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Situational awareness - March 26, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Herbert signs controversial abortion ban bill.
  • Special election bill gets the veto stamp.
  • Prop. 2 backers ask Utah Supreme Court to undo rewrite of medical marijuana law.
  • Partisan brawl erupts over Mueller report.
  • Trump administration backs federal court decision striking down Obamacare.

Political bracket face-off rolls on

The next four matchups in our 2019 political bracket are live. You can vote on our website, Twitter or Facebook. Check out the brackets here.

Conversation BubbleWhat do you think?

We always welcome your 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 85th day of the year. There are 280 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

39 days to the United Utah Party state convention (5/4/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_10.jpg18-week abortion ban signed into law teeing up likely lawsuits

Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill banning abortions after 18-weeks into law on Monday evening.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgHerbert vetoes special congressional election bill

Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed SB123 on Monday evening. The bill sets rules for replacing members of Congress who are unable to finish their terms.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 Political Bracket Face-Off Round 2 - Day 2

The second round of the 2019 Political Bracket Challenge rolls on. We have four more matchups for you to vote on today.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpgPolitical Bracket Face-Off results - Round 2

The second round of our 2019 Political Bracket Face-Off got off to a great start on Monday with four matchups.
images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Supreme_Court.jpgProp. 2 backers ask the Utah Supreme Court to overturn the Utah Legislature's rewrite of medical marijuana law

Justices on the Utah Supreme Court were polite Monday morning to petitioners who want the court to somehow block or overturn the Legislature's rewrite of Prop. 2, the new medical marijuana law.But from questions raised by several of the justices in the oral argument, it appears that's not going to happen.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_01.jpgRomney working on GOP climate change plan

Sen. Mitt Romney is reportedly at the center of discussions among Senate Republicans who are seeking to craft legislation to address climate change.
Political Bracket Face-Off Second Round - Day 1

We're moving into the second round of our 2019 Political Bracket Face-Off. We have four matchups for you to vote on today.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgApologies owed on Trump collusion assertions

 Bombshell! Bombshell! Bombshell!That word has been used thousands of time in the last two years to describe leaks or revelations in the lengthy Mueller probe into purported collusion with Russia by Pres. Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
images/Congress_B_W_01.jpgUtah's GOP members of Congress hail Mueller report summary saying Trump did not collude with Russians

Several Republican members of Utah's Congressional delegation took to Twitter on Sunday to hail the four-page summary from Attorney General Bob Barr which says special counsel Robert Mueller's report did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.
images/Shutterstock_Icons/Economy_Icon.pngEmployment in Utah grew by 2.8 percent over the last year. Unemployment remains below national average

Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for February 2019 grew by an estimated 2.8 percent, adding 42,400 jobs to the economy since February 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,536,300. No revisions were made to January's job growth rate. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190324_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart: 'I don't think we'll be terribly surprised' by what's in Mueller's report

Rep. Chris Stewart said on CNN Saturday morning that he was "relieved" that special counsel Robert Mueller has finished his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 Utah Political Bracket Face-Off results - Day 4

The final first-round matchups from our 2019 Political Bracket Face-Off are done. Results are below:
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgInheriting a mess - Bernick and Schott on politics

Veteran reporters Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott analyze the latest Utah political news.
images/1000px_Mugs/Derek_Brown_01.jpgFormer Rep. Derek Brown running for Utah GOP Chair

Former State Rep. Derek Brown says he is joining the race to be the next chairman of the Utah Republican Party.

kued hinckley report


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Partisan brawl erupts over Mueller report. Republicans are celebrating the four-page summary from Attorney General William Barr about special counsel Robert Mueller's report, while Democrats say there are dozens of unanswered questions -

Democrats demand full Mueller report by April 2. Democratic committee chairs in the House sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting he submit the full report to them by next Tuesday -


McConnel blocks a resolution to release Mueller report. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on a measure calling for the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report -

Trump moves to weaponize the Mueller report. President Trump and his allies are going to use the conclusion from the Mueller report that there was no criminal conspiracy with Russia as a blunt weapon against those they say unfairly accused the president of wrongdoing -

Trump administration wants Obamacare struck down. Administration officials reversed themselves on Monday, siding with a federal judge in Texas who declared the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional -

Congress will likely fail to override Trump's veto today. On Tuesday the House will attempt to override the president's veto of a resolution blocking his border emergency declaration. It's expected the vote will fail -

Pence talked Coats out of quitting. Vice President Mike Pence talked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats out of resigning at the end of 2018. Coats' relationship with President Trump has soured -

Supreme Court to consider partisan gerrymandering this week. The high court hears arguments over Republican-drawn political maps in North Carolina and Democratic-drawn maps in Maryland -

Federal ban on bump stocks begins today. Unless a court steps in, the Justice Department rule issued last year goes into effect banning the attachments that turn semi-automatic weapons into what are essentially automatic rifles -

Avenatti in serious legal trouble. The lawyer who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump was arrested and accused of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike -


1812 - A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

1830 - The Book of Mormon is published in Palmyra, New York.

1953 - Dr. Jonas Salk announced he had successfully tested a vaccine against polio.

1979 - Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.

1982 - A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is held in Washington, D.C.

Policy News

The Colorado River is a reliable source of water for Utah, says the Utah Division of Water Resources
Falling storage levels at both lakes Powell and Mead have highlighted the potential effects of climate change on the Colorado River, causing some to question its future viability as a reliable water supply source for the state of Utah.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

One More Time

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." Thomas A. Edison

Lighter Side

Warren Reparations

"Wow, that is really great to hear. Although I have my eye on you, Elizabeth Warren. I feel like as soon as reparations are passed, she'll be like, 'There's something I didn't tell you about my ancestry results. I'm also one-20th black! Who knew? I accept cash, check or Apple Pay.'" - TREVOR NOAH

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