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Situational awareness - February 28, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • Prop. 4 backers tried to cut a deal with lawmakers, but talks have stalled.
  • The North Korea summit collapses without a deal.
  • Michael Cohen drops bombs during his testimony before Congress.

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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 59th day of the year. There are 306 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgProp. 4 backers sought a deal with lawmakers to compromise on changes to the voter-approved anti-gerrymandering measure

UtahPolicy.com has learned that leaders for Better Boundaries, the group behind Prop. 4 which established an independent commission to draw Utah's political boundaries, approached lawmakers earlier this session to discuss possible changes to the voter-approved proposition, b...
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190227_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart says anyone who thinks President Trump is compromised by Russia has 'lost entire perspective' on the issue

Rep. Chris Stewart said Wednesday night that anyone who thinks President Donald Trump is a Russian asset has been "corrupted" by their dislike for the president....
images/1000px_Mugs/Vickers_Blue_Notes_coat.jpgUtah Senate approves resolution calling for states to consider amending U.S. Constitution

The Utah Senate narrowly gave final approval to a resolution Wednesday to add Utah to the list of states calling for an Article V Convention which allows states to propose and pass amendments to the Constitution....
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngTeam Utah helps connect Utah's life sciences ecosystem to Korean market

2018 was a productive year for the Utah life sciences industry, with a concert of public, public-private, and private entities working together to lay the foundation to create new business and partnership opportunities between Utah and South Korea....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgHealth care costs rising in Utah

 The majority of Utahns, over 60 percent, purchase their health care plans through their employers....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpg'Everything is in until it's out.' Utah sales tax overhaul begins to take shape

Sponsors say the much-anticipated sales tax reform bill will be unveiled sometime this week, and details of what's in the bill are beginning to take shape. But, any anticipated income tax cut won't come until after legislative leaders negotiate details for next year's budget...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Beer_Store.jpgSenate passes bill allowing higher alcohol beer at grocery stores, but the House may not be eager to pass it

The Senate passed a bill allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell beer with a higher alcohol content on Tuesday morning. However, the prospects for the bill's passage in the House are murky at best....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190226_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart says he cannot support resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration

House Democrats are set to vote on a resolution Tuesday to block President Donald Trump's emergency declaration which will enable him to build his long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Rep. Chris Stewart said Tuesday morning he does not plan to vote for the Democrati...
images/Resized_Mugshots/Chase_Thomas.jpgGuest opinion: More Americans voting is not a Democratic 'power grab'

Last month, Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to denounce the recently released bill designated by the new Democratic House majority as its priority legislation for the session....
images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngUtahns' positive consumer attitudes hold steady while confidence in national trends weakens

The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) decreased 0.1 points to 113.8 in February. The year-over-year CAI dropped 4.1 points. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index increased 9.7 points to 131.4 this month....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpg Salt Lake Chamber joins USMCA Coalition

 The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah's largest and longest-standing business association, joined more than 200 companies, leading business and trade organizations, and associations representing farmers and ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, and technology companies cal...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_08.jpgLawmakers targeting $170 million boost in public education spending

It appears lawmakers are targeting a boost in public education funding this year close to $170 million. That includes fully funding next year's student growth and a boost in the WPU of just over 4 percent....

kued hinckley report


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



BREAKING OVERNIGHT! **North Korea summit collapses.** President Trump abruptly ends talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with no deal. Trump walked away after the North Korean leader insisted sanctions against the country lifted in their entirety. "Sometimes you have to walk," said Trump - https://nyti.ms/2IHFUdA

A wild day in Washington as Cohen testifies. President Trump's former personal lawyer and "fixer" made several allegations during his testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee:

  • Cohen testified President Trump knew in advance WikiLeaks planned to release a batch of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton - https://wapo.st/2IIvlqN
  • Cohen said President Trump directed him to make hush-money payments to women who alleged affairs with him - https://cnn.it/2IVGzbB
  • Cohen made reference to possible undisclosed crimes currently under investigation by the Southern District of New York - https://cnn.it/2IGZXJ6
  • Cohen said Trump inflated his net worth so he would be included on Forbes' list of wealthiest individuals, but then revised that number downward to reduce his tax liability - https://cnn.it/2IGpRg7
  • Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have given Democrats a roadmap for pursuing Trump's tax returns - http://bit.ly/2IGIRLe
  • Republicans on the committee spent their time trying to discredit Cohen - https://wapo.st/2IFyUOg
  • Cohen said he believed there will "never be a peaceful transition of power" if Trump is defeated in 2020 - http://bit.ly/2IGJC72

Congressional Democrats are keeping their powder dry on impeachment. Democratic leaders aren't biting on calls to start impeachment hearings against President Trump following Michael Cohen's testimony, saying they're waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller to wrap up his investigation before taking any action - https://politi.co/2IF7OXD

Trump's inaugural committee hit with a subpoena from Washington, D.C.'s attorney general. The court order is seeking documents related to payments made to the Trump Organization or the Trump International Hotel - https://wapo.st/2IIjVmR

The Democratic-controlled house passes sweeping gun control bill. The measure mandates criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions - https://politi.co/2IK7dnt

Five 2020 Democratic hopefuls endorse marijuana legalization. Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders are all co-sponsoring a bill to legalize marijuana and expunge convictions for possessing the drug - https://wapo.st/2IH10J2

A new study finds predominantly white school districts get more funding than minority ones. The study said majority white districts get $23 billion a year more than districts that educate mostly non-white children - https://cnn.it/2IGgZXD 


1885 - The American Telephone and Telegraph Co. was incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone.

1935 - DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.

1940 - Basketball is televised for the first time. A game between Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh from Madison Square Garden is aired.

1983 - The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers.

1993 - Federal agents attempting to serve warrants on the Branch Davidian religious cult's compound near Waco, Texas, were met with gunfire, marking the start of a month-and-a-half-long standoff.

2013 - Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Women_In_International_Business_Logo.jpgRegister now for the Women in International Business Conference on March 7
In celebration of International Women's Day, World Trade Center Utah invites you to attend the eighth annual Women in Business Conference hosted by the World Trade Association of Utah....
Utah Council on Financial and Economic Education kicks off year of savings with Utah Saves Week
Utah State Treasurer David Damschen announced that Utah is kicking off a savings-focused year with "Utah Saves Week" and urges Utahns to automate their savings....
Cicero Group joins Qualtrics partner network
Cicero Group, a market leader in management consulting, and customer insights and analytics, is pleased to announce its partnership with Qualtrics, the leader in experience management....

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lighter Side


"[Last] Sunday [was] the 91st Academy Awards. Yeah, 91. Ninety-one's old for an awards show, but it's young if you're a Democrat running for president." - JIMMY FALLON

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