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Situational awareness - March 1, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City, and welcome to March. It's the happiest month of the year for basketball fans with March Madness just around the corner. There are just 6 working days until the end of the 2018 Utah Legislature.

Utah lawmakers are working on a $20 million tax cut package. Utahns give Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Legislature high approval ratings. President Trump seeming embraced sweeping gun control measures during a wild and surreal meeting on Wednesday.

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Here's what's driving the day:

SCOOP: Lawmakers working on a $20 million tax cut

We did some digging and found out lawmakers are working on a package of income tax cuts, corporate tax cuts and property tax reform that is aiming at a $20 million net tax cut. The Senate is mostly on board, but the House is still looking for the votes [Utah Policy].

Herbert and Utah Legislators riding high in approval ratings

Our new poll shows 73% of Utahns approve of Gov. Gary Herbert's job performance, while the Utah Legislature gets a 63% approval rating [Utah Policy].

Republican on Republican violence

We scooped on Tuesday that the Utah Legislature was mulling a move to counter a controversial bylaw passed by the Utah GOP Central Committee this past weekend. Wednesday, more details emerged that confirmed our earlier reporting [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines

On this day in history

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Today At Utah Policy

Utahns give Gov. Herbert, Utah Legislature high approval ratings in new poll

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has hit the stratosphere of approval ratings by Utahns almost three out of four give him a favorable rating, a new poll finds....

Legislative Republicans moving to thwart GOP hard-liners

Here's an odd thing because of an "unconstitutional" bylaw adopted by the Utah Republican Party last Saturday, all GOP candidates this year may have to collect voter signatures to get on the 2018 ballot....

Republican lawmakers working on $20 million tax cut package

GOP legislators are looking at giving taxpayers and corporations a $20 million tax cut next year....

CYBER 24 podcast: Price tag to protect your health data growing as hackers target your medical records

When you go to the doctor and fill out those forms on the clipboard, well all of that data eventually ends up in digital form....

Weekly survey: Should the Utah GOP be able to kick out candidates?

A small, but vocal minority in the Utah GOP wants to revoke the party membership of candidates who gather signatures to get on the primary ballot. Should they be able to? Vote now in our weekly survey....

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Policy News

Weber County Files charges of forgery and violation of petition procedures against two individuals gathering signatures in statewide initiative packets
Weber County Attorney Chris Allred filed charges against two individuals for forgery and violations of petition procedures under Utah's election code on February 22, 2018....

Need exporter training? Register now for the spring 2018 Executive Certificate of Global Business Management Course
The Salt Lake Community College Global Business Center is accepting registrations for the spring 2018 "Executive Certificate of Global Business Management" course....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: Utah GOP will lose effort to exclude Republicans who take the signature path from the primary ballot. Again.

Op-ed: Protect the natural environment of the city's northwest quadrant

Many cities fight Airbnb rentals. This remote Utah county is proud its listings have jumped from zero and wants more.

Feds approve uranium mine expansions in Utah's San Juan County, one of them near Bears Ears

More than half of Utah teens who say they drink alcohol also use e-cigarettes, survey finds

Intermountain Healthcare upgrades digital care for Utah patients with a new, more centralized 'virtual hospital'

Analysis: The Utah lawmakers who approved a $1.7 million fee break for EnergySolutions received thousands in campaign contributions

Utah should be exempt from the 112-year-old law that lets U.S. presidents create national monuments, legislators say

Lawmakers vote to change UTA's name and raise car fees 64% to revamp Utah transit

Legislative committee endorses bill that would clear roadblock for Tesla to sell new cars in Utah

After a spike in deaths, bill advances to require jails to report how many inmates die every year

Senate resurrects, passes ban to prevent cities from charging fees on shopping bags

Housing advocates press lawmakers to pass $100 million bond to 'jump-start' affordable housing

It's looking likely that toll roads are in Utah's future - starting with the crowded Wasatch canyons

GOP hard-liners voted for a bylaw to exclude candidates who gather signatures. Now it may force all Republicans to do just that.

After intense debate, Utah House OKs plan to impose fee on cities that don't offer affordable housing

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: U. study shows how today's partially autonomous cars are dangerous

Natalie Gochnour: Here's why the Utah Legislature should pass an earned income tax credit

Creating equitable education reforms for Utah students

Senate approves $5M in tax credits for movie post-production

Committee OKs bill funding improvements, patrols on Jordan River

Proposed amendment would strip powers of State School Board

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill seeking 3rd term

Senate passes bill to improve K-3 reading

Red light won't change? Bill would let you drive through

House passes bill that paves the way for more toll roads

Utah lawmakers hold bill creating duty to report opioid mishandling

Lawmakers advance bill promoting data collection on heart attack, stroke emergencies

GOP lawmakers plan to take action on party bylaw change

Bill charging Utah cities for homeless shelters clears House

Salt Lake City leaders hold closed meeting on controversial inland port bill

Utah Senate moves to nullify Park City's ban on plastic bags

Sweeping transportation bill barely passes Senate

Utah House committee rejects bill to delay .05% DUI law

Undergraduates show off their research at the Capitol

Clean energy advocates decry proposed electric, hybrid vehicle fees

Dick's, Walmart to restrict firearms; Utah lawmakers set to convene safe schools task force

Pair of affordable housing bills advance at Utah Legislature

Utah lawmakers consider new crime for drug-induced homicide

Virtual hospital service aims to save patients time and money


Utah's House of Representatives take on Schoolhouse Rock in homemade video (Daily Herald)

West Haven's Kathie Darby plans to vie again for District 9 Utah House post (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Companies See Negative Responses to Cutting Business Ties With NRA (Morning Consult)

Oprah Winfrey Reveals the One Thing That Could Make Her Run for President (People)

PBS launching new conservative political talk show (Seattle Times)

Immigration head blames Oakland mayor for 800 missed arrests (Associated Press)

Mike Pence casts tie-breaking vote for 9th time (CNN)

Should Polling Places Remain Politics-Free? Justices Incredulous At Both Sides (NPR)

YouTube's New Moderators Mistakenly Pull Right-Wing Channels (Bloomberg)

Hawk or dove? Fed's Powell showed markets both sides in debut (Reuters)

Millions of Europeans are asking Google to be 'forgotten' - here's why Americans don't have that option (Business Insider)

HQ2 Cities: There's a Better Way to Do Economic Development (CityLab)

A new idea: Mandatory retirement accounts to help workers delay claiming Social Security (MarketWatch)

Wise Words


"It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Lighter Side


"Miners in Africa have found a massive 910 carat diamond worth tens of millions of dollars. The diamond will go to either a museum or to Beyonc the next time Jay-Z cheats on her." Conan O'Brien

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