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Situational awareness - March 15, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

The 2019 Utah Legislature is over. Let's do it all over again in 318 days...

Beware the ides of March today.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • The Utah Legislature finished their 2019 session last night. We've got a full wrap up on what they did, and didn't, get done. Also, check out our podcast conversation with Gov. Gary Herbert.
  • Rep. Rob Bishop says the "Green New Deal" is "tantamount to genocide" -
  • North Korea threatens to pull out of nuclear talks with the U.S.
  • The Senate rebuffed President Trump on his border emergency declaration.

Friday Political Trivia!

Gordon Jones gives us today's political tidbit.

What Utahn served non-consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Send your guesses to me at

If trivia savant Mike Mower can't answer today's stumper, Gordon will win a $25 Amazon gift card. mailbag!

Email us anytime with feedback, questions, story suggestions, news tips, etc... Send us an email at this link.

The 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 74th day of the year. There are 291 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

354 days to the 2020 Utah presidential primary (3/3/2020)

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_05.jpgWhat the 2019 Utah Legislature did, and didn't get done

 Every general session has its own history, of course.But the 2019 Legislature will likely go down as one of the most important in recent history.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_31.jpgHighlights from Utah's $19 billion budget

There is always a lot of spending/last minute bills that likes to watch and report upon. Here are some, unrelated as they are, that came up the last day of the session:
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190314_herbert_podcast.jpgPodcast: Wrapping up the 2019 Utah Legislature with Gov. Gary Herbert

 Utah Gov. Gary Herbert sits down with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick on the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislative session.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: A road well traveled

The 2019 Legislature's general session is over.What have we learned?What do we know?
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190314_Romney_CNN.jpgRomney, Lee vote to block Trump's border emergency declaration

Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney both voted in favor of a resolution to stop President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_30.jpgLawmakers nix money for Hatch Center in budget bill

Legislators stripped a proposed $1.5 million expenditure to fund a center honoring former Sen. Orrin Hatch from Utah's $19 billion budget on Thursday afternoon.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_29.jpgMedicaid waiver 'on track' to be granted prior to April 1 according to lawmakers

Legislators say the state is on track to have the first of two required waivers from the Trump administration approved which will allow them to implement a scaled back Medicaid expansion plan at the beginning of next month.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgBudget deal will allow lawmakers to assess whether they want to keep funding several state programs

One of the side benefits to "scrubbing" various one-time cash accounts and putting that money into ongoing programs the essence of the budget deal House and Senate Republicans made Tuesday in SB2 -- is time to review many of those "special" programs, and see if they are worthy of continuation.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgLegislature passes bill that bars signature candidates in special congressional elections as rumors swirl Rep. Chris Stewart may be up for a Trump administration job

No sooner had rumors started on Utah's Capitol Hill about U.S. Rep, Chris Stewart once again being considered by President Donald Trump for U.S. Secretary of the Air Force than Utah House members passed a new law giving power in picking a U.S. congressman replacement to party delegates.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_08.jpgHate crimes bill wins final passage. Herbert says he will sign it

After years of trying, Sen. Daniel Thatcher's hate crimes bill is on the way to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk.
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUtah Technology Innovation Summit to explore clean air, rural economic development policy challenges

On April 1, 2019, entrepreneurs, researchers, business leaders and policy experts will come together at the second annual Utah Technology Innovation Summit to discuss ways Science-based technology innovation can shape Utah's economy, policies and business climate.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



North Korea threatens to pull out of nuclear talks. Officials say they may resume testing long-range missiles after the failure to reach an agreement with the U.S. during last month's summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump -

Senate bucks Trump on emergency declaration. A dozen Republicans sided with Democrats to block President Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the southern border, saying he had overstepped his constitutional authority in the effort to build a border wall -

President Trump appeared to threaten violence against his enemies. In an interview with right-wing news site Breitbart, Trump made what looks like a veiled threat saying, "I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump -- I have tough people, but they don't play it tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very, very bad." - 

The FBI debated in 2016 how aggressively to probe Russian ties to the Trump campaign. Former FBI agent Peter Strzok told members of Congress in a closed-door hearing that the FBI had received information from an "extremely sensitive source" alleging collusion between the Russian government and members of the Trump campaign -

House votes 420-0 to urge public release of the Mueller report. The resolution calls on the Justice Department to make special counsel Robert Mueller's findings and full report available to Congress. Republicans blocked the resolution in the Senate -

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may fight efforts by Democrats to get Trump's tax returns. Secretary Mnuchin said he would "follow the law" if Democrats tried to get Trump's tax documents -

Democrat suggests Russians may have laundered money through the Trump Organization. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said his committee has begun investigating the possibility -

New Zealand massacre. 49 are dead and 20 injured after mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. The perpetrator, reportedly motivated by far-right ideology, is in custody -

Documents show a Russian-owned web server company was used to hack Democratic emails. The documents are part of a lawsuit claiming part of a dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia published by BuzzFeed was defamatory toward a Russian internet entrepreneur -

British lawmakers approve Brexit delay. UK lawmakers voted in favor of delaying Britain's exit from the EU, but they soundly rejected a call for a second referendum on the issue -

The Southern Poverty Law Center fired its co-founder. The group would not say what Morris Dees did to prompt the firing -

The hottest new chat app for teens is...Google Docs? Teens are creating private chat rooms with the word processing app -


44 BC - Julius Ceasar is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.

1493 - Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.

1820 - Maine becomes the 23rd state.

1916 - President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 U.S. troops over the Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

1985 - The first Internet domain name is registered (

1991 - A grand jury indicted four Los Angeles police officers on felony assault charges for the beating of Rodney King. The officers' acquittals in 1992 sparked violent riots in the city.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgDerek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, named to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomed 12 new executives to its Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 (CCC100) including Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: A wet winter has made 'very impressive' waterfalls at this Utah state park for first time in years

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Great Minds

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt

Lighter Side

Not Running

"This week Hillary Clinton said she will not run for president again. She's not going to run. As a result, Fox News is down to one minute of daily programming. The rest is all catheter ads, I believe." - CONAN O'BRIEN

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