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Situational awareness - March 25, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Deal reached on gargantuan $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.
  • Gov. Herbert details he state's economic response to coronavirus.
  • Voting in favor of the failed tax reform effort didn't hurt many lawmakers politically.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_16.jpgAnalysis: Pro-tax reform vote did not hurt many lawmakers politically
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
When the anti-tax reform public movement was gaining strength in early January, there was all kinds of talk about how in key legislative contests, leading lawmakers who pushed reform in the December special session could be voted out this year.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt__Romney_06.jpgRomney tests negative for coronavirus
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said Tuesday he had tested negative for coronavirus, but would remain in quarantine for 14 days.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200324_coronavirus_response_plan.jpgGovernor Herbert releases coronavirus economic response plan
By News Release
Governor Gary R. Herbert released "Utah Leads Together," his comprehensive task force plan to mitigate the economic consequences of Covid-19 and return Utah to the record-setting growth it enjoyed prior to the pandemic. The report and economic playbook include recommendations from dozens of state and industry leaders throughout Utah. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_11.jpgGuest opinion: New special needs opportunity scholarship FAQ
By Sutherland Institute
What is the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship Program?The Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship program is a tax credit scholarship program passed during the 2020 Utah Legislative Session that offers educational options for students with special needs. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgA big bag of germs - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 It's another quarantastic episode as Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick bring you the top Utah political news.
images/1000px_Mugs/Winder_Newton_Dougall_01.jpgWinder Newton picks Dougall as her running mate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican Aimee Winder Newton said Tuesday current Utah State Auditor John Dougall would be her running mate for the 2020 gubernatorial contest.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_09.jpgGov. Gary Herbert's office has no plans to change signature gathering requirements for candidates despite coronavirus outbreak. Some are mulling a lawsuit to force a change
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Although Gov. Gary Herbert has asked Utahns to limit contact during the coronavirus pandemic, several political campaigns are still working to get enough signatures to secure a spot on the June primary ballot. Despite the guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, Herbert's office says they don't have any plans at present to modify the number of signatures candidates are required to secure.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Classroom.jpgUtah extends K-12 school closure to May 1
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary R. Herbert, State Superintendent Syd Dickson, and Acting Commissioner of Technical Education Jared Haines announced today that Utah's K-12 public schools will extend their dismissal through Friday, May 1st, and that Utah's technical colleges will suspend teaching from Monday, March 30 until Friday, May 1. These entities will continue to evaluate the situation to make a determination about the remaining school year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_02.jpgUtah Economic Response Task Force is moving fast
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
The Utah Coronavirus Economic Response Task Force, organized and announced by Gov. Gary Herbert just a week ago, is moving rapidly to provide support to businesses and their employees with the goal of keeping Utah's economy as strong as possible during the crisis.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Deal on massive coronavirus stimulus reached

The Trump administration struck a deal with Senate Democrats and Republicans on more than $2 trillion in spending to bolster the economy and stem the spread of the coronavirus [Politico].

World markets soared on the news that Congress aims to inject nearly $2 trillion into the economy. Those gains follow an 11 percent jump in the Dow on Tuesday [AP].

Trump's magical thinking

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants the U.S. economy "opened up and raring to go" by Easter [NBC News].

Health experts say easing coronavirus restrictions now could lead to disastrous results [Washington Post].

Connect the dots?

Coronavirus restrictions forced the shut down of six of the top seven revenue-generating properties owned by President Trump. The Trump Organization closed hotels and golf clubs in Las Vegas, Florida, Ireland, Scotland and New York either because of local restrictions or recommendations from local officials. Those properties bring in about $174 million per year [Washington Post].


Any company owned by President Trump or his children are specifically barred from receiving any bailout money from the $2 trillion stimulus bill under consideration in Congress. The ban includes businesses owned by the president, vice president or members of Congress [Bloomberg].

Slow response takes a toll

A private sector response to the virus to produce critical medical equipment like ventilators won't deliver results until June. Had the Trump administration responded to the threat quicker, say experts, those supplies would be available much earlier [New York Times].

Healthcare workers are fearful hospitals will become hotspots for the virus [Politico].

Polls! Polls! Polls!

President Trump's job approval inches up to 49% [Gallup].

Most Americans say the nation's efforts to fight the coronavirus are going badly right now [CBS News].

Convention time

Republicans and Democrats are forging ahead with planning for their national conventions this summer in Charlotte and Milwaukee, but Democrats are seemingly hedging their bets, saying they're exploring contingency options because of the coronavirus [Politico].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Radio host Glen Beck is urging the Trump administration to cut social distancing restrictions before they do too much damage to the economy. "I would rather die than kill the country," said Beck on Tuesday [Daily Beast].


Policy News

WTC Utah webinar series: Families First Coronavirus Response Act with Parsons Behle & Latimer
Join World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with Parsons Behle & Latimer, for a webinar on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
State restricts non-urgent medical procedures
In order to preserve masks, gloves and other protective equipment for medical professionals assisting in the fight against COVID-19, the Utah Department of Health has announced restrictions on medical, dental, and veterinary procedures that are non-urgent. 
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_05.jpgRomney announces resource to keep Utahns informed on coronavirus
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced the launch of a new webpage designed to keep Utahns informed during the coronavirus pandemic.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_04.jpgRep. Curtis sends letter to Treasury Department advocating for small business relief
Representative John Curtis (R-UT) sent a letter to United States Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for relief for small businesses who are obligated to make paid leave payments to employees under the newly signed Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgRomney introduces COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act
With students across the country graduating amid an economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced the COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act, legislation that would make students graduating this year eligible for a deferment of their federal loans for up to three years.
Division of Consumer Protection aggressively pursuing price gouging complaints
Since receiving an influx of reports of price gouging over the weekend, investigators with the Division of Consumer Protection are aggressively pursuing reports of price gouging in the State of Utah. 

More National Headlines


1584 - Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

1807 - The English Parliament abolished the slave trade.

1911 - A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City killed 146 people. The tragedy led to the eventual enactment of many state and national workplace safety laws.

1994 - U.S. forces completed a withdrawal from Mogadishu, Somalia, except for a small number of soldiers left behind to provide support for U.N. peacekeepers.

Wise Words


"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."Mark Twain

Lighter Side


"[imitating Trump]Please remember, very important for all countries and businesses to know, nothing I say is true, pay no attention to the man behind the bronzer."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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