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Situational awareness - March 13, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • House and Senate GOP leaders strike a budget deal
  • Senate Republicans float the idea of reinstating the sales tax on food to fix the state's budget imbalance.
  • The hate crimes bill passes the House, putting the measure one step away from Gov. Herbert's desk. Herbert indicated he will sign the bill.
  • Washington is on edge waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller's final report.

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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 72nd day of the year. There are 293 days remaining in 2019.

Tomorrow is the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

38 days to the Utah Libertarian Party state convention (4/20/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190312_Gibson_Podcast.jpgEmergency podcast: House and Senate Republicans strike a budget deal

House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, joins Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick to speak about the budget deal House and Senate Republicans agreed to on Tuesday afternoon. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_12.jpgIt's a deal! House and Senate GOP leaders agree to a budget

House and Senate leaders have agreed to a deal that will take more than $300 million in ongoing obligations and fund them with one-time money in next year's budget.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Supermarket_01.jpgSenate GOP floats idea of reinstating sales tax on food, but polling suggests that idea may fall flat

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans floated the idea of reimposing the state portion of the sales tax on unprepared food as a possible solution to the structural tax imbalance that currently exists with the state's General Fund.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgBudget negotiations 'better,' but talks still ongoing

GOP legislative leaders appeared to be working toward a budget deal Tuesday morning.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 'Political Bracket Face-Off' nominations are open

It's back again! The Utah political version of March Madness starts next week, and we're taking your nominations for the field of 64.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgNo budget deal yet as House and Senate Republicans continue negotiations

House and Senate leaders are still searching for common ground as they attempt to hammer out a budget for next year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190311_Cox_Podcast.jpgPodcast: Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox on 2020, Medicaid expansion and the Utah Jazz

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox joins Managing Editor Bryan Schott to discuss the end of the lawsuit over the state's dual-path nomination system and cybersecurity and the 2020 election.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_10.jpgAs budget negotiations continue, House Republicans unveil stripped-down spending proposal for next year

 The "skinny budget" proposal from the Utah House surfaced Monday afternoon. The stripped down spending plan includes a 4% increase in school funding, plus fully funds next year's growth, but not much else.
images/1000px_Mugs/Oak_Norton.jpgGuest opinion: Stop the madness. Educational accountability rests with families

All government agencies are accountable to the legislature that budgets them tax money and ultimately to the people who pay the taxes to run them.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_07.jpgLawmakers are pushing tax reform to a special session later this year. Here's why the changes are critical

Lawmakers have just under four months to fix the imbalance in the tax system before they have to take drastic measures to fund the basic operations of state government. That was the dire warning delivered by House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, during an exclusive interview with UtahPolicy.com on Friday.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgLawmakers still have some big issues to tackle in the 2019 session

 As of Monday morning, there will be a little less than 90 hours left in the 2019 Utah Legislature. As lawmakers move into crunch time ahead of Thursday night's adjournment there are still a number of big issues still to be decided.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Washington is on edge waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Nobody knows when the final report will be filed, but that hasn't stopped the media and lawmakers from ratcheting up their anticipation for the document - https://nyti.ms/2JaS6Uf

  • The report may not be coming anytime soon as Mueller's investigation is funded through September - https://reut.rs/2JaFgFL

The White House and Senate are working on a plan to stop GOP Senators from voting to block Trump's emergency order. The proposed legislation, spearheaded by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, would scale back future emergency declarations by Trump. Vice President Mike Pence said Trump will sign the bill if the Senate defeats the resolution to block his emergency declaration to build his proposed border wall - https://wapo.st/2J6rvrs

  • A new poll shows a majority of Americans still oppose President Trump's border emergency declaration - https://politi.co/2J6sbx0

Schiff says Trump ought to be indicted after he leaves office. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said President Donald Trump probably should be indicted for crimes committed by his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen - https://wapo.st/2JaEubP

What everybody is talking about. Dozens of parents, including famous actresses, along with college coaches were charged in an alleged bribery scheme to get students into top colleges - https://nyti.ms/2JbcdBY

Countries around the world have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet after two crashes, but not the U.S. The head of Boeing appealed directly to President Donald Trump, assuring him the jets are safe - https://nyti.ms/2JaLe9C

  • President Trump weighed in on Twitter about the issue, complaining that modern planes are too complicated for pilots. "I don't want Albert Einstein to be my pilot," he said - https://politi.co/2Jo4T6b

California to halt executions. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will issue an executive order to stop capital punishment for more than 700 inmates on death row - https://nyti.ms/2J6qNKO

British lawmakers rejected the latest Brexit deal. The vote against Prime Minister Theresa May's deal means more political uncertainty as Britain is set to leave the European Union in just 17 days - https://cnn.it/2JaL2qU

House Democrats introduced a bill to provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. The bill would apply to young undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents and immigrants in the country under Temporary Protected Status - https://nbcnews.to/2J9sx68

Trump administration will close many overseas immigration offices. The offices serve as a resource for foreigners applying to relocate to the United States - https://nyti.ms/2JaHQeX


1781 - The planet Uranus was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel.

1862 - The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.

1865 - The Confederate States of America agree to the use of African-American troops.

1868 - The Senate began impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. Johnson was later acquitted by one vote.

1933 - Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a "bank holiday."

1991 - The Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngWasatch Front CPI sees biggest month-to-month drop in more than three years as transportation prices slip
The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.5 percent from January to February on a non-seasonally adjusted basis - the biggest month-to-month drop in 39 months. Year-over-year, the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index has grown 3.9 percent, while the national Consumer Price index has increased 1.5 percent since February of last year.
New technology helps Unclaimed Property Division reunite more lost money with rightful owners
Utah State Treasurer David Damschen announced that the August implementation of the new unclaimed property management system has resulted in increased efficiencies and a better user experience.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Making Decisions

"There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice." Simon Sinek

Lighter Side

Cohen Testimony

"Checks reimbursing me for paying off a porn star? Yes. Pardons? No. I have my dignity!" - STEPHEN COLBERT, impersonating Michael Cohen

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