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Situational awareness - April 14, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

281 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)

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

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

  • Trump falsely claims he has "total authority" to reopen the U.S. economy.
  • Lawmakers will hold an online special session on Thursday.
  • Chris Peterson leads a crowded field for the Democratic nomination for governor.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Peterson_01.jpgPoll: Chris Peterson leads crowded Democratic field vying for party's nomination for governor
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
University of Utah professor Christopher Peterson leads the six-person Democratic field for governor according to a new poll.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_31.jpgLawmakers will begin online-only special session Thursday morning
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The Utah Legislature will gavel their first-ever online special session to order at 9:00 am on Thursday morning. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Jeff_Burningham_02.jpgBurningham has spent more on advertising than the other Republican candidates for governor combined
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
So far, the seven Republicans vying for their party's nomination for governor have spent nearly $1.3 million on advertising, with more than half of that coming from businessman Jeff Burningham.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_03.jpgHuntsman qualifies for primary ballot
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
On the last day to turn in signatures, former Gov. Jon Huntsman finally qualified for the June primary ballot.
images/1000px_Mugs/Trump_Biden_01.jpgPoll: Trump leads Biden by just 5 points in Utah
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
President Donald Trump leads presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by just 5 percentage points according to a new Utah Political Trends survey.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_12.jpgLawmakers may consider expanding state's 'right to try' law and how to reopen businesses during this week's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah lawmakers are gearing up for a special, online-only, legislative session later this week. The agenda may include measures allowing Utahns to access experimental treatments for coronavirus and the best way to re-open businesses in the state amid the current pandemic.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast - 'Packs of feral Mike Lee's roaming the neighborhood'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick wrap up the week's Utah political headlines.
images/1000px_Mugs/Cox_Huntsman_Hughes_01.jpgPoll shows GOP nomination for governor turning into a three-person race between Cox, Huntsman and Hughes
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and former Gov. Jon Huntsman remain the favorites to win the GOP nomination for governor in June, but Former House Speaker Greg Hughes is starting to surge according to a new poll of likely Republican primary election voters.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook - Coronavirus is disenfranchising thousands of Republican voters
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Unless something pretty amazing happens, it appears to me that former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman will not meet the required 28,000 verified registered Republican signatures by the Monday 5 p.m. deadline.

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"Total authority"

President Donald Trump falsely asserted at an off the rails press conference Monday that he had "total authority" to decide when the U.S. economy would open up [Bloomberg].

Trump's ire was stoked by a coalition of governors who said they would work together to determine when to reopen their economies [CNN].

Trump's also used his bonkers press conference to attack the press and attempt to re-write history about his delayed response to the coronavirus threat [New York Times].

More economic gloom

The federal deficit is projected to exceed $3.8 trillion this year. By the start of fiscal 2021, the debt held by the public will be greater than the entire $21 trillion U.S. economy and will hit levels not seen since World War II [Bloomberg].

The economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be fragile and very slow [WSJ].

Goldman Sachs sees advanced economies shrinking about 35 percent this quarter, which is about 4 times bigger than the previous record during the 2008 financial crisis [Bloomberg].

The government's stimulus package is being slowed down because computers are running on a 60-year-old computer language known as COBOL [Bloomberg]. 

Universities may not reopen next year

Several colleges and universities are making contingency plans to continue holding classes online due to the coronavirus pandemic [Boston Globe].

A first for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that justices will hear cases via teleconference due to the coronavirus pandemic [Reuters].

Supply chain showing strain?

Grocery store shelves look bare even though there is no food shortage because consumers are still panic buying [Vice].

Census delay

Census officials said the pandemic will push back their counting by four months and are asking Congress for a delay in providing final numbers that will be used for redistricting [New York Times].

Sanders backs Biden

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threw his support behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Monday [New York Times].

Another Trump challenge?

Independent Rep. Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party last year, says he's considering launching an independent bid for the White House [Washington Post].

Another missile test

North Korea reportedly fired a barrage of suspected cruise missiles on Tuesday [Fox News].


Policy News

Utah Economic Task Force virtual town hall meeting on April 14
The Utah Economic Task Force will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST to provide an update on the Paycheck Protection Program process and federal stimulus funding, as well as discuss how the outdoor recreation industry is innovating during the pandemic.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSave the date: April 27-28, 2020 Virtual trade mission to the U.A.E.
Connect directly with businesses and government leaders from the United Arab Emirates in a virtual trade mission hosted by World Trade Center Utah and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Thrives_Podcast_Logo.jpgUtah Thrives podcast: A new census brings a new round of redistricting
In this episode of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation Research Analyst Christopher Collard and President Peter Reichard discuss the new Utah redistricting statute and the challenges of redistricting in our state. The conversation follows Utah Foundation's release of a new brief on redistricting and an interactive citizen redistricting tool.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 77: Easing the transition to remote work
Over the past couple of weeks, a large portion of the workforce has faced a quick transition from office life to working remotely. Some organizations were well prepared to make that change, many employees had already been working remotely, but some faced significant challenges. 
Utah Treasurer encourages teachers, parents to celebrate Financial Literacy Month by incorporating financial education into remote learning
April is Financial Literacy Month, and Utah schools are under a soft closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of remote learning, Utah State Treasurer David Damschen encourages teachers and parents to incorporate financial education into students' daily learning.  

More National Headlines


1775 - The first American society for the abolition of slavery was organized by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

1828 - Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary.

1865 - President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. (He died the next day.)

1902 - The first J.C. Penney store is opened in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

1912 - The British liner Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began to sink.

1939 - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is first published.


Wise Words


"We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon."Franklin D. Roosevelt

Lighter Side

Unintended Consequences

"Dr. Fauci wants to make compulsive handwashing normal, which is great news for anyone with obsessive compulsive disorder. Congratulations, you now have obsessive compulsiveorder. Also being recommended by the C.D.C.: counting the tiles on your kitchen floor and making sure your shoes all face north."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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