Legislature that would outlaw abortions if the only reason the woman seeks the procedure is that the fetus has Down syndrome, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows....

Tensions rising between lawmakers and media companies over bill to ban non-compete contracts

It can be a bit fun to watch a few of the big and powerful Utah institutions get their comeuppance....

Poll gives Republican Mitt Romney a big lead in Utah's U.S. Senate race

No surprise! A new survey shows Mitt Romney is a heavy favorite to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch in Washington. ...

Dabakis not running for re-election

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, announced on Tuesday he would not be running for re-election in 2018....

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Policy News

Governor appoints Troy Little to the Fifth District Juvenile Court
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Troy Little as a judge for the Fifth District Juvenile Court....

Fox files: 'Section 201 Pt. 2'
I wrote a Fox File back in November on a trend we noticed in our pipeline related to solar PV manufacturing....

Unearthing talent - How Utah found labor research gold
At the end of each evening in early fall 2017, Michael Flynn walked over to the whiteboard in the research and marketing department to tick one of the 40 boxes he'd drawn as a deadline-countdown....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: The proposed 'Utah Yield' bicycle law is all about safety

Op-ed: Utah's HB241 would undermine the role of news in society

Editorial: Utah legislators love their guns and their religion

High schools could reject open-enrollment students under a bill drawing little opposition so far at the Utah Legislature

Utah lawmaker abandons online sex ed effort to instead urge lessons on consent and the dangers of pornography

With youth suicides at 'epidemic proportions,' Utah panel calls for expanding mental-health support, outreach and encouraging more gun locks

'Too drunk to drive, but sober enough to carry a .45?' Alcohol lobby says gun-related tweak is hypocritical

Special interests find that the best way to Utah lawmakers' hearts - or at least their calendars - is through their stomachs

Salt Lake City Sen. Jim Dabakis to retire from Legislature at end of term

Will Utah legislators abolish the death penalty in 2018? These conservative lawmakers think so.

After Florida shooting, Utah congressman says, 'We can and must provide solutions'

Bill advances to help prevent sexual harassment of legislative interns

Utah House votes to eliminate state sales tax on food - bill now goes to the Senate

House Speaker Hughes says Utah TV stations silence news employees on controversial 'noncompete' bill

As Salt Lake City weighs a sales tax hike or bonds for its big capital plan, 'The public process begins'

Deseret News

Op-ed: 'Truth Decay': How to know when facts have exited

Op-ed: Strengthening the relationship between teachers and parents in Utah

Editorial: Hasn't the country learned that free trade is good economics?

Bill requiring harassment training for lobbyists passes committee

Mitt Romney jumps out to big lead in U.S. Senate race, poll shows

State Sen. Jim Dabakis announces he won't seek re-election

Bill requiring greater crisis line accessibility in Utah moves forward

House committee advances bill requiring more polling places, other changes for voters

Utah House votes to remove sales tax on food

House committee advances long-shot effort to create one Utah uber-metro

Bill would ensure state oversight of oil and gas production in Utah

Senate OKs bill punishing abortion providers for not giving required info

Committee OKs resolution allowing sale of property for Utah County connector

Committee OKs measure recognizing postpartum depression as 'public health issue'

What's the public appetite for 2 tax increases? Salt Lake leaders want to find out

Utah GOP lawmakers pushing to end death penalty

Salt Lake City leaders 'optimistic' in negotiations over inland port authority


Utah County Attorney speaks against proposed prosecutorial review board (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Poll: Most Americans now support GOP tax law (Axios)

Small-business confidence hits record high in 2018 after Trump tax-reform win (CNBC)

Germany set out to delete hate speech online. Instead, it made things worse. (Washington Post)

Judicial order in Flynn case prompts new round of scrutiny (The Hill)

The Case Against Google (New York Times)

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia denies groping accusations (CBS News)

Michael Moore Participated In Russia-Sponsored Anti-Trump Rally (Daily Caller)

Trump Moves to Regulate 'Bump Stock' Devices (New York Times)

Republicans to use Pelosi against vulnerable Dems in midterm elections (FOX News)

Dems fume as Trump pushes low-cost, ObamaCare alternative health plans (FOX News)

Disturbing survey finds trash, needles, feces littering streets of San Francisco (FOX News)

Wise Words


"To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions." Benjamin Franklin

Lighter Side


"Over the weekend "Lady Doritos" was trending. There were reports that Doritos was launching a "lady-friendly" chip that is quieter and not as orange. And if that goes well, they're gonna try to do the same thing with the president." Jimmy Fallon

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