utah policy logo

The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

move utah summit

Situational awareness - February 3, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 8 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 29 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 38 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 148 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 274 (11/3/2020)

Days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature: 357 (1/25/2021)

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • McAdams' fundraising swamps his Republican rivals.
  • Lawmakers are facing a bleak budget year following the collapse of tax reform.
  • The 2020 presidential race gets underway in Iowa.


Not too many of our readers knew that Utah's first tax on food was implemented in 1933 by Gov. Henry Blood in a desperate bid to raise funds during the Great Depression. The tax was known as the Emergency Relief Fund or the "Blood Tax."

Congratulations to Mike Mower, who was the third subscriber to send in the correct answer. He gets the honor of asking the next trivia question on Friday.

zions bank sponsorship ad

Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_02.jpgMcAdams raised more than twice as much campaign cash as all the Republicans in the race combined
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Democrat Ben McAdams' fundraising is vastly outclassing all of his potential Republican opponents ahead of the November election. In the most recent fundraising quarter, McAdams raised more than double what the Republicans in the race pulled in combined.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_32.jpgLawmakers grappling with bleak budget picture after collapse of tax reform
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Following the collapse of the tax reform effort, House Speaker Brad Wilson is urging his fellow Republicans to take a short break before plunging ahead with new spending proposals because the state is rapidly running out of money for anything but education.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200201_Romney_CPAC.pngRomney uninvited from conservative conference after voting for witnesses in the impeachment trial
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Leaders of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) announced on Twitter that Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has been disinvited from the annual gathering this year after his vote to include additional witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgFootball killed civics education - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Week one of the 2020 Utah Legislature is almost in the books. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss the top stories from the past few days.
images/1000px_Mugs/Muriel_Xochimitl_01.JPGGuest opinion: Utah's secret sauce -- how transportation officials have worked to perfect the recipe
By Muriel Xochimitl, X-Factor Strategic Communications
Utah's economy is booming. Recently released data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that our job growth is the highest in the country and the unemployment rate has reached a historic low. Of course, our state's economic success is not just attributable to one person but the result of many individual's collective efforts to achieve common goals.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mike_Bloomberg_02.jpgMcAdams endorses Bloomberg
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Ben McAdams has endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_07.jpgRomney will vote for impeachment witnesses
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
As expected, Sen. Mitt Romney will vote on Friday to hear additional witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgNo more signatures? Utah legislators working on a major change to how candidates get on the ballot
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
It's the issue that just won't die on Utah's Capitol Hill. Once again, there is an effort afoot to bring changes to the state's dual-path nominating system, more commonly known as SB54. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: The effort to kill SB54 is all about Mike Lee and 2022
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Will the re-election of one high Utah official pave the way for denying voters the possibility of electing more moderate or "mainstream" Republicans to office?
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgHouse and Senate Republicans seek to forge a relationship with SLC Mayor Mendenhall
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
In a continuation of Republicans on Capitol Hill welcoming Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall to office, the new mayor addressed the House and Senate GOP caucuses on Thursday at their invitation, receiving a warm welcome in both.
images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Christensen_01.jpgImpeachment: An Historical Overview (Part 4)
By Michael E. Christensen, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final installment of a four-part series by renowned public policy scholar Michael Christensen placing the impeachment of Donald Trump into historical context. Part 4 provides observations and outlines what history teaches about the Trump impeachment. (See parts one, two and three).
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Matheson_Courthouse_02.pngOne lawmaker says Utah voters should elect judges, not have them appointed by the governor
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution would radically change the way judges are chosen in the state.

sl chamber bill nixon


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



The battle for Iowa

The Iowa Caucuses are tonight. Bernie Sanders has a slight lead over Joe Biden and the rest of the field according to the latest polling average from Real Clear Politics.

Democratic presidential hopefuls made their closing arguments over the weekend [Washington Post].

Here's how the Iowa Caucuses work and what's at stake tonight [Vox].


The final poll ahead of the Iowa Caucuses was scrapped on Saturday night after irregularities in the methodology [New York Times].


After Republicans successfully blocked calling additional witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, a vote to acquit will likely pass on Wednesday [CNN].

Experts worry Trump's acquittal would damage the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of the government [Washington Post].


Former Secretary of State John Kerry was overheard discussing a hypothetical 2020 presidential bid if Bernie Sanders starts to run away with the Democratic nominating contest [NBC News].

Kerry unloaded on NBC, calling the report "f***ing (or categorically) false" [Politico].


Experts say the coronavirus outbreak looks increasingly like a pandemic [New York Times].

The number of deaths rose past 360 with more than 17,000 confirmed cases. The Chinese stock market plunged more than 8-points because of the outbreak [Bloomberg].

China's zeal for secrecy and order delayed the fight against the spread of the virus [New York Times].


Michael Bloomberg spent more than $188 million on his presidential bid in the 4th quarter of 2019 [Axios].

President Trump and Bloomberg traded insults on Sunday as both campaigns air multi-million dollar ads during the Super Bowl [Los Angeles Times].


President Trump congratulated the Kansas City Chiefs for representing "the great state of Kansas" following their win in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are from Missouri [Kansas City Star].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

A Montana Republican lawmaker claims the U.S. Constitution says socialists can be jailed or shot [Washington Post].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpg2020 Clear the Air Challenge kickoff
The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners UCAIR and TravelWise, kicked off the 11th Annual Clear the Air Challenge. Issued by business, government and community leaders, the Challenge is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgCurtis resolution reiterates no legal justification for war with Iran in AUMF
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a resolution emphasizing that the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) did not provide legal justification for war with Iran.
YWCA Utah announces new CEO
YWCA Utah's Board of Directors is pleased to announce Liz Owens, a longtime social justice advocate, as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Free tax help reaches more residents through community partnerships
Tax season for Westminster College accounting students is an opportunity to gain practical experience while serving the community.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report -- KSL.com: Mountain-man shooting event grows in northern Utah-- KSL.com: Eminent domain proposed by lawmaker as a way to carve future recreation trails

More National Headlines


1690 - Massachusetts Colony issued the first paper money in America.

1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States from Great Britain.

1870 - The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It decreed that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.

1913 - The 16th Amendment, allowing the establishment of an income tax, became part of the U.S. Constitution after ratification by Wyoming. 

1959 - Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson are killed in a plane crash in Iowa.

Wise Words


"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lighter Side

Passing Notes

"No wonder this thing takes 16 hours. The senators are communicating through note-passing like they're back in middle school. That's what that was. 'Senator McConnell has a question for Adam Schiff: Will you go to the dance with Sheila? Yes, no, maybe.'"- TREVOR NOAH

facebook link twitter link youtube link linked in logo

Listen to us on_Apple Podcasts

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play Music

Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.

Advertise With Us