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Situational awareness - March 6, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!


There are 5 working days remaining in the 2020 Utah Legislature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Herbert suggests a gas tax hike to pay for roads.
  • 80% of Utah Republicans want the legislature to cut taxes this year. 
  • Romney could block a probe into Hunter Biden.


This week's question comes from Camille Anthony.

In what endeavor was Olene Walker engaged prior to becoming Mike Leavitt's running mate in the 1992 gubernatorial race?

Send your answers to The winner will be selected at random from the correct responses.

Good luck!

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_40.jpgPoll: 8 in 10 Utah Republicans want the Legislature to cut taxes
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
As the Utah Legislature's GOP House and Senate caucuses debate whether to give a tax cut this year, a new Y2 Analytics poll finds that 80 percent of Republican voters want such tax relief.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_09.jpgRomney could block Senate probe into Hunter Biden
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said Thursday he is suspicious about the need for a Senate committee to issue a subpoena related to Hunter Biden's work for a Ukrainian energy company.
images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_05.jpgGov. Herbert says lawmakers should consider hiking gas tax
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While GOP legislators are moving toward a small income tax cut this session, and a deal to amend the Utah Constitution to add the "disabled" and "children" programs to an income tax earmark, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters Thursday afternoon he's not yet ready to check off on either of those plans.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_38.jpgProposed change to school funding earmark advances
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A Senate committee advanced a proposed constitutional amendment that would have a far-reaching impact on how income taxes are spent in Utah.
images/Shutterstock_Logos/GOP_Elephant_01.jpgNew Utah GOP rule rewards convention candidates and punishes those who use signature path
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The Utah GOP has a new rule on the books that gives a major advantage to candidates who eschew signature gathering to get on the primary ballot in favor of the traditional convention system.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_25.jpgIt's an election year, so here come the 'message bills'
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Well, it's an election year, and some conservative legislators are introducing bills that likely have little or no chance of passage but may bring a few votes back home.
images/1000px_Mugs/Shelly_Cluff_01.jpgGuest opinion: Some Utah Republicans are hanging on to the party by a thread
By Shelly Cluff
For the past several weeks, I have been knocking on the doors of registered Republicans as a volunteer, helping a candidate collect signatures to make it onto the primary ballot for Congress. Throughout this time I have knocked on hundreds of doors, and have spoken with hundreds of registered Republicans.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_08.jpgPoll shows Utahns believe an income tax cut would benefit the state's economy
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Just over half of all Utah voters believe their state taxes are too high, a new Y2 Analytics survey shows.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgLawmakers considering a slight income rate cut this year
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers are eyeing a slight tax rate decrease as tax relief this year, possibly dropping the overall income tax rate from the current 4.95 percent to 4.9 or 4.89 percent. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_31.jpg'This is basically our last option.' Legislative leaders pitch plan to overhaul public schools funding in Utah
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
House leaders said Wednesday morning a proposal to add some services for the disabled and children to the current constitutional earmark for income tax is about providing budget surety for Utah's public schools.
images/1000px_Mugs/Kristen_Cox_02.jpgGuest opinion: Killing me with your kindness
By Kristen Cox
What started as a beautiful California day was about to become a series of jarring events that had me questioning, once again,  people's fundamental assumptions. I had landed at the Sacramento airport and was on my way to give a presentation to a group of CIO's and CTO's from around the state.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200304_Utah_Jobs.jpgUtah's unemployment rate inches up slightly, remains below national average
By News release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for January 2020 grew by an estimated 2.9%, adding 44,900 jobs to the economy since January 2019. Utah's current employment level registers 1,568,600. December's year-over job growth has been revised down to 2.9%. 

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Warren drops out

Elizabeth Warren ended her 2020 presidential bid on Thursday after a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday [Bloomberg].

Democratic race rolls on

Joe Biden is staffing up after his big wins on Super Tuesday [New York Times].

Mike Bloomberg is shifting his failed presidential campaign into a group that will support the Democratic nominee against President Donald Trump in the November election [Washington Post].


"Doomed from the start." Experts said the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus was never going to be effective [Time].

Chinese scientists say there are two strains of the coronavirus. One is older and less aggressive and the other is newer and more deadly [Los Angeles Times].

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are considering holding the games without fans [New York Times].

The State Department is warning of an online disinformation campaign about the coronavirus from Russia [Washington Post].

The number of worldwide cases of the virus approached 100,000 on Thursday [Bloomberg].


President Trump's company charged the Secret Service and taxpayers for rooms at rates far higher than previously claimed [Washington Post].

Judge rebukes Barr

A federal judge criticized Attorney General William Barr for his "distorted" and "misleading" handling of the report from special counsel Robert Mueller [Washington Post].

Social media

Facebook removed misleading ads from President Trump's re-election campaign about the 2020 census [CNN].


Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report -- Salt Lake Tribune: Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs into dispute between trail advocates and environmentalists 
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin us on March 17 to meet a special business delegation from Brazil
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and World Trade Center So Paulo, invites you to a seminar on the challenges and opportunities of doing business with Brazil.
Beware of investment scams using coronavirus fear and uncertainty
Chris Parker, Interim Executive Director at the Department of Commerce, is urging investors to be wary of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Press release: International Women's Day event highlights global contributions of Utah women
Celebrating the economic and social contributions of women on a global scale, the Women's Business Center of Utah and World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah), in partnership with the Emerald Hills Institute, hosted their annual International Women's Day Celebration on March 5. The event's theme, "What Women Bring to Our Community," highlighted successes and obstacles Utah women have experienced while growing their businesses both locally and internationally. 
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSL Chamber provides Coronavirus resources for businesses
The Salt Lake Chamber has announced that an online clearinghouse for all businesses has gone live at to access information and best practices to prepare for the Coronavirus.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives podcast: The state auditor's take on how to get Utah's fiscal house in order
In this episode of Utah Thrives, we sit down with Utah State Auditor John Dougall to discuss his views on the state's fiscal challenges, particularly in light of the recent tax reform effort. We also discuss the transportation funding questions that he suggests stand at the heart of the matter.

More National Headlines


1820 - The Missouri Compromise is signed into law by President James Monroe. The compromise allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and brought Maine into the Union as a free state, and made the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase slavery-free

1836 - Battle of the Alamo: After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo are killed and the fort is captured.

1857 - The Supreme Court rules in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case that a slave could not sue for his freedom even though his owner died in a so-called "free state."

1869 - Dimitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

1933 - President Franklin Roosevelt declared a national banking holiday in an effort to shore up the banking system.

1951 - The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins.

Wise Words

Public Good

"I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good."Adam Smith

Lighter Side

Noah Being Noah

"But while most people have avoided the virus, there's been one major victim close to Trump's heart: the stock market."- TREVOR NOAH

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