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Situational awareness - March 7, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • Lawmakers are struggling to set next year's budget.
  • Bill allowing higher-alcohol beer stalls in the legislature.
  • The U.S. trade deficit explodes under President Trump.
  • Democrats block Fox News from hosting a primary debate after reports of the network's close relationship with President Trump.

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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 66th day of the year. There are 299 days remaining in 2019.

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

44 days to the Utah Libertarian Party state convention (4/20/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_21.jpg'Money is getting tight' - Legislative leaders racing to set next year's budget, including a big tax cut

Legislative leaders are warning lawmakers money is getting tight as they work to set next year's budget....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Tim_Quinn_01.jpgThe Mighty Quinn -- How a relative newcomer came to spearhead one of the largest tax overhauls in Utah history

Ten years ago, Tim Quinn wouldn't have imagined he would be leading one of the largest tax reform efforts in Utah history....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190306_Romney_MSNBC.jpgMitt Romney says he's made a decision about whether he'll vote to block Trump's emergency declaration, but he won't say what it is yet

Freshman Sen. Mitt Romney told MSNBC on Wednesday that he had made up his mind on whether he'll vote in favor of the resolution to block President Donald Trump's border emergency declaration, but he won't yet reveal what that is....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_14.jpgBill to decriminalize fornication on way to Gov. Herbert's desk

Well, fornication is now legal in Utah if GOP Gov. Gary Herbert agrees....
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Summerhays_01.jpgGuest opinion: Make the process around drug pricing more open and honest

Every day, Utahns are bombarded with glitzy, and sometimes confusing, advertisements for pharma drugs. The ads paint a rosy picture for patients along with a list of side effects, but they leave out one important detail-price....
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngTechnology-based economic development remains crucial to Utah's strategic growth

Technology-based economic development, or TBED, is an approach used to help create a climate where deep technology industries, emerging companies and entrepreneurs can thrive. This strategy is a standard, tried and true practice in economic development that can be found in c...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgLawmakers worry the fight over higher-alcohol beer might lead to a liquor ballot initiative in 2020

Some Utah lawmakers fear the failure to pass a bill allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell higher alcohol-content beer could lead to a liquor themed voter initiative in the 2020 election....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgLawmakers considering $341 million income tax reduction, but not until 2022

Legislative leaders say they're eyeing a $341 million income tax cut, but the entire reduction will be phased in over time to correspond with a proposed overhaul of the sales tax....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgSenate gives final approval to hate crimes legislation, sending the issue to the House

The Utah Senate gave final approval to the so-called "hate crimes" bill on Tuesday morning, sending the proposal to the House....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Congress_01.jpgUtahns have a low opinion of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress

 Most Utahns do not approve of the job either Republicans nor Democrats are doing in Congress, a recent UtahPolicy.com poll shows....

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Trade deficit explodes under Trump. President Donald Trump promised to get rid of the country's trade deficit during the 2016 campaign. Instead, it has ballooned to a record $891 billion last year - https://nyti.ms/2J0cTKe

Democrats freeze Fox News out of primary debates over reports about President Trump's relationship with the network. The Democratic National Committee had floated the idea of letting Fox News host a primary debate, but abruptly said the network was no longer under consideration after reports surfaced the organization spiked the story that President Trump paid hush-money to an adult film actress prior to the 2016 election because Rupert Murdoch wanted Trump to win - https://politi.co/2TuGBex

  • President Trump floated the idea of skipping presidential debates following the decision by the DNC - http://bit.ly/2IV8WGE
  • Fox News personalities are hoping the DNC reconsiders the decision - http://bit.ly/2TFBfNG

Democrats are wary of targeting President Trump's adult children in their investigations. Democrats are worried ramping up their investigations to include Trump's children could backfire on them - https://politi.co/2TyIwyr

Cohen provides documents allegedly showing President Trump's lawyers helped him give false testimony to Congress. President Trump's former personal lawyer gave documents to the House Intelligence Committee showing changes made by Trump's attorneys to a knowingly false written statement he gave to Congress in 2017 - https://politi.co/2TuUSYD

Cohen wanted a pardon from Trump. Cohen had his representatives reach out to President Trump's lawyers seeking a pardon - https://wapo.st/2IV7LqI

Troubling. The U.S. government tracked journalists and immigration activists through a secret database. Leaked documents show the government established the database to track those tied to the migrant caravan and, in some cases, placed alerts on their passports - http://bit.ly/2IWC54j

471 parents were deported without their children during family separations. The latest court filing found that the Trump administration deported the parents without the chance of being reunified with their children first - https://cnn.it/2IXC5kE

The White House turns up the heat on Republicans over border emergency. The White House is pressuring Republicans who may vote for a resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration - https://wapo.st/2TuGuQ9

House Democrats are divided over rebuke to anti-semitic remarks. The majority party in the House is fighting over a resolution condemning remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar that some said are anti-semitic - https://wapo.st/2IVJK2J

Whoops! The man President Trump's sons hired as the caretaker of the private hunting reserve they own in upstate New York is an immigrant from Mexico who entered the country illegally more than two decades ago - https://wapo.st/2IUSzdf 

Ross broke the law and violated the Constitution with citizenship question on 2020 Census. A federal judge ruled Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted in "bad faith" by adding a question about citizenship status to the Census - https://wapo.st/2IUTg6l

Lower the voting age to 16? Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley is floating a plan to lower the voting age to 16, which could happen as soon as the 2020 presidential election - http://bit.ly/2IYnp4R

A new focus for Facebook? The founder and CEO of the social media platform says he wants to reposition the platform to make it more privacy-focused - https://cnn.it/2IXZT83

Nooooo! Longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek announced Wednesday he had been diagnosed with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. He plans to continue working while he undergoes treatment - https://cnn.it/2IWMhcU


1876 - Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the "telephone."

1936 - Adolf Hitler ordered Nazi troops into the Rhineland, violating the Treaty of Versailles.

1965 - A group of 600 civil rights marchers is brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama in an incident that became known as "Bloody Sunday."

1985 - "We Are the World," a song recorded by a series of high-profile music stars was released worldwide with the goal of raising funds for the USA for Africa charity.

Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngGovernor's Medals for Science and Technology announced
Governor Gary R. Herbert, along with the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, announced the winners of the 2019 Governor's Medals for Science and Technology. The medals will be presented to the four honorees at the Utah Technology Innovation Summit on April 1....
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin us on March 26 for a privacy trends at home and abroad presentation
World Trade Center Utah invites you to a special presentation on Tuesday, March 26 featuring Parsons Behle & Latimer attorney Tomu Johnson to discuss privacy requirements from the European Union and California and how those privacy trends affect inter...
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgComputer science in every Utah classroom
The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah's largest and longest-standing business association, has convened some of Utah's major employers from industries including aerospace, manufacturing, technology and more, to advocate for robust computer science education in every Utah classroom. Du...

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time." Voltaire

Lighter Side

Dumbing Down of American

"Lawmakers in North Carolina are considering a bill that would change the standard for a failing grade in public schools from anything less than 59 percent to anything lower than 39 percent. Said North Carolina students: 'Whoa whoa whoa, 39 islessthan 59?'" - SETH MEYERS

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