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Situational awareness - February 21, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Stories we're following today:

  • Legislative Republicans are refining their sales tax overhaul, but a smaller than expected revenue report this week could shrink an anticipated tax cut.
  • Utah could ban conversion therapy for teens.
  • A controversial abortion bill advances out of a House committee.
  • Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election could come as soon as next week.

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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 52nd day of the year. There are 313 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_24.jpg'A lot of sacred cows are going to be gored.' Lawmakers start to get details about sales tax overhaul proposal

The much-anticipated tax overhaul package will likely be made public after the new consensus revenue projections are given to lawmakers on Friday. Even then, it may take some time to work out the kinks in the plan....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/School_Funding_01.jpgComplicated proposal would pin lawmakers down on taking proactive steps to boost school funding

Do you remember the 2018 compromise between GOP legislative leaders and the Our Schools Now public education funding citizen initiative?...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190220_USTAR.jpgUSTAR to host Utah Technology Innovation Summit and Governor's Science Medals in April

The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) will host the second annual Utah Technology Innovation Summit on Apr. 1, 2019, at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. The event will culminate with the 2019 Governor's Medal for Science and Technology a...
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber, U.S. Chamber pledge commitment to advancing commercial ties between Utah and Israel

The Salt Lake Chamber and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding to join forces on a program promoting stronger commercial ties between Utah and Israel, particularly in the water sector where there are opportunities, challenges and a need for coope...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/The_Cake.jpgPodcast: Salt Lake Acting Company's 'The Cake'

The Cake, currently being staged by the Salt Lake Acting Company, is a story about a baker (Della) who refuses to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, and the conflict arising from that decision....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_23.jpgLawmakers are still hashing out tax cut details, but Adams says the focus should be on good policy

As the debate over sales tax reform and where tax cuts will come this year blossoms on Capitol Hill, Senate President Stuart Adams who will have a big say in the whole matter tells UtahPolicy.com that the key issue is policy, not numbers....
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....

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Buckle up! There are multiple reports that the Justice Department is preparing for special counsel Robert Mueller to deliver his report on connections between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia as soon as next week - https://cnn.it/2It9PWT

The House will vote on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's emergency declaration. Democrats want to put Republican lawmakers on the record over Trump's declaration. The Senate would be forced to hold a vote on the resolution - https://politi.co/2IqPotB

Nearly 6-in-10 Americans disapprove of Trump's emergency declaration. A new poll found 59% of Americans oppose President Trump's declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the Mexican border - http://bit.ly/2Iv5B0L

Terrifying! A Coast Guard officer arrested last week allegedly wanted to conduct a mass killing, targeting prominent Democrats and journalists - https://nbcnews.to/2IqH1hK

Migrant families are still being separated at the border. A Texas civil rights group says the separations are often occurring over "uncorroborated allegations" of crimes - https://nbcnews.to/2Iv4K03

Supreme Court smacks down civil forfeiture. The court ruled unanimously the Constitution places limits on the ability of states and localities to take and keep cash and private property used in the commission of crimes - https://nyti.ms/2IoF4SD

Michael Cohen will testify publicly before Congress next week. President Trump's former personal lawyer will appear before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27 - https://wapo.st/2Is6ZkQ

Democratic presidential candidates are already under assault on social media. A wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 presidential candidates is already underway. There are signs the effort is being driven, at least in part, by foreign state actors - https://politi.co/2IsTYaM

An Alabama woman who joined ISIS will not be allowed to return to the U.S. The American-born woman wants to come back to America, but President Trump tweeted she will not be allowed back in the country - https://nyti.ms/2Iukxw9

House Democrats say the Education Department tried to quash a probe into Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. A senior official tried to oust the department's independent watchdog who was looking into DeVos' decision to reinstate an accreditor that had been stripped of its certification by the Obama administration - https://nbcnews.to/2IriI2V

Ocasio-Cortez derangement syndrome? Fox News has run more coverage on freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez than any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate - https://wapo.st/2IujFaM

Southwest Airlines says the government shutdown cost them $60 million in revenue. That's more than four times what they originally forecasted - http://bit.ly/2Io8ctk

Blatant racism. A review of hundreds of college yearbooks from the 1970s and 1980s found many published shocking images of racism, including students in blackface and dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan - http://bit.ly/2Io49gC


1842 - John Greenough is granted the first patent for the sewing machine.

1848 - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

1866 - Lucy Hobbs Taylor becomes the first American woman to graduate from dental school.

1878 - The New Haven, Conn., Telephone Co. published the first phone directory. It listed 50 subscribers.

1855 - The Washington Monument is dedicated.

1953 - Researchers Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule.

1965 - Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated at a rally in New York.

1972 - President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.

1975 - Watergate scandal: Former Attorney General John Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.

Policy News

Bishop responds to U.S. Space Force directive
On February 19, President Trump issued Space Policy Directive-4: Establishment of the United States Space Force. Following the release of the Presidential Memoranda, Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01) issued the statement below....
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....

More National Headlines

Wise Words

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Lighter Side

Biden Run

If Biden doesn't run, and this is interesting, they're saying that he and Bernie Sanders, who's also still deliberating, if they do not run, will spend the rest of their lives in a balcony heckling the Muppets." - JIMMY KIMMEL

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