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Situational awareness - March 18, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

308 days to inauguration day [01/20/2021)

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

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

  • Congress considering a $1 trillion economic stimulus package.
  • Unemployment could hit 20% without government intervention.
  • Gov. Herbert orders bars and restaurants closed to in-person dining.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Captiol_28.jpgAnalysis: The most 'conservative' and 'liberal' members of the Utah Senate
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While a few Utah House Republicans and Democrats are somewhat close to each other in their political leanings, you don't find that in the state Senate -- in that smaller, more elite body, members of the two major political parties are very, very far apart philosophically.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_36.jpgShould Utah make changes to how education is funded? We asked the GOP candidates for governor
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
UtahPolicy.com asked the now-seven major GOP candidates for governor about the plan to amend the Utah Constitution to allow income tax revenue to go to more than just higher and public education.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgAre two-dollar bills counterfeit? - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We're socially isolating because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the podcast rolls on. Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick bring you the latest news from Utah politics.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Michael_Parker_01.jpgGuest opinion: Utah must display unrivaled economic resilience
By Michael Parker
Our state, nation, and the globe are facing an unprecedented challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. While addressing the public health aspects of this crisis is paramount, we must begin immediately working on how we can protect and respond to this challenge economically.
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.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgAnalysis: Ranking the most 'conservative' and 'liberal' members of the Utah Legislature
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
As candidates begin filing to run for the Utah Legislature this year, who are the most conservative and liberal incumbents when ranked against each others' voting records?
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_11.jpgRomney's plan to give some Americans $1k during coronavirus outbreak would cost up to $100 billion per month
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney's call to give $1,000 to adults in the U.S. as a way to boost the economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak carries a pretty hefty price tag - approximately $100 billion per month.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgGovernor Herbert Announces creation of economic response task force
By News Release
Governor Gary R. Herbert announced the formation of the Economic Response Task Force as a subcommittee of the COVID-19 Community Task Force.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities Work podcast: COVID-19 Is your community ready?
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
The best way to fight an enemy is to be ready for it. So, does that mean it's appropriate to declare a state of emergency in your city or town?
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_10.jpgRomney proposes giving every adult in the US $1000 to boost the economy
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney proposed giving $1,000 to every adult in America as a way to shore up the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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"We want to go big"

Congress and the White House is moving toward a bailout package that could cost northward of $1 trillion [New York Times].

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly told GOP senators that unemployment in the U.S. could hit 20% without government intervention [Bloomberg].

Layoffs because of the COVID-19 outbreak are just starting in the retail and hospitality sectors [New York Times].

Americans are likely to get a check from the federal government for $1,000 or more in the coming weeks [Washington Post].

Nearly 1 in 5 households have lost work because of the coronavirus outbreak according to a new survey [NPR].

The Treasury Department says Americans should file their taxes by April 15, but they will have an extra 90 days to pay [Bloomberg].

Coronavirus latest

The virus has now hit all 50 states with more than 100 deaths nationwide [Washington Post].

The Trump administration will turn back all undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers at the southern border to control the virus outbreak [New York Times].

New York City may be the next big metropolitan area to be under a "shelter in place" order [New York Times].

The U.S. military is readying hospital ships to help respond to the growing coronavirus crisis [WSJ].

The U.S. and Canada are preparing to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries [CNN].

The 26 European Union countries are sealing their borders for 30 days to help control the crisis [BBC].

Amazon shifts gears

Amazon will ban its warehouses from stocking nonessential items during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the online retailer will prioritize household staples and medical supplies [Vox].


President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday he "felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic." Trump was downplaying the severity of the outbreak for weeks before adopting a more serious tone in the past few days [New York Times].

Cue Alice Cooper

A lot of schools across the country will remain closed until the next academic year [CNN].


Joe Biden romped over Bernie Sanders in three states on Tuesday, taking a commanding lead in the race for the Democratic nomination [Washington Post].

President Trump clinched the Republican nomination on Tuesday [The Hill].


President Trump's approval rating has slipped to 44 percent amid the coronavirus outbreak, dropping 5 percent [Gallup].


Policy News

State orders restaurants, bars to suspend dine-in services to slow spread of COVID-19
The Utah Department of Health, in coordination with the Governor's Office and Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force, issued an order to all restaurants, bars, and food service establishments in the state of Utah to suspend dine-in operations for a period of two weeks. 
Smith's offering special hours for senior citizen shopping
Starting Wednesday, March 18, Smith's Food & Drug Stores will dedicate the first hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:00 am to 8:00 am, solely to the shopping needs of senior citizens until further notice. This group is the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
United Ways of Utah to provide support with COVID-19 community response fund
United Ways of Utah announced the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, in a collective effort to alleviate some of the economic impact many Utah families are facing as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus.
Utah Food Industry Association urges calm and responsible shopping in the wake of the emergence of the coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting retailers, our customers and employees nationwide. Our members operate grocery, pharmacy, home improvement and convenience stores throughout the state. Utah retailers' first priority is always the health and safety of our customers and employees. We urge consumers to shop responsibly during this public health event. 
Governor appoints Chris Parker as the new executive director for the Utah Department of Commerce
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced the appointment of Chris Parker as the executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce. 

More National Headlines


1766 - The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act.

1850 - American Express is founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.

1925 - The worst tornado in U.S. history hit eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southern Indiana, killing 695 people, injuring thousands of others and causing $17 million in damage.

1942 - The War Relocation Authority is established in the United States to take Japanese Americans into custody.

1944 - The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 people and causes thousands to flee their homes.

1965 - Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first person to walk in space.

1968 - Congress takes U.S. currency off the gold standard.

1995 - Basketball superstar Michael Jordan announced he was returning to the NBA after a 17-month break.

2005 - Doctors removed the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive after a wide-ranging fight over the brain-damaged Florida woman's care that involved President George W. Bush and Congress.

Wise Words

Do Something

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."Edmund Burke

Lighter Side

Bright Side

"First, the World Health Organization has officially just declared coronavirus a global pandemic. Which yes, is scary for us humans, but from corona's perspective, it's pretty cool, yeah? Because for a virus this is like going platinum, you know? It is a big day. Started from the Wuhan, now we're here."- TREVOR NOAH

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