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Situational awareness - March 30, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

296 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)

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

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

  • President Trump says coronavirus restrictions will remain in place until at least April 30.
  • Huntsman and Cox are tied in a new poll.
  • Herbert asks Utahns to stay at home for the next two weeks.


Our readers are really up to speed on their Utah-based religions. Quite a few identified Summum as the religion based on alien visits and mummification that started in Utah. According to Wikipedia, more than 250,000 people worldwide have "received" instruction in Summum.

Congratulations to Dustin Lewis who was randomly selected as our winner from the correct answers. He gets to ask the next trivia question on Friday.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Cox_Huntsman_01.jpgPoll shows Huntsman tied with Cox in race for GOP nomination
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A new Dan Jones & Associates poll for the Salt Lake Chamber, obtained by UtahPolicy.com, shows that former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman leads the congested governor's race among all voters, but comes in a close second -- but a statistical tie -- among just Republican voters.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgHerbert providing strong leadership at crisis time
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
In times of emergency and crisis, governors and other top leaders have to make tough decisions. Not everyone will agree with those decisions, and they risk alienating portions of the electorate. Critics and political opponents will seek to take advantage.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Gov. Herbert has an obligation to make sure the election is fair in the wake of coronavirus pandemic
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Now that GOP Gov. Gary Herbert has issued what amounts to a stay-at-home order because of the coronavirus, he has a big political decision to make: To be fair to all candidates' signature-gathering efforts, will he extend every major election deadline for a month -- moving the late-June primary to the end of July, move county and state conventions dates and the rapidly-approaching candidate signature deadline?
images/1000px_Logos/Bob_Garff_01.jpgFormer House Speaker Bob Garff died Sunday from the coronavirus
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Former Utah House Speaker Robert H. "Bob" Garff, 78, died Sunday of the coronavirus, his daughter, state Rep. Milissa Garff Ballard announced on her Facebook page.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThumb on the scale - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 It's time for another pandemitasitc look at the top Utah political news with Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick.
images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_05.jpgGov. Herbert asks Utahns to stay at home the next two weeks, but local governments can implement stricter measures if they choose
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert is asking Utahns to stay home for the next two weeks in order to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's not a mandatory "shelter in place" order.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_03.jpgMore than half of the signatures Jon Huntsman's campaign submitted to get on the ballot were thrown out
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Jon Huntsman's bid to make the Republican primary ballot through signature-gathering is in deep trouble, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic isn't making his efforts any easier. 
images/Shutterstock_Logos/GOP_Elephant_01.jpgUtah GOP online meeting overrun with pornography and racist content
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Thursday night Republican gubernatorial candidate Aimee Winder Newton was holding an online chat with delegates when the meeting was hijacked and overrun with pornographic images and racist content.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_24.jpgGov. Herbert suspends sections of Utah statute regarding signature gathering
By News Release
In order to better accommodate social distancing measures that help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has issued an Executive Order suspending certain sections of state statute regarding requirements on signature gathering.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/House_District_7.jpgTwo former legislators facing off in House District 7 race
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Editor's Note: Over the next several weeks UtahPolicy.com will analyze several legislative races this year, the candidates and their political histories.In Ogden's House District 7 race this year it will be one old House member against an even older House member.

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30 more days

President Donald Trump said Sunday that social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus should remain in place until April 30, backing off his vow to restart the economy by Easter [New York Times].

President Trump suggested quarantining the New York City area, but his coronavirus task force unanimously rejected the idea over the weekend [Politico].

A pandemic expert says the coronavirus in the U.S. is actually much worse than it looks because of a botched federal response [Washington Post].

Another economic jolt

Lawmakers in Congress are already planning another round of economic stimulus to keep the economy from tanking because of the coronavirus pandemic [The Hill].

Strategists at JP Morgan say the markets are probably past their worst point in the current recession [Bloomberg].

What happens after April 1 when businesses and residents don't pay their rents because of the economic slowdown? [Slate].

A slowdown in coronavirus infections in Seattle suggests restrictions may be working [New York Times].

Awash in oil

Oil prices plunge to an 18-year old as demand is dropping because of the coronavirus [Business Insider].


The Justice Department is reviewing suspicious stock trades by members of Congress that were made after briefings about the threat the coronavirus [CNN].

Another cancelation

Wimbledon will reportedly be canceled this year for the first time since World War Two [CNN].


Policy News

Northern Utah Response Team to localize COVID-19 economic resources
Davis and Weber Counties, the Ogden-Weber Chamber, the Davis Chamber of Commerce, and the Northern Utah Economic Alliance have announced the launch of the Northern Utah Economic Response Team. The joint initiative will augment and localize public/private resources to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 virus on the economy.
United Ways of Utah act quickly to mobilize Utahns through COVID-19 Community Response Fund
Utah's six local United Ways worked quickly to develop a statewide COVID-19 Community Response Fund and within 10 days have distributed the first round of funding - providing critical resources to organizations working to support Utahns during the Coronavirus outbreak. 
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 75: What's keeping business from taking security seriously?
For all the talk about the importance of cybersecurity, despite an increase in the number of businesses and other organizations being targeted by hackers, for all the new regulations aimed at protecting consumers while forcing businesses to take data protection seriously, there are still far too many businesses that hesitate to put proper protections in place. Many fail to properly train their employees on security basics and it is still far too common for the C-suite to make cybersecurity the IT guy's problem. 
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:'I feel like hiking is a safe option' - Utah's hills are alive with hikers, most keeping their distance, in age of coronavirus--Salt Lake Tribune:Health officials ask National Park Service to close Arches and Canyonlands-- Deseret News:How is social distancing affecting Utah's national parks?-- Deseret News:Appeals grow to close U.S. national parks during pandemic-- KSL.com:Utah national parks still open, but assessing coronavirus risks regularlyVirtual EventsWorldwide Museums --Met 360 Project --Virtual Museum Tours --Museum Zen Art --Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery --Tate Britain Museum --Musee D'Orsay Museum --Uffizi Gallery --Van Gogh Museum --Louvre Egyptian Antiquities Virtual Tour --Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History --The British Museum --The White House --Palace of Versailles --Doge's Palace --Anne Frank House --The Leonardo At HomeArt/Galleries--Kimball Art Center Lesson Plans and ARTS Tours--Salt Lake Gallery StrollBotanical/Zoological--Hogle Zoo --Loveland Living Planet Aquarium --Tracy Aviary
Utah State Tax Commission postpones 2019 tax filing deadline
Utah State Tax Commissioners approved adjustments to tax filing and payment deadlines for individuals and business entities during its Commission meeting. The adjustments are in response to the actions taken by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in response to COVID-19, Novel coronavirus.
Leaders for Clean Air receives $25,000 UCAIR grant to help Utah workplaces install EV chargers
Leaders for Clean Air (LFCA), a Salt Lake City non-profit, working in partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, with a mission to improve air quality by encouraging electric vehicle adoption along the Wasatch Front, announced the award of a $25,000 grant from UCAIR.

More National Headlines


1822 - The Florida Territory is created.

1842 - Ether anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation by American surgeon Dr. Crawford Long.

1855 - "Border Ruffians" from Missouri invade Kansas and force the election of a pro-slavery legislature. 

1867 - Alaska is purchased from Russia for $7.2 million by U.S. Secretary of State William Seward.

1870 - The 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, was adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

1981 - President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.; three others are wounded in the same incident.

Wise Words


"If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future."Winston Churchill

Lighter Side

Yin and Yang

"Ninety-five years old and still building houses Jimmy Carter is the yin to Trump's yang," [Seth] Meyers continued. "It's like he has to do a good thing for every bad thing Trump does, one house at a time."

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