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Situational awareness - March 4, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • Budget negotiations underway on Utah's Capitol Hill.
  • The massive tax overhaul bill is approved by a House Committee.
  • Republicans revolt over Trump's emergency declaration.
  • Democrats ramping up their investigations of President Trump.

Trivia winners:

Lots of our readers knew the Utah governor who played basketball and baseball for Cyprus High School was Norm Bangerter.

Congratulations to the first three readers to submit a correct answer:

  • Wilford Clyde
  • Jason Brown
  • Richard Jaussi

Stump Mike Mower contest: Even though he wasn't in the top-3, Mike Mower DID submit the correct answer this week, so the $25 Amazon gift card for submitting a question Mike can't answer is still up for grabs. Send your questions to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com.

UtahPolicy.com mailbag!

Email us anytime with feedback, questions, story suggestions, news tips, etc... Send us an email at this link.

The UtahPolicy.com 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 63rd day of the year. There are 302 days remaining in 2019.

10 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/US_Supreme_Court_01.jpgSupreme Court rejects appeal over SB54, meaning Utah's law allowing candidates to gather signatures stands. . . for now

 The legal fight over SB54 - the Utah law allowing candidates to gather signatures to get on the ballot - is over. On Monday, the Supreme Court officially refused to hear the Utah Republican party's appeal of a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year, meaning the...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_01.jpgBudget negotiations underway on Capitol Hill

Legislative leadership will continue negotiations this week to set next year's budget. But, as with every year's spending blueprint, legislators will figure out the big spending items first, then fit everything else around them....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190303_McAdams_CSPAN.jpgCSPAN profiles Rep. Ben McAdams

Rep. Ben McAdams makes an appearance on CSPAN's series profiling freshmen members of Congress....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190303_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart breaks with Trump, says it's 'extraordinarily unlikely' Kim did not know about Warmbier's torture

Rep. Chris Stewart said it was "extraordinarily unlikely" that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not know about the treatment of American Otto Warmbier that lead to his death, directly disputing President Donald Trump's statements last week....
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Job_Growth_03.jpgUtah's unemployment rate remained below national average in January

Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for January 2019 grew by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 47,600 jobs to the economy since January 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,526,600. December's job growth rate was revised downward three-tenths to 2.8 percent. ...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Mountain_Landscape_01.jpgNew poll: Utahns say state needs to protect air, land and water

Ninety-seven-percent of Utahns believe the state Legislature has a major responsibility to address air quality concerns. And, 78% of Utah voters support Gov. Gary Herbert's proposal to direct $100 million of this year's $1.3 billion budget surplus to improving and protecting...
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgThese guys don't know when to shut their yaps! Bernick and Schott on politics Ep. 411

We're at the end of week #5 of the 2019 Utah Legislature. Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down the top political stories from the last week:...
images/1000px_Mugs/20190301_Lee_Democrats.jpgSen. Lee says it may be time to change federal rules for marijuana

Sen. Mike Lee suggested on Friday afternoon that it may be time for the federal government to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 drug in order to reflect America's changing landscape when it comes to the controlled substance....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190301_Romney_HLN.jpgRomney: America can't accept North Korea's word

Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday morning he was critical of President Donald Trump's defense of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's role in the death of American Otto Warmbier....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Derek_Miller_01.jpgPodcast: The Salt Lake Chamber launches a new political action committee

We sit down with Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Derek Miller to discuss the brand new "Utah Jobs PAC" the organization is launching this year. ...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/US_Supreme_Court_01.jpgSupreme Court may decide the fate of Utah's dual-track candidate system on Friday

Maybe Friday, but for sure on Monday, we will know if the five-year-old politically-bloody court battle concerning Utah's SB54 is finally over....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20180228_Stewart_Fox.jpgStewart says impeachment talk by Democrats helps President Trump

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart took time away from Thursday's closed-door House Intelligence Committee questioning of Michael Cohen to rip Democrats for trying to use Congressional investigations as a political weapon against President Donald Trump....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Christine_Cooke.jpgGuest opinion - Don't ditch letter grades for schools but provide more detail

Using a letter grade to communicate school performance is simple. That's the power of it....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Captiol_28.jpgSenate passes bill banning abortions based on Down syndrome diagnosis

With very little debate, the Utah Senate gave final approval to a bill banning abortions when the sole reason is the baby would be born with Down syndrome. The measure now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk....

kued hinckley report


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Republicans set to rebuke Trump over border emergency. Sen. Rand Paul announced on Sunday he would vote for a resolution to cancel President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to enable him to divert funds for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, giving the measure enough votes to pass the Senate. That sets up a possible veto by Trump - https://fxn.ws/2IPPLOz

Democrats ramping their investigations into President Trump. Rep. Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is requesting documents from more than 60 people in the Trump administration as well as Donald Trump Jr. into what he calls an investigation into Trump's "abuse of power" and possible obstruction - https://nyti.ms/2TvpQzQ

  • Democrats are also demanding the White House turn over documents regarding the granting of security clearances - http://bit.ly/2TzeT0g

Umm...okay? President Trump suggested Sunday the congressional testimony of his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was, in part, responsible for the collapse of his summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - https://wapo.st/2TtBiM5

North Korea tried to hack the U.S. during last week's summit meeting. More than 100 targets were hit by North Korean cyber attacks during the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un - https://nyti.ms/2TtqptS

Good news/bad news for Trump. President Trump's approval rating has climbed to 46%. However, just 41% of Americans say they would vote to give him another term in 2020 - https://nbcnews.to/2Tx9NRS

Congress wants to avoid a fight over the debt ceiling. Congressional leaders are negotiating to find a bi-partisan solution to raising the nation's debt ceiling. The government has until sometime this summer to raise the cap on how much the federal government can owe creditors - http://bit.ly/2IRwaxg

U.S. and China near trade deal. The Trump administration is closing in on a trade deal with China to roll back tariffs on both sides. The pact will require China to purchase American agricultural and energy goods - https://nyti.ms/2TqKaCp

The Fox News White House. The New Yorker's Jane Mayer reports Fox News head Rupert Murdoch and Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser, have an increasingly close relationship. The two communicate frequently about goings on in the Trump administration - http://bit.ly/2ToCRex

Trump will sign free speech order for college campuses. During a rambling two-hour speech at CPAC, President Trump said he planned to sign an executive order to guarantee free speech on campus - https://nyti.ms/2TqJmxn

  • During his speech, Trump mocked immigrant members of Congress and said some "hate our country" - http://bit.ly/2TucvaS
  • Trump also said his call for Russian intelligence to hack Hillary Clinton's emails during the 2016 election was just a joke - http://bit.ly/2Tw67jp

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joins the 2020 Democratic field. Hickenlooper is the 14th Democrat so far to announce a run for the party's presidential nomination - https://wapo.st/2TubxLM

Devastation in Alabama. At least 23 people are dead after two tornadoes ripped through one county in Alabama - https://cnn.it/2Ts3qiL


1789 - In New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the Constitution into effect. The Bill of Rights is written and proposed to Congress.

1791 - Vermont is admitted as the fourteenth state.

1794 - The 11th Amendment, which restricts the ability of individuals to bring lawsuits against states in federal court, is passed by Congress.

1797 - John Adams is inaugurated as the 2nd President of the United States.

1801 - Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be inaugurated in Washington.

1917 - Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

1933 - Frances Perkins becomes U.S. Secretary of Labor, the first female Cabinet member.

1966 - In an interview, The Beatles' John Lennon declares the band is "more popular than Jesus now."

1987 - President Ronald Reagan acknowledged his administration swapped arms to Iran for U.S. hostages and said, "It was a mistake."

Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngZions Bank economic snapshot: Interest rate trend is down
At the end of 2018, the Federal Reserve received strong criticism, both from investors and the president, for raising interest rates too quickly. While there has been considerable debate surrounding the Fed's actions, what is clear, is that despite hiking interest rates nine...
Serbian leaders examine renewable energy in Utah
The Open World Leadership Center, an agency of the U.S. Congress, will send a delegation of  Serbian Leaders examining renewable energy to Utah  March 1 9, 2019....
Brand loyalty assessment challenges status-quo
Brand loyalty indicators are challenging the status-quo as millennials become primary economic purchasers and boomers enter older age categories....
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:Put more funding toward safeguarding air, land and water, Utahns say--KSL.com: Utah Senate committee gives tentative nod to federal designation in Wasatch canyons--KSL.com:Biologists seek to cleanse streams and repopulate endan...

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side


"You know, there was a time when Donald Trump wasn't evenableto walk in Vietnam because of his terrible bone spurs. But thank God those healed up." - JIMMY KIMMEL

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