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Situational awareness - March 8, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

It's International Women's Day. Here's where you can find information on events celebrating the day.

Here are the stories we're following today:

  • The legislature hits the brakes on the massive tax reform bill. Lawmakers will pick up the proposal during a special session later this year.
  • House Republicans make the case against allowing higher alcohol-content beer in Utah grocery and convenience stores.
  • President Trump's former campaign chairman gets a lighter than expected prison sentence.
  • Democrats plan to investigate whether President Trump interfered in a media company merger.

Friday political trivia!

In honor of International Women's Day, we have this question from Ronald Fox:

The first woman to be elected chairman of a national political party was from Utah. Who was she, and what party did she head up?

Send your guesses to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com. The first three readers to submit a correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter.

Remember, if Mike Mower can't answer the question correctly, it means a $25 Amazon gift card for the person who submitted the question. 

Good luck!

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 67th day of the year. There are 298 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgLegislators pull plug on massive sales tax bill, but will bring it back in special session (UPDATED)

Even though Utah House GOP leaders had the votes to pass a huge sales tax reform bill Friday, after a scurry of meetings and top-level discussions on Capitol Hill Thursday, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders decided to scuttle HB441 for now, study the w...
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Beer_Store.jpgHouse Republicans blame 'beer hysteria' for controversy surrounding higher alcohol beer

It was clear after a House GOP caucus Thursday if it wasn't before that there will not be a bill passed this session allowing Utah retail outlets to sell so-called "heavy beer."...
images/mugs/bernick-mug.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Legislature takes a step toward fixing Congress

Sometimes it takes a little bit of luck, and maybe just plain old fatigue....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190307_Stewart_Fox.jpgStewart: 'You have to believe in unicorns to accept the Green New Deal as realistic policy'

Rep. Chris Stewart said Thursday the new progressive wing of the Democratic party is proposing policies that make most Americans "shake their heads."...
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgThe sponsor of a bill being held by the House Rules Committee pulls a legislative end-around

Sometimes there are several ways to skin a cat in the Utah Legislature....
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgEmergency podcast: Lawmakers abandon sales tax overhaul

Utah lawmakers decided to scrap a massive overhaul of the state's tax system on Thursday, deciding to push the plan to a special session later this year. ...
images/1000px_Mugs/Wanda_Barzee.jpgSponsor says bill allowing inmates to be held longer if they refuse mental health treatment is inspired by Elizabeth Smart case

 While coming late in the session, a bill has been introduced in the Legislature that would directly affect the hot public issue of Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper Wanda Barzee's rather short prison sentence....
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...

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Paul Manafort sentenced to just 47 months in prison. The former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign was given a sentence that was far short of what federal sentencing guidelines recommended. Prosecutors were seeking a sentence between 19 and 25 years - https://wapo.st/2J1nuEJ

House Democrats get their hands on leaked documents related to security clearances for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. The White House was refusing to turn over the documents, but someone in the White House leaked them to Congress - http://bit.ly/2TEKkpN

The White House is cranking up pressure on Republicans over vote to block Trump's emergency declaration. The White House is working overtime to limit the number of Republicans who break ranks with President Trump ahead of a vote to block his border emergency declaration in order to build his long-promised wall - https://politi.co/2THTLoE

House Democrats probing reports that Trump interfered in AT&T-Time Warner deal. The House Judiciary Committee is seeking documents from the White House following a report President Trump ordered the Justice Department to try and block the deal because it could hurt Fox News - https://wapo.st/2IXe0KE

The Trump inauguration took money from shell corporations tied to foreign nationals. The inauguration committee received tens of thousands of dollars from the corporations that masked the involvement of foreigners. U.S. law prohibits foreigners from contributing to political campaigns, including inaugurations - http://bit.ly/2THUXZa

Democrats plan to go after Trump's tax returns. House Democrats will ask for copies of President Trump's tax documents in a matter of weeks - http://bit.ly/2TABKIF

House passes anti-hate and intolerance resolution. The resolution came after Democratic freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar made comments many construed as anti-Semitic - https://cnn.it/2J1nzbv

House Dems fast-tracking resolution to make Mueller report public. House Democrats plan to vote on the proposal next week to put pressure on Justice Department officials - https://politi.co/2TD8a5l

Boring but important part one. The global economy is showing more signs of slowing down, driven mostly by a cooling Chinese economy and President Trump's trade wars - https://wapo.st/2IYhe0l

Boring but important part two. Household net worth in the U.S. dropped by the largest amount since the great recession during the last quarter - https://wapo.st/2TxdFCD

Jared Kushner shut embassy staffers out of meetings with Saudi leaders. Staffers in the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia say Donald Trump's son-in-law did not allow them to attend meetings with members of the Saudi royal family, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - http://bit.ly/2TFmVVa

A judge tosses Stormy Daniels' lawsuit against Donald Trump. The judge threw out Daniels' suit seeking to invalidate an agreement barring her from talking about an alleged affair she had with Trump. Trump paid her $130,000 for her silence ahead of the 2016 presidential election - https://cnn.it/2IWmpOj

Michael Cohen sues the Trump Organization. President Trump's former personal lawyer is suing Trump's company claiming they failed to live up to an agreement to pay his legal bills - https://nyti.ms/2J0p2yW

Congressional Democrats push public financing of congressional elections. The plan is part of a sweeping ethics and elections bill the new House majority is poised to pass on Friday - https://wapo.st/2J1NVtS

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will not allow the Senate to vote on the election reform bill when it gets to the Senate because it's "offensive to average voters" - https://politi.co/2TCO1MG

President Trump wants countries that host U.S. troops to pay a premium. The president wants those countries to pay the full cost for hosting those troops, plus 50-percent for the privilege of hosting them - https://bloom.bg/2TwSsc1

Jimmy Carter offers to try and break stalemate with North Korea. The former president says he's willing to travel to North Korea to try and broke an agreement with Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons - https://politi.co/2TzAVQm

Border agents have been instructed to target Spanish speakers and migrants from Latin America. The Trump administration launched the program in late January - http://bit.ly/2TGcCQA

Facebook is cracking down on anti-vaxxers. The social network will lower the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations - https://cnn.it/2IZHU0W


1618 - Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.

1775 - An anonymous writer, thought to be Thomas Paine, publishes "African Slavery in America," the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.

1817 - The New York Stock Exchange is founded.

1910 - French aviator Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot's license.

1913 - The Internal Revenue Service began to levy and collect income taxes in the United States.

1924 - A mine disaster kills 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.

1971 - The Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali commences. Frazier wins in 15 rounds via unanimous decision.

1983 - While addressing a convention of Evangelicals, President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an "evil empire."

Policy News

Join WTC Utah on March 19 for a diplomatic luncheon with Hungary
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming His Excellency Dr. Lszl Szab, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States....
During national awareness week Utah AG shares five tips to fight fraud
In observance of National Consumer Protection Week, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes reminded Utah citizens to defend themselves from fraud by observing the following five tips:...
images/Logos/UtahgovLogo.jpegOnline tools help track new bills in Utah
With the start of the 2019 legislative session, Utah residents turn their attention to the business of state government. Utah.Gov and the Utah State Legislature work to provide useful tools to help Utahans track legislation and learn more about what legislators are proposing...
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:Utah's grand plan to preserve a wildlife and hunting haven on Tabby Mountain could fall prey to a private buyer--KSL.com:Zion to reopen some of scenic highway after clearing damage from heavy precipitation--KSL.com:5 of the bes...
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....

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Henry Ford

Lighter Side


"After years of investigations, Israel has decided to indict its leader for his crimes. And after hearing that, Americans are like, 'Uh, can our Constitution convert to Judaism?'" - TREVOR NOAH

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