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Situational awareness - March 2, 2018

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. There are just 5 working days until the end of the 2018 Utah Legislature.

New emails show oil drilling was a significant factor in Trump's decision on Bears Ears. A Utah GOP rule change could damage Republicans and boost Democrats at the ballot box in November. Utahns support a tax hike to pay for schools.

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Here's what's driving the day:

Emails show oil drilling and coal mining played a central role in the decision to shrink two Utah national monuments

The New York Times got their hands on Interior Department emails showing oil drilling, grazing, and coal and uranium mining played a big part in how the borders for the smaller national monuments announced by President Trump last year were drawn [Utah Policy].

Utahns support Our Schools Now

Even though Lawmakers are pushing to find more cash for Utah's underfunded schools, Utahns say they support the ballot initiative to hike sales and income taxes to boost funding by $700 million per year according to our new poll [Utah Policy].

Republicans running out of time to find solution to Utah GOP bylaw change

The bylaw change by the Utah GOP Central Committee may well force all Republicans to gather signatures to get on the ballot unless the legislature can find a fix. They may not have enough time, or the votes, to get there before the session ends next week [Utah Policy].

Wading through a totally bananas week

We run down the big stories from the last week in Utah politics, and explain the implications in our week-in-review! It's well worth your time [Utah Policy]. It's also available in a podcast form if you want to listen on the go [Utah Policy]. 

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines

On this day in history

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Today At Utah Policy

Oil drilling and coal mining played a central role in Trump's decision to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase according to emails

The Department of the Interior was zeroing in on the potential for oil and gas exploration in the Bears Ears National Monument according to emails reviewed by the New York Times....

Majority of Utahns support effort to dramatically boost funding for public education

Most Utahns support a citizen initiative petition that would slightly raise the personal income and sales tax rates to provide more than $700 million a year to public schools, a new shows....

Legislative Republicans running out of time to fix Utah GOP bylaw change, and Democrats could benefit

GOP lawmakers are struggling to come to a consensus on how to deal with a controversial and probably illegal bylaw passed by a small group of right-wing zealots on the GOP State Central Committee on Saturday. ...

Insanity in the GOP! Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 363

A small group inside the Utah GOP changed the party bylaws, and that could have a huge negative effect on every Republican running for office in 2018....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 363

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott guide you through the big news from a crazy week in Utah politics....

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

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes--Tribune: Many cities fight Airbnb rentals. This remote Utah county is proud its listings have jumped from zero and wants more.--Tribune: Utah's city lights are baffling - and killing - migratory birds. Conservationists say it's time to go dark.--Tribune:Major ...

Utah Capitol virtual tour launched online
Utah residents can visit the capitol whenever they want by taking the Utah.Gov virtual 360-degree tour....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: From the horse's mouth: Money buys influence in the Legislature

Utah House speaker says it's time to act, but Senate president prefers to wait and let educators respond to gun violence and school safety

House votes to add lessons on consent and pornography to Utah's sex education classes

Utah Board of Education members want to appoint people to the State Charter School Board if they lose the ability to approve and deny new schools

Utah's city lights are baffling - and killing - migratory birds. Conservationists say it's time to go dark.

Utah's 'incredible' rise in solar power may just be the start of a decadeslong surge, industry experts say

Trump-endorsed Medicaid expansion bill clears first test in Utah Legislature

Gehrke: Without a big investment in affordable housing, Salt Lake's homeless efforts could be wasted

In three years, a Salt Lake City student has gone from not being able to write his name to becoming a science geek and potential theater buff

One lawmaker says he's nervous 'about empowering the citizenry,' as committee pushes bill to delay effective date of voter initiatives

Senate gives final approval to allow more toll roads in Utah - perhaps beginning with Little Cottowood Canyon

Utah's tough new drunken driving law likely will remain in place, as lawmakers kill bill to delay 0.05 DUI standard

Sim Gill announces bid for third term as Salt Lake County district attorney

Rep. Mike Noel proposes a Utah highway name change to honor President Donald Trump

March is women's history month, and Salt Lake City has a new plan on equal pay for women

Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch calls Obamacare supporters 'the stupidest, dumbass people I've ever met'

Sen. Hatch pushes back on Trump's move to hike tariffs on steel, aluminum imports

REI joins gun-related boycott of major Utah outdoor gear company

Utah lawmakers reject a bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour

Deseret News

Jay Evensen: So much for Salt Lake City's plans

Greg Bell: Dear Congress: Breaking up is hard to do, but I don't love you anymore

Op-ed: School choice doesn't destroy public schools; it makes them better

Bill advances to fix Utah law in 'Deadpool' lawsuit

'This is the time to do something': Utah Safe Schools Commission launched

Utah is the third best state in the country, new report says. Here's why it's not No. 1

Sen. Orrin Hatch calls Obamacare supporters 'stupid' people

Utah lawmakers drop surprise 'Fresh Prints of Bills Here' rap video

Utah State School Board opposes amendment to strip its powers

Utah House OKs teaching refusal skills in sex ed curriculum

Herbert: Republican bylaw change 'bad form'

Trump Highway? Lawmaker proposes renaming southern Utah route

Utah Senate panel OKs reimbursing busing costs to rural districts, some charter schools

Bill increasing Utah police access to drug database advances after heated debate

'Equal pay for equal work': Salt Lake enacts gender pay equity policy for city employees

Income tax rate would drop, corporations would get a break under House bill

Bill mandating warning of mammograms' limitations passes Senate


Editorial: American Fork campground conundrum highlights desperate need for affordable housing (Daily Herald)

Utah County Commissioner Graves still largely 'working from home' after release of report (Daily Herald)

Kerry Gibson police probe done, Davis County Attorney's Office handling review (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Sharyl Attkisson Accuses Obama DOJ of Secretly Swapping Out Her Computer Hard Drive (PJMedia)

U.S. crude oil production hit record high in November (Reuters)

How can a place with 58,000 homeless people continue to function? (Los Angeles Times)

Trump's tariff war nudges Cohn toward White House exit (Politico)

'Every day is a new adventure': Trump upends Washington and Wall Street with shifts on trade, guns (Washington Post)

Transparency? Check. Results? Stay tuned. Trump TV rocks DC (Reuters)

Trump and McMaster have seemed anxious to part but so far remain together (Washington Post)

Justice Department reviewing Oakland mayor's tipoff of immigration raids, which led to 232 arrests (Los Angeles Times)

Georgia Passes Bill That Stings Delta Over NRA Position (New York Times)

Rubio, Schumer propose new gun legislation (PBS)

Mike Huckabee resigns from CMA Foundation board amid controversy (Tennessean)

Wise Words


"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." Aldous Huxley

Lighter Side

New Poll

"According to a new poll, Republicans are more likely to label news they don't like as fake, while Democrats are more likely to label news they don't like as Fox."Seth Meyers

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