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Situational awareness - March 5, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Welcome to the final week of the 2018 Utah Legislature. There are just 4 working days remaining.

Lawmakers are pushing to make a school funding deal with "Our Schools Now." Very few Utahns support the "Keep My Voice" ballot initiative. Congress aims at rolling back bank regulations.

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Here's what's driving the day:

SCOOP! Let's make a deal!

Legislative leaders are working behind the scenes with organizers of Our Schools Now to come up with more funding for schools. OSN is pushing for a sales and income tax hike to bring an estimated $700 million annually to Utah's underfunded schools [Utah Policy].

Poll shows weak support for Keep My Voice

Only 17% of Utahns support the proposed ballot initiative to repeal SB54 and return to the caucus/convention system as the only path to the primary ballot for candidates (insert sad trombone noise). 75% of Utah voters say they support the current dual-track system [Utah Policy].

GOP lawmakers try to fix Utah GOP Central Committee snafu

HB485 simply instructs the state to ignore a bylaw change made by the Utah GOP Central Committee that could have an adverse effect on Republican candidates in November [Utah Policy].

Our "Political Insiders" don't like the Utah GOP bylaw change

Our "Insider" panel and readers think the bylaw change made by a small group of Utah GOP Central Committee members, which would kick candidates who take the signature route to the ballot out of the party, is a terrible idea [Utah Policy].

"Red Flag" bill to prevent gun violence

Rep. Steve Handy unveils HB483, which would allow the police to get a court order to take away the guns from an "extremely dangerous" person [Utah Policy].

Civility goes out the window

Rep. Mike Noel's email box is being flooded with nasty emails, but he says he's trying to keep a good attitude [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines

National headlines

On this day in history

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Today At Utah Policy

Ouch! Utah voters overwhelmingly oppose 'Keep My Voice' ballot initiative

Even if the Keep My Voice citizen initiative petition gets on the November ballot, it's is unlikely to pass, a new poll shows....

'Political Insiders' say GOP should not kick signature-gathering candidates out of the party

A move by a small group of Republican Party hardliners to kick out candidates who use the signature gathering route is roiling the Utah GOP....

Lawmakers and Our Schools Now negotiating possible school funding deal

Utah lawmakers and Our Schools Now are working on a possible deal to head off the ballot initiative to hike income and sales taxes as a way to boost funding for public schools....

Nasty emails flooding Rep. Mike Noel's inbox

Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, says he's getting all kinds of crazy emails....

Utah will ignore controversial Utah GOP bylaw change under proposed bill; Lawmakers brace for flood of lawsuits

Sometimes the best course of action is no action.That's what GOP lawmakers will do with an "illegal" bylaw change made last Saturday by the Utah Republican Party's Central Committee....

HB483 establishes legal path to take guns away from an 'extremely dangerous' person

As he promised, Rep. Steve Handy has introduced a bill that would allow the police to get a court order to take away the guns of an "extremely dangerous" person....

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Policy News

WTC Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber statements on President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs
World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Derek B. Miller and Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie released the following statements about President Trump's announcement that he will impose stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum:...

2nd annual Diplomatic Conference on International Trade Relations
Utah Valley University is hosting its 2nd Annual Diplomatic Conference on International Trade Relations, which takes place March 12 at the Utah Valley University Sorensen Center....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Utah Republicans are just protecting their First Amendment rights

Op-ed: Lawmakers should not forget rural Utah

Op-ed: Porn is not a public health crisis

Editorial: State should keep its hands off Salt Lake City's territory

Outspoken Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis seeks to abolish state school board - and a Utah Senate committee agreed with him unanimously

Concealed carry gun class - organized after Florida's high school massacre - may be the largest ever taught in Utah

While the principal made thousands marketing this Utah school, students' grades were mediocre and state funds were used to buy treats and video games

Utah lawmaker calls for giving state park status to the full 140-mile Hole in the Rock trail

Fred Hayes remembered as a humble visionary who revitalized Utah's state parks

Here's what you need to know about Utah's proposed Down syndrome abortion ban

Utah Legislature passes a bill aimed at hostile workplaces, but 271,794 workers can still be sexually harassed and discriminated against with no legal recourse

Rolly: Retiring Utah cop hopes to become an 'armed' high school teacher, but he doesn't want all educators packing guns

Senate joins in House fight vs. governor, advances proposal to allow lawmakers to call themselves into special session

Proposed trade hub in northwest Salt Lake City gets few tweaks, but city leaders seek more changes as it heads to Senate

Gambling in Utah? Senate says don't bet on it and moves to close loophole.

Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch apologizes for 'poorly worded joke' calling Obamacare supporters 'the stupidest, dumbass people I've ever met'

Hoping to attract workers - particularly women - to the workplace, House votes to give employers a tax credit if they offer paid leave

Legislation proposes to solve ballot havoc caused by GOP by forcing party to act like it never changed its rules

More than 1,400 Utahns ages 18 to 20 carry concealed firearms. Here's why.

Utah lawmakers filed a record 1,359 bills this year - one of them to shame lawmakers who create too many

Lawmakers are working with Our Schools Now on a possible school-funding compromise in the final days of the legislative session

Environmental activists, community members join city officials in protest of bill that aims to convert northwest Salt Lake City into an international trade hub

Deseret News

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Utah Republicans offer comedic relief from boring legislative discussions

Op-ed: Utah film subsidies make an immeasurable impact on the state

Chris Stewart and Raymond Ward: Confronting the 'opi-demic'

Op-ed: Take lessons from Maine - Utah should stay cautious on Medicaid expansion

Editorial: Is the time right for small-party governing?

Lobbyist harassment training bill advances

Bills to increase minimum wages fail in House committee

Resolution allowing lawmakers to call special sessions advances

Second homeless tax bill would pay for police and fire

Utah House rejects proposal for doctor to train in suicide prevention

Utah jobless rate down to 3.1 percent

Sen. Hatch apologizes for 'off-color' comments about Obamacare supporters

Lawmaker pulls bill to repeal death penalty in Utah

Former Salt Lake councilman gets prison in $2.5 million fraud case

Hatch: 'Greedy energy tycoons' not behind Bears Ears reduction

Low-income Utahns should share in tax windfall, advocates say

Bill to waive fees for birth certificates for homeless clears House committee

Bonding for affordable housing programs gets nod from Utah House panel

Senate committee unanimously backs eliminating State School Board

Medicaid work requirement bill revived after failing in committee

'Extreme risk' court order would allow police to remove guns, ammo from violent, unstable individuals

About Utah: The women of Better Days 2020 see a bright future in Utah's past

West side residents, environment groups sound alarm over inland port bill

National Headlines

YouTube Sponsoring 9/11 Truther As Part Of Multimillion Dollar Diversity Program (Daily Caller)

Maxine Waters promises reparations in 'stump speech for 2020' (American Mirror)

Chilling: Play titled 'Kill Climate Deniers' launches theatrical run (Washington Times)

Left faces off with Dem establishment in primary fights (The Hill)

George P Bush's struggle in Texas may signal end of 70-year political dynasty (Guardian)

In Texas GOP primary, it's who can love Trump the most (Associated Press)

Netanyahu to talk with Trump about attending embassy opening (AFP)

Trump trade adviser says no exceptions for allies on new aluminum and steel tariffs (Washington Post)

At Gridiron Dinner, Trump Trades Jabs With His 'Opposition Party' (NPR)

Ben & Jerry's co-founder arrested for disorderly conduct (Washington Times)

South Carolina Gun Store Corrects Dick's on the Term 'Assault Rifle' (Townhall)

Wise Words


"The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money." James Madison

Lighter Side

Cloned Dog

"In an interview this week, Barbra Streisand revealed that she cloned her favorite dog, twice. Barbra said, "I couldn't help myself, he was delicious." Conan O'Brien

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