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Situational awareness - March 9, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lawmakers take the wraps off next year's budget.
  • The first case of coronavirus is reported in the state.
  • Markets around the world plunge to start the week.


Not very many subscribers remembered Olene Walker was running for Congress when Mike Leavitt tapped her as his running mate in 1992.

Congratulations to Peggy Burdett who is our winner this week. She gets to ask our next trivia question on Friday.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgLawmakers unveil $20 billion budget, but a special session to adjust spending may be needed later this year
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah will see a $20 billion budget for the next fiscal year the all-powerful Executive Appropriations committee decided Friday night.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_03.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Statewide and congressional races
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Keep up to date with the latest candidate filings in the race for governor and Utah's four seats in Congress.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_02.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
2020 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year. Here's a running list of declared candidates.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_01.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who has declared to run so far this year.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgLegislative laggards - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 There's less than a week to go in the 2020 Utah Legislature. Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick give you the latest information as we barrel towards next week's adjournment.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_39.jpgLawmakers closing in on budget deal, but no decision on tax relief yet
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Republican budget leaders tell they are close to setting the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget of around $20 billion.
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.jpgUPDATE: Romney will vote to allow subpoena in Biden probe
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A spokesperson for Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday he would vote to allow a Senate committee to subpoena documents 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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Market panic

Global oil prices crashed Monday after Saudi Arabia decided to flood the market with cheap oil and cut prices. Markets around the world plunged as more countries are taking measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus [CNN].

Coronavirus spreads

Republicans Ted Cruz and Paul Gosar said they would self-quarantine after coming in contact with a man with the coronavirus during the annual CPAC conference [ABC News].

Congress could recess for two weeks to protect elderly members from coronavirus as anxiety among lawmakers is growing [NBC News].

The White House is worried about President Donald Trump's health after it was reported he was two degrees of separation from someone carrying the virus [Washington Post].

President Trump is growing increasingly frustrated as he's unable to control the narrative surrounding the virus simply by tweeting about it [New York Times].

The White House overruled health officials who wanted to warn elderly and physically fragile Americans against flying on commercial airlines [AP].

The CDC is warning against long plane trips or taking cruises as the number of coronavirus cases continue to grow [Politico].

Facebook will ban ads for medical face masks to prevent people from exploiting fears over the coronavirus [AP].

Democratic race

A new national poll shows Joe Biden leaving Bernie Sanders in the dust with a double-digit lead. Biden's favorability rating also appears to be surging [CNN].

Sen. Cory Booker endorsed Joe Biden Monday morning [The Hill].

Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed Joe Biden, becoming the latest former rival to support him [New York Times].

Biden is focusing on delegate-rich Michigan ahead of Tuesday's primary hoping to cut into Biden's lead nationally. Sanders says he won't drop out if Biden wins there this week [Bloomberg].

Sanders could be in trouble in Washington after polling shows Biden taking a slight lead according to new polling [Politico].


The Trump campaign has taken over the Republican Party's voter data and fundraising operations, funneling them through a network of private businesses that are largely exempt from federal disclosure laws [New York Times].

The Trump campaign claims the president's MAGA rallies are a hotbed of "hidden" voters they hope to mobilize in November [Politico].


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in a televised interview Sunday that the $7.25 federal minimum wage is too low, saying it would be "very difficult" to live on [Axios].


Republican Rep. Mark Meadows will become the next White House chief of staff as current acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney will become the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland [Roll Call].

Another test

North Korea fired three short-range projectiles two days after threatening to take "momentous" action [AP].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 72: Blockchain technology and voting in Utah
The state of Utah is exploring the possibility of using blockchain technology to make voting more secure and more convenient.
Space Dynamics Lab-built SmallSat successfully deployed from ISS -- now being flown by lab
The Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that a small satellite built by SDL was successfully deployed into orbit, and early telemetry indicates that the spacecraft health is nominal and the satellite is operating as designed.
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. 

More National Headlines


1841 - The Supreme Court rules in the United States v. The Amistad cast that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.

1864 - Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was appointed the commander in chief of Union forces in the Civil War.

1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.

1959 - The Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Wise Words


"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."Winston Churchill

Lighter Side

Cool-aid Seth

"Warren was an incredibly competent, pragmatic, intelligent and well-spoken - in other words, she never had a chance."- SETH MEYERS

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