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Situational awareness - February 25, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • Utah's projected budget surplus shrinks by $200 million
  • Herbert says he's "cautiously optimistic" the feds will approve Utah's smaller Medicaid expansion plan.
  • The White House plans to create a panel to counter claims of climate change.
  • President Trump is attacking Spike Lee following the director's Oscar speech.

Political trivia winners!

Murray and Emery High School are the two Utah schools named for Republican Territorial Governors. The first three readers who responded correctly were:

  • Nathan Anderson
  • Val Hale
  • Matt Howell

Stump Mike Mower

Remember to submit your own Utah political trivia question. The first one I use that Mike Mower can't answer will win a $25 Amazon gift card. Send your questions to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

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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 56th day of the year. There are 309 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

117 days to the Utah State Democratic Party Organizing Convention (6/22/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_16.jpgA new bill aims to rein in more than 500 state boards and commissions, many which require lawmakers to sit on them

Need a little leisure reading?You might try Rep. John Knotwell's HB387, which is only 3,766 lines long....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190224_Herbert_CSPAN.jpgHerbert says he's 'cautiously optimistic' the feds will approve Utah's alternative Medicaid expansion plan

Gov. Gary Herbert says he's "cautiously optimistic" that the Trump administration will give Utah the waivers they need in order to implement the scaled-back Medicaid plan passed by lawmakers during the 2019 session....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_26.jpgUtah's budget surplus drops by $200 million. Lawmakers now say a tax cut is possible only if they pass tax reform

With apologies to Alan Greenspan, Utah lawmakers are guilty of succumbing to a spell of "irrational exuberance" as they thought there would be more than a billion dollars of surplus available for them to spend this year. That's not the case....
images/1000px_Mugs/Kristen_Cox_01.jpgGuest opinion: Utah tax reform: Why the sales tax and why now

Utah is widely recognized as one of the best-managed states in the nation, and for good reason. Leaders and residents think ahead and tackle issues before they become a crisis. Tax reform is no different....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Derek_Monson_01.jpegGuest opinion: Help former criminals expunge records and move on with Clean Slate Initiative

Every day, thousands of Utahns are burdened by nonviolent criminal records that torpedo good job prospects, deny them homes, and even prevent them from getting driver's licenses even though they have fully served their time in Utah's criminal justice system and qualify for ...
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives Podcast: Tax modernization

What did Utah's governor mean when he told the Legislature that tax modernization is his top priority for this session?...
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190222_Stewart_Fox.jpgStewart: Pelosi 'isn't serious about border security'

Rep. Chris Stewart had some harsh words for Congressional Democrats and the plan to vote on a resolution to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to build a wall on the border with Mexico....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_21.jpgReport: Utah officials started working to replace voter-approved Medicaid expansion just days after the November election

Politico is out with a big scoop Friday morning that Utah officials started putting pressure on the Trump administration to approve a scaled-back Medicaid expansion plan within days of voters approving Prop. 3....
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....

kued hinckley report


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



58 former national security officials condemn Trump's national emergency. The group plans to issue a statement Monday morning saying "there is no factual basis" for President Trump's claim of a national emergency to build a wall on the Mexico border - https://wapo.st/2IDJeq2

  • House Democrats will hold a vote Tuesday on a measure to block President Trump's national emergency declaration - http://bit.ly/2IBs10j

The White House plans to create a panel of scientists who doubt climate change. The panel would include federal scientists who question the severity of climate impacts and whether human activity is responsible - https://wapo.st/2IC0wnk

No Mueller report this week. Contrary to previous reports, special counsel Robert Mueller is not expected to deliver his report to Justice Department officials this week - https://cnn.it/2IK4quK

Democrats are set to take the fight over Mueller's final report to court. Congressional Democrats say they will take whatever steps they need to force the release of the special counsel's finding - https://nyti.ms/2IyF9U0

Mueller's findings in plain view. Even if Mueller's final full report is never made public, we already know much of what he's uncovered through court filings - http://bit.ly/2IDJx4a

Cohen gave prosecutors information about the Trump family business. The former personal lawyer for Donald Trump met with federal prosecutors in Manhattan last month about possible irregularities in Trump's family business and his inaugural committee - https://nyti.ms/2IBwuAn

Paul Manafort will probably face charges in New York, even if Trump pardons him. The former chair of Trump's presidential campaign won't be out of legal trouble even if he's pardoned for his federal crimes because pardons don't apply to state charges - https://nyti.ms/2Te08Qg

Trump and Kim to meet on Wednesday. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are showering praise on each other ahead of their second face-to-face meeting this week - https://wapo.st/2IBq5oz

2020 Democrats go bold. Many of the Democrats running for president in 2020 are emulating at least one part of President Donald Trump's successful 2016 campaign by pushing big plans - https://wapo.st/2IyDGgs

GOP donors worried about Trump's 2020 campaign. Many big party donors say the president does not have a strategy to win in Rust Belt states that voted for Democrats in the midterms - https://politi.co/2Th5ytD

Pence to meet Venezuelan leader. Vice President Mike Pence is in Bogota, Columbia to meet with Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido - https://cnn.it/2Iwtjtw

Jared Kushner travels to the Middle East. President Trump's son-in-law and White House senior adviser aims to promote the economic part of a plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians - http://bit.ly/2Iz2WmY

Hold the date! President Trump promised a Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall this summer, complete with a fireworks show and an address by "your favorite President, me" - https://wapo.st/2IK2Bho

Jared Kushner's family business wants a $1.15 billion federal loan for a real estate project. The company is seeking to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia - https://bloom.bg/2TfEOJT

Wait...what? A Fox News host criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for raising the starting salary for her staffers, calling it a display of "socialism and communism" - http://bit.ly/2IBAG33

President Trump and Spike Lee are beefing. Lee slammed Trump during his Oscar acceptance speech Sunday night for failing to reject the KKK following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also called for the rejection of Trump in the 2020 election - http://bit.ly/2TlI4nq

The CIA live-tweeted the Oscars. The agency is a big fan of "Black Panther" - http://bit.ly/2Izvcpt


1791 - The First Bank of the U.S. at Philadelphia became the first national bank chartered by Congress.

1836 - Samuel Colt is granted a patent for the Colt revolver.

1870 - Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.

1919 - Oregon places a one cent per gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first state to levy a gasoline tax.

1964 - Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) stunned the boxing world with a TKA of Sonny Liston, winning the world heavyweight championship.

1987 - Southern Methodist University's football program is the first college football program to be banned from competition by the NCAA.

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...

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light." George Washington

Lighter Side

Smollett Raise

"That's not a good way to get a raise, people. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but whatever happened to just going into your boss's office and blackmailing him with nudes?"- TREVOR NOAH

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