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Situational awareness - February 22, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • What's in the sales tax reform package Utah Republicans are working on? We got a copy of the proposal and give you a first look at the plan.
  • New revenue projections are expected today. Many expect them to be down significantly, which means some ambitious spending programs may be scaled back.
  • Utah lawmakers won't reimpose the state portion of the sales tax on food.
  • The hate crimes bill advances out of a Senate committee.
  • The Justice Department is preparing for special counsel Robert Mueller to deliver his report soon.

Friday political trivia!

This week's question comes from Mike Mower, who has been running roughshod over the trivia contest, submitting correct answers for the last three weeks:

What two Utah High Schools were named after Republican Territorial Governors? Hint: Both of their mascots are Spartans and Mike Mower (and David Hinkins) went to one of them and Cameron Diehl went to the other.

The first three readers who submit a correct answer via email will be recognized in Monday's newsletter. Send your answers to me at this link.

Speaking of Mike Mower...

Do you think you have a political question that can stump our current political trivia champion? I've got a $25 Amazon gift card for the first reader who submits a political trivia question that Mike cannot answer. Send them to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

UtahPolicy.com mailbag!

Email us anytime with feedback, questions, story suggestions, news tips, etc... Send us an email at this link.

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 53rd day of the year. There are 312 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgTax reform plan could include more than $55 billion in new sales/services. Here's a first look at what's in it

Utah's Republican lawmakers and GOP Gov. Gary Herbert have said for months that they plan big sales tax shifts as part of their overall revenue-neutral tax reform efforts this year....
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThere's only so much anger to go around - Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 410

Week 4 of the 2019 Utah Legislature is coming to an end....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_25.jpgLawmakers fear revenue projections may drop significantly. That could mean cutting back on some ambitious projects this year

Utah legislative leaders are worried Friday's revenue projections will show a significant drop, meaning the state will have far less to spend this year than originally believed.Late in ...
images/Resized_Mugshots/Mitt_Romney_08.jpgMr. Romney goes to Utah's Capitol Hill

 Newly-seated U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney says he wants to keep the current Senate filibuster rule, as it provides a "cooling" period where hasty political decisions can be tempered....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Supermarket_01.jpgLawmakers say reinstating the state portion of sales tax on food is a non-starter this year

When the final sales tax reform passes the Utah Legislature, UtahPolicy.com is told it will not include increasing the sales tax on unprepared food....
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....

kued hinckley report


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



The Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting to kill Democrats and prominent journalists used his work computer in planning his attack. His plans were detected by an internal Coast Guard program that watches for threats - https://wapo.st/2T53VPP

  • President Donald Trump has yet to publicly comment on the alleged plot to kill many of his critics - https://politi.co/2TdyJ0w

Muller report is imminent. New Attorney General Willam Barr is preparing for Muller to deliver his report in the coming weeks about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Democrats in Congress are threatening to subpoena the report if Barr does not share the full results with Congress - https://nyti.ms/2T8PXw5

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan rips the GOP for shielding Trump from a 2020 primary challenge. Hogan says he is weighing running against Trump in 2020, but criticized Republicans for making a challenge all but impossible - https://politi.co/2TdjLYs

Every 2020 presidential candidate vows to not use stolen data against their rivals...except for Trump. President Trump's re-election campaign would not commit to using hacked material against opponents in next year's election - http://bit.ly/2T850Gu

North Carolina will hold a new election for a House race marred by allegations of election fraud and ballot tampering. The state will throw out the November results in a race won by Republican Mark Harris - https://wapo.st/2TfIxqS

Most Americans believe President Trump's emergency declaration will not withstand a court challenge. 59% say the action will be struck down in court - http://bit.ly/2T8lgr6

Gag order for Roger Stone. A federal judge slapped Stone hard, barring him from speaking publicly about his criminal case after he posted an image on Instagram featuring Judge Amy Berman Jackson next to what appeared to be crosshairs. Stone apologized for the post - https://nyti.ms/2Tdj0yA

An IRS employee has been charged with leaking financial documents on Michael Cohen. The analyst allegedly leaked suspicious activity reports to Michael Avenatti - https://wapo.st/2T5mjYM

The ACLU wants a federal judge to order the Trump administration to find out how many migrant children were separated from their families at the Mexico border. A government watchdog recently reported there may be "thousands" more children than previously reported - https://wapo.st/2T54WHD

Wait...what? A frequent Fox News guest tells Laura Ingraham that people who support President Trump should buy guns because "we are in a civil war." Joe Digenova also suggested that they prepare for "total war" - http://bit.ly/2IIzLxV


1819 - Spain sells Florida to the U.S. for five million dollars.

1856 - The Republican Party holds its first national convention in Pittsburgh.

1889 - President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as states.

1924 - President Calvin Coolidge becomes the first president to deliver a radio address from the White House.

1980 - Miracle on Ice: In Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3. It was one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Summit_Logo.jpgUtah Global Forum to merge with Utah Economic Summit
This year, the Utah Global Forum is merging with the 13th annual Utah Economic Summit on May 17. ...
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_EDCUtah.pngInland Port public forum
The Inland Port Authority is working to create a strategic plan for the Northwest Quadrant of Salt Lake City-and that plan starts with your input!...
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Split appears in San Juan as new Navajo-led County Commission moves to support an even bigger Bears Ears than Trump shrunk--Salt Lake Tribune: Now there's a $50 million plan to save Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats, but wi...
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....

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Life Balance

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." Albert Einstein

Lighter Side

Ranch Dressing

"Hidden Valley has just released a new version of their famous ranch dressing. They're calling it their Blasted Ranch-Dipped Pizza Flavored Ranch. Yeah, you can look for it at your local supermarket in the aisle marked 'She's Never Coming Back, Is She?'" - JAMES CORDEN

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