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Situational awareness - March 3, 2020

Good morning and happy Super Tuesday from Salt Lake City!


There are 8 working days remaining in the 2020 Utah Legislature

The Utah presidential primary election is today (3/3/2020)

9 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

21 days to the statewide neighborhood caucus meetings (3/24/2020)

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

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

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

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

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

  • Some Salt Lake County Republicans are lobbying to get a bill ending straight-ticket voting across the finish line. 
  • Lawmakers may allocate up to $16 million to fight coronavirus.
  • Joe Biden picks up some big endorsements ahead of the Super Tuesday vote.


I'll be joining KUTV 2 News tonight from 4:30 to 8:30 to provide commentary and analysis for Super Tuesday.

I'd appreciate it if you tune in.  


It's almost time for our third-annual "Utah political bracket" contest where we pit the 64 top Utah politicos against each other in our own version of March madness.

Will last year's winner, Greg Hughes, triumph again, or will another claim the championship belt?

If you would like to be part of our selection committee to set the field of 64, send me an email at

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_35.jpgHouse Republicans lobbying to pass Arent's straight-ticket voting ban
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Some Republican House members are pushing hard to get a Democratic-sponsored bill to eliminate the straight-party vote option on Utah's ballots over the finish line this year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Transgender_flag_02.jpgUtah would study the use of a drug to help minors transition genders under proposed legislation
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Should the Utah state government study the use of a hormonal drug now used to help minors "transition" to the opposite sex?
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_01.jpgLawmakers eyeing up to $16 million to fight coronavirus outbreak
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A state representative wants to allocate $14 million to $16 million now in preparation for a possible coronavirus outbreak in Utah.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_05.jpgSpooked by economic instability, Utah lawmakers turn their attention away from tax cuts
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Chances of a tax cut this year are fading as lawmakers are getting skittish because of recent instability in the financial markets.
images/1000px_Logos/2020_election_01.jpgRepeal or reform? Where do the GOP candidates for governor stand on the SB54 compromise?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Five of the six major GOP candidates for governor don't like SB54 as it now stands -- the law that allows candidates to decide whether to gather voter signatures to make their primary ballot, or go to the traditional delegate convention, or take both routes at the same time.
images/1000px_Mugs/Trent_Christensen_01.jpgAnother Republican candidate considering jumping into race against Ben McAdams
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Another Republican is throwing his hat into the ring to challenge Democrat Ben McAdams in Utah's 4th Congressional District.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgHygiene tips for political junkies - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick give you the ins and outs from a wild week in Utah politics.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ron_Gibson_01.jpgGuest opinion: Mental health is important for America's farmers
By Ron Gibson, President, Utah Farm Bureau
During Agricultural Safety Awareness Week (March 1-7), Utah Farm Bureau encourages everyone to end the stigma around mental health. Recent studies have shown stress and depressive symptoms are prevalent in the agricultural community, with as many as 35% of farmers and ranchers experiencing symptoms of depression.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_30.jpgBill to undercut signature-gathering path for candidates is dead this year
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A bill to undermine the SB54 compromise by creating a convention-only path to the primary ballot is dead for the 2020 legislative session.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200227_Prop_4_Presser.jpg'This is a good compromise.' Lawmakers and Better Boundaries discuss changes to Prop. 4
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers and Better Boundaries took the wraps off their grand bargain to make changes to the voter-approved Prop. 4 on Thursday, with both sides heaping praise on the deal to create an independent redistricting commission.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Super Tuesday

The biggest day of the 2020 primary is here as voters in 14 states hit the polls [New York Times].

Biden gets a boost

Both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped their presidential bids and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden [New York Times].


The virus has now claimed six lives in the U.S. as 15 states have reported cases [Washington Post].

Congressional leaders are close to reaching a deal to fund the response to coronavirus [Politico].

After several days of losses, the stock market rallied on Monday [Bloomberg].

President Donald Trump called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to boost the economy [Washington Post].

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court said Monday it would take up a legal challenge to Obamacare. They will hear the case when the new term begins in October, meaning there will be no decision on the healthcare law prior to the 2020 election [NBC News].

The Court will not hear a case from gun rights activists challenging a federal ban on bump stocks [BuzzFeed].


Longtime MSNBC host Chris Matthews resigned abruptly on Monday following allegations he made multiple inappropriate comments to women and a spate of controversial on-air statements [New York Times].


Policy News

Community partners announce initiative aimed at preserving Utah's existing affordable housing
The Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation and Zions Bank announced today, the new Utah Housing Preservation Fund, aimed at addressing the state's housing shortage and affordability.
Why talking politics is America's most feared pastime
In 2020, we may gain a new president, but we'll also lose more friends. A new survey by VitalSmarts, home of Crucial Conversations Training, shows an alarming and increasing trend of hurtful trash-talking politics among coworkers and friends.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 71: Protecting business from employees with itchy clicker fingers
We know internet users love to click on links, often with too little regard for how trustworthy the source may be. And that can have bad results for everyone.
Utah House Bill 158 moves to the House floor: Proposes protection for companies from national and international data privacy regulations
Parsons Behle & Latimer attorney Tsutomu Johnson successfully argued House Bill 158 - Data Privacy Amendments before the House Judiciary Committee. The bill will now move to the House floor. 

More National Headlines


1820 - Congress passes the Missouri Compromise.

1845 - Florida is admitted as the 27th state.

1931 - President Herbert Hoover signed into law a bill making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem.

1991 - Motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police in a scene captured on amateur video.

2005 - Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.

Wise Words


"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."Alexander Hamilton

Lighter Side

Conversion Camp

"So Pence actually has an interesting plan to fight the coronavirus. He's going to send the virus to a conversion camp where it can pray itself into the common cold."- JIMMY FALLON

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