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Situational awareness - February 27, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. There are just 8 working days until the end of the 2018 Utah Legislature.

What happened inside the bananas Republican party on Saturday. Utahns don't support toll roads. Congress struggling to build support for gun control measures.

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Here's what's driving the day:

"We need to kick someone out"

A small group of Utah Republicans wants to eject a candidate who uses the signature-gathering path to the ballot because they think it will help them win their court battle against SB54 [Utah Policy].

Hitting the gas on gun measures

Utah legislative leaders are putting some gun-related bills on the fast track before the end of the session. Possible measures include seizing guns from the mentally ill and more school security [Deseret News, Tribune].

Utahns don't like the idea of toll roads

A new survey finds Utahns do not support a plan to establish electronic toll roads in Utah. They are more open to a toll road up Little Cottonwood Canyon to reduce congestion [Utah Policy].

Lawmakers back off restrictions on journalists

A House committee trimmed a proposed ban on journalists on the House floor from 45 minutes before a session to just five. However, they could change the ban back to 45 minutes, or longer, once the rule change gets to the floor [Utah Policy].

Putting the brakes on ballot initiatives

Rep. Brad Daw wants to delay for seven months the implementation of any ballot initiative passed by voters. He says that will give lawmakers time to fix any unintended consequences and make changes to state law [Utah Policy].

Homeless funding bill emerges

Rep. Steve Eliason unveils his bill to make cities without a homeless shelter help fund those that do [Utah Policy].

Overhauling education

Sen. Jim Dabakis says the state should scrap the 15-member state school board in favor of a single state superintendent who would be appointed by the governor [Utah Policy].

Utah sues over Obamacare - again

Utah joins 19 other states in a new lawsuit claiming Obamacare is unconstitutional [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns don't like proposals to establish toll roads to pay for transportation needs

Utahns are not too keen on a legislative proposal to allow toll roads in Utah according to a new poll. ...

'We need to kick someone out of the party.' Why a small group of Utah Republicans are targeting signature-gathering candidates

A small group of hardline GOP members is pushing a controversial (and possibly illegal) change to the party bylaws because they think it helps the lawsuit against SB54, and they won't pay a political price for the provocation....

Homeless funding bill requires cities without a shelter to chip in to help those that do

As part of the state, Salt Lake County and City combined battle to help the homeless, a new bill has been introduced that will require cities, towns and counties that don't have a homeless shelter to pay for homeless rehousing efforts in places that do....

Legislation would delay implementation of ballot initiatives if they are passed by voters in November

A Utah House member wants to put off for seven months the effective date of any citizen initiative petition voters adopt this coming November....

Utah joins 19 other states in suing over Obamacare - again

Utah is one of 20 states that has filed a new legal gambit to take down Obamacare....

A victory for a free press on Utah's Capitol Hill...for now

After hearing from a number of media reporters and editors, the Utah House Rules Committee changed a proposed 45 minute ban on reporters coming on to the House Chambers floor before sessions to just five minutes.But HR4HR4, sponsored by Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, cou...

Proposal would get rid of state school board in favor of single education official

Sen. Jim Dabakis says the Utah State School Board is a "catastrophe," and it's time to start over from scratch....

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Policy News

Fox files: 'Cheshire Cat'
I love the oft-quoted exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll's, Alice in Wonderland:...

Three schools in Utah will be gifted a $100,000 DON'T QUIT! fitness center from the National Foundation for Governor's Fitness Councils
Continuing his goal of ending childhood obesity, fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils, has kicked off 2018 by selecting the State of Utah for its 2018 DON'T QUIT! fitness campaign.  ...

SLCC's Westpointe receives $400K donation from Kenworth Sales
Kenworth Sales Company President Kyle Treadway was on a tour of Salt Lake Community College's new Westpointe Workforce Training & Education Center when he decided his company needed to invest in the students who will soon be training within the Westpointe diesel technici...

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Human connection is part of life, and death

Tax hike would raise $36 million in a year, and more each following year until 2023, to equalize school funding

Utah Lt. Gov. Cox tells of his own brushes with suicide - and urges others to speak out on the subject

Bill to ban Down syndrome abortions passes Utah Senate committee

Utah restaurants could take down signs; the Salt Lake Airport could get more bars; and Utah Jazz fans could carry a beer from VIP areas into the arena, under liquor 'clean-up' bill

Utah Legislature honors Jon Huntsman Sr., who 'refused to retreat in the face of adversity'

Utah lawmakers vote to give themselves more powers and restrict journalist access

In a sudden reversal, Utah Senate leaders join the House in pushing guns and school security bills in the waning days of the legislative session

State GOP infighting could see more legal battles to enforce party loyalty, keep some candidates off the Republican ballot

Sen. Hatch unveils legislation to prevent school shootings with intervention, technology

Lawmakers close to eliminating many forms required of doctors for diabetics, people with hypertension to drive in Utah

Bill emerges to fund homeless shelter operations and push affordable housing by charging fees of cities that don't provide such housing

Deseret News

Op-ed: Utah Rep. Mia Love demonstrates ethical leadership

Editorial: Delaying Utah's .05 percent DUI law is as illogical as drinking and driving

Panel gives nod to bill that waives fees for IDs for homeless

Bill would remove voter birth days from releasable records

Bill to help hire more school counselors moves to Senate

Surprise GOP bylaw change targets candidates who gather signatures

HB300 could cap nonresident tuition waivers; allow governor to remove regents

Herbert talks school shootings, gun control with Trump

Bill advances that would prohibit certain doctor competency tests

Committee OKs bill asserting right to breast-feed in public

House gives green light to cyclists rolling through stop signs

Utah lawmakers decry America's $21 trillion national debt

Utah GOP lawmakers now tackling school safety, gun issues

House panel backs bill banning restrictions on reselling event tickets

Bill requiring warning about mammograms' limitations for some patients moves forward

Federal designations bill clears Senate committee

Committee advances pair of bills requiring opioid warnings from prescribers, pharmacists

Utah lawmakers advance bill legislating sale, distribution and doctor recommendation of CBD oil

Panel OK's barring reporters from House floor 5 minutes before session starts

Utah House committee endorses bill to remove 'This is a restaurant' signs

Bill would bill Utah cities to help pay for homeless shelters

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox opens up about his own experiences with suicide in revealing Medium post

Utah leaders meet with education secretary on opting out of testing

Utah House panel OKs new authority over Point of Mountain land sale

National Headlines

Hollywood, Disney, blocking anti-violence filters sought by Trump (Washington Examiner)

5 Things Barack Obama Said in His Weirdly Off-the-Record MIT Speech (Reason)

Renowned Professor Outraged After Being Accused of Saying Nice Things About Israel (Tablet)

Millennials are fattest generation in history (The Times)

Trump will visit San Diego, see border wall prototypes (Union-Tribune)

As Supreme Court positions harden on union case, likely deciding justice is silent (Washington Post)

Monica Lewinsky: Bill Clinton exercised 'a gross abuse of power' (ABC News)

CNN's Zucker: Regulators should focus on Google, Facebook 'monopolies' (The Hill)

Uber and Lyft are adding to gridlock, a range of studies suggest (USA Today)

This is the hardest-working city in America (MarketWatch)

You Might Be a Gun Owner - Even if You Don't Possess a Weapon (New York Times)

Stock rally could depend on whether Powell is hands-off on policy for now (CNBC)

Wise Words

Still True

"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." Aesop

Lighter Side

Tech News

"In technology news, the organization that oversees emoji's has changed the lobster emoji after people in Maine complained that it didn't have the correct number of legs!" James Corden

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