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Situational awareness - February 7, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Thursday's news at a glance: Utahns oppose lawmakers changing or repealing Prop. 4. Lawmakers advance their Medicaid expansion proposal with changes. Democrats ramp up the investigation into President Trump's finances.

Talk to us! Send us your news tips, suggestions, complaints or feedback here

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 38th day of the year. There are 327 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgPoll: Utahns overwhelmingly oppose lawmakers changing Prop. 4

If the Utah Legislature, controlled by Republicans, and GOP. Gov. Gary Herbert repeal or change Prop 4 the independent redistricting commission approved by voters in November they will be going against, by far, what a majority of Utahns want, a new poll by UtahPolicy....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_22.jpgBill establishes procedures to fill midterm vacancies in Congress

 Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, is taking aim at how Utah fills midterm vacancies in Congress....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Electric_Scooter_01.jpgBill prohibits using an electric scooter while drunk

 Well, you knew this was coming....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_16.jpgWeekly survey: Will Utah get waivers for Medicaid expansion?

As part of SB96, which supplants Prop. 3, Utah will need waivers from the Trump administration to expand Medicaid to fewer people than required under the Affordable Care Act while still getting a favorable cost split with the federal government. Do you think they'll be succe...
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUSTAR-supported technologies look to better address Utah's air quality challenges

Two years ago, Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality announced an ambitious goal to reduce annual emissions into Utah's air by 25 percent by 2026 to address Utah's air quality challenges....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgBuilding Utah: Computer science in every school

 The Utah State Board of Education recently adopted a computer science framework for all K-12 schools in Utah....
images/Resized_Logos/ULCT_Logo1.jpgGuest opinion: Ogden rising to meet new challenges

 It's an interesting view from the shoreline trail in the Wasatch mountains looking down onto the bustling city of Ogden.  ...
images/Resized_Mugshots/Rick_Larsen.jpegGuest opinion: We need to do better than 'tolerance'

 In February 2019, we observe Black History Month with troubling images that are in the rearview mirror but not nearly far enough behind us....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_20.jpgWill Utah get a Medicaid waiver for limited expansion? Republicans in the Legislature are confident it will happen

Gov. Gary Herbert said Tuesday he believes Utah lawmakers are on the right track with their alternative plan for Medicaid expansion that supplants the voter-approved Prop. 3....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Vape_Pens_01.jpgLawmakers will again consider raising taxes on e-cigarettes

 Perhaps the second time will be the charm....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgProposal requires smaller counties to use the commission form of government

 Saying he wants to protect small counties from heavy-handed special interest political meddling, state Rep. Phil Lyman has a bill that would require the commission form of government only for counties of the fourth, fifth and sixth class....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Ballot_Box_01.jpgThis could be the year Utah does away with straight-party voting on ballots

 This may be the year the Utah Legislature does away with straight party-line voting on ballots and if it is, you can probably thank Salt Lake County voters....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190205_Chaffetz_Fox.jpgChaffetz says he wants Trump to call for the country to come together in SOTU, but says Democrats 'can't do it'

Former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who is mentioned as a possible candidate for Utah Governor in 2020, says he hopes President Donald Trump calls for national unity during Tuesday's State of the Union address, but he doubts Democrats will be able to....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20180204_Herbert_Cox_Approval.pngUtahns give Herbert, Cox high job approval ratings

  Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert continues to knock it out of the ballpark in his job approval ratings, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows....

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8 days until the government runs out of funding.

House Democrats supercharge the investigation into Trump. The House Intelligence Committee announced they would begin looking into President Donald Trump's finances and whether Russia or other foreign powers have influence over Trump or his family - https://nyti.ms/2SwUsQZ

Trump lashes out at Democrats as investigations ramp up. Trump called House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff a "political hack" and said the investigations are "political harassment" - https://wapo.st/2MVzGVH

Congress works toward a funding deal to avoid another shutdown. Negotiators are working toward an accord to increase fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border without giving President Trump the money he's demanding for a border wall - https://wapo.st/2Sy1Rzl

"There will not be another shutdown." Speaker Nancy Pelosi said shutting down the government again is an issue that will be "too hot to handle," and lawmakers have no appetite for another shutdown - https://politi.co/2SxDsKd

Mueller probe appears to be winding down. Another prosecutor is leaving Mueller's team, which observers say is a sign the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is coming to an end - https://cnn.it/2SEVUkt

Woah! In 2006, Donald Trump demanded $20 million to put his name on a tower in Moscow. A Ukranian-Russian made the claim during an interview with Bloomberg News - https://bloom.bg/2SAe7PZ

President Trump attended just 17 intelligence meetings in the last 85 days. Intelligence officials say the president participates in relatively few in-person intelligence briefings and does not regularly read the daily intelligence summary prepared for him - https://nbcnews.to/2StWLUX

2020 watch:

  • Nearly 60% of Democrats say former Vice President Joe Biden should make a run for the White House - https://cnn.it/2SxBGZz
  • Elizabeth Warren is doing some serious damage control right now. She says she may have identified as American Indian on other documents after it was revealed she did so on her Texas State Bar registration - https://politi.co/2SrPB3B
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is expected to launch her presidential bid on Sunday, reportedly had three people decline to run her campaign because of her history of mistreating staffers - http://bit.ly/2SrPFAn
  • If Howard Schultz launches an independent bid for the White House in 2020, a survey finds it would provide a boost for President Donald Trump's re-election chances - https://bloom.bg/2SCjgqE

What the heck is going on in Virginia? The #3 leader in Virginia, Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, admitted Wednesday he dressed in blackface in college. The admission is yet another scandal engulfing the executive branch - https://wapo.st/2N0soQV

Polls! Polls! Polls!

  • 74% of Americans say they back a proposed wealth tax on people with at least $50 million in assets - http://bit.ly/2SCJnO8
  • Republicans are divided on whether wearing blackface is a problem. 36% of Republicans say it's acceptable, while 38% say it's not. 78% of Democrats say it's not acceptable - http://bit.ly/2SAIVAa

Farmers are getting hit hard by Trump's trade policies. U.S. agricultural exports are plunging and the average farm income has dropped to a nearly 15-year low, exacerbating a financial crisis in America's heartland -  https://politi.co/2SwiGLg

The White House will introduce a program to boost economic security for women around the globe. The initiative, led by Ivanka Trump, will help bolster the global economy - https://nyti.ms/2SEvkHQ

Someone keeps sending Republican Sen. Ben Sasse mean fortune cookies. The cookies contain messages wishing creative forms of punishment on him - http://bit.ly/2SxC9ef

Department of conspiracy theories:

  • Even though she appeared in public earlier this week, conspiracy theorists still insist Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is dead - https://wapo.st/2Su0T7m
  • Trump supporters are sharing a picture on social media they say shows Hillary Clinton wearing blackface. The photo is clearly not Clinton - http://bit.ly/2SEUAhu

The five warmest years on the planet have occurred since 2014. Last year was the 4th warmest year on record, trailing 2015, 2016 and 2017 according to figures from NOAA. Nine of the 10 warmest years in history have occurred since 2005 - http://bit.ly/2SxXZOP


1795 - The 11th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. The Amendment restricts the ability of individuals to sue states in federal court.

1962 - The U.S. bans all Cuban imports and exports.

1964 - The Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time and immediately set off a frantic wave of "Beatlemania."

1973 - The U.S. Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate a break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate Complex.

1984 - U.S. astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart made the first untethered spacewalks.

2018 - White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter announced his resignation amid domestic abuse allegations from two of his ex-wives.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin WTC Utah for a Diplomatic Luncheon with the Ambassador of Austria to the United Nations
 World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming His Excellency Dr. Jan Kickert, Ambassador of Austria to the United Nations....
Senate passes resolution renaming VA outstation after Major Brent Taylor
 The United States Senate agreed unanimously to rename the North Ogden Department of Veteran's Affairs Outstation the Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation Tuesday....
The Road Home has been awarded a $1.9 M grant that will enhance their rapid re-housing programs for families in the community
 The Road Home announced it has been selected to receive an exclusive grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that will total $1.9 million over the next five years....

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Wise Words


"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw

Lighter Side

Just Nasty

"A new study suggests that a parasite found in cat pee can be linked to schizophrenia. Finally, a reason to stop drinking cat pee!" - SETH MEYERS

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