pharma ad

utah policy logo

The 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, or message us on Twitter.

pharma ad

Situational awareness - March 11, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


The final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature is tomorrow (3/12/2020)

13 days to the statewide neighborhood caucus meetings (3/24/2020)

45 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic state conventions (4/25/2020)

111 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/30/2020)

237 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

320 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

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

  • Lawmakers and teachers close to a deal on school funding changes.
  • State leaders discuss how to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Biden rolls in latest Democratic primary elections.


Next week we begin our third annual March "Political Madness" contest. 

Let us know who you think should be in our field of 64 Utah political figures (politicians, lobbyists, community activists, etc.). Send your nominations to

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.

pharma ad

Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_30.jpgLawmakers, teachers close to a deal on constitutional changes to school funding
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott is told that the last large group needed to make a significant change to how colleges and public schools are funded, now and in the future -- the Utah Education Association -- is close to coming on board with a legislative grand compromise.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_01.jpgState leaders discuss plans for fighting coronavirus spread
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah has started "random" testing for the coronavirus from samples doctors and hospitals have already taken from patients who were sampled for colds and the flu, said Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, the state point-man in fighting the fast-moving disease.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgPlease stop shaking hands - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
There's less than a week to go in the 2020 Utah Legislature. Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick get you caught up on the fast-moving news from Capitol Hill.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgHouse, Senate leaders in budget tug of war over Social Security tax break
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
House and Senate Republicans have hit an impasse over whether to give a tax cut to senior citizens now, or to wait in case of an economic downturn.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200310_Lege_Board_Colors.jpgNew color-coding scheme helping lawmakers keep track of bills that cost money
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
So, you ask dear reader, how does the House and Senate keep track of all these bills that cost money as lawmakers start passing bills right and left the final three days of the session?
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200310_Huntsman_Fox.jpgVideo: Huntsman says states, not the feds, should take the lead in responding to coronavirus outbreak
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said Tuesday that individual states should take the lead on responding to the coronavirus outbreak rather than the federal government.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_05.jpgLegislative leaders ditching most plans for tax cuts this year amid economic uncertainty
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers have largely abandoned plans for any sort of large-scale tax relief this year, opting to set money aside in case the economy sours.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_11.jpgLawmakers taking steps to control number of bills on Capitol Hill
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert and some GOP legislators are congratulating the 2020 general session for not having as many bills to consider as recent 45-day sessions.But it looks like weak, and incorrect, praise.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_10.jpgHouse and Senate leaders moving to combat spread of coronavirus at the capitol
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah House leaders announced new guidelines Monday to prevent exposure and the possible spread of the coronavirus during the final days of the 2020 Legislature.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_03.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Statewide and congressional races
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Keep up to date with the latest candidate filings in the race for governor and Utah's four seats in Congress.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_02.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
2020 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year. Here's a running list of declared candidates.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_01.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who has declared to run so far this year.

zions bank sponsorship ad


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Biden rolls

Former Vice President Joe Biden dealt a crippling blow to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign when he scored victories in at least four states Tuesday night, including Michigan [Washington Post].

Biden has now opened a nearly insurmountable lead over Sanders in the delegate count [Bloomberg].

Democrats are weighing how to push Sanders out of the race now that his path to the Democratic nomination is all but finished [Politico].

Democrats have scrapped plans to have a live audience during the next presidential debate scheduled for Sunday night in Arizona [The Hill].


The email server for the Department of Health and Human Services crashed for a day in February, adding to the delays in the response to the virus from the federal government [Politico].

Delays in testing set back the response to the coronavirus outbreak from the federal government [New York Times].

There are now more than 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. [Fox News].

The federal government is racing to develop plans that would have thousands of employees work remotely [Washington Post].

The virus is prompting colleges and universities to cancel in-person classes and move students online [New York Times].

The hot housing market could be KOed by the virus outbreak [Bloomberg].

Coronavirus could be a disaster for America's homeless population [New York Times].

How will Congress respond?

President Trump pitched a payroll tax holiday through the November election as an economic stimulus in response to the virus, but members of Congress seemed cool to the idea [New York Times].

Democrats are trying to cobble together an economic response package to counter the virus that could get a vote sometime this week [Politico].

The Treasury Department is considering pushing back the April 15 deadline for filing income tax returns [New York Times].

2020 election

American intelligence officials say Russia is trying to stoke racial tension online ahead of the November election, but they have not taken any steps to aid any candidate so far [New York Times].

Mueller report

A federal appeals court ruled House Democrats can access secret grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation [CNN].


Policy News

Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force recommends establishment of satellite COVID-19 testing sites
The Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force met and recommended that Utah's hospital and healthcare systems immediately work to establish designated sites to screen for novel coronavirus infections, including screening options for rural Utah.
Utah seeks USDA school lunch waivers to assist schools in emergency planning
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) is seeking four waivers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist local schools and participating child care centers in serving school lunch in the event of school closures should the novel coronavirus spread widely in the state.
Committee announces Utah Valley University as the new home for Philo T. Farnsworth statue
After careful review and deliberation, the Martha Hughes Cannon Statue Oversight Committee has selected Utah Valley University (UVU) as the new home for the statue of Philo T. Farnsworth. The statue will be removed from National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. and transported back to the state prior to the installation of the statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon later this year. 
Utah Clean Energy receives UCAIR grant to help improve Utah's air quality and advance urban efficiency
Utah Clean Energy recently received a grant from the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR), a statewide clean air partnership created to improve Utah's air, to assist in maximizing energy efficiency and expanding electric vehicles along the Wasatch Front.

More National Headlines


1824 - The U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1941 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

1985 - Mikhail Gorbachev is elected to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union making him the USSR's last head of state.

1993 - Janet Reno is confirmed by the U.S. Senate becoming the first female Attorney General of the U.S.

Wise Words


"If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health."Hippocrates

Lighter Side

All About Age

"Yeah, apparently, America isn't ready to have a president who's only 70."- CONAN O'BRIEN

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