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Situational awareness - April 16, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City

The Utah Legislature begins its historic online-only special session this morning at 9 am. You can watch the proceedings on their website.


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

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

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

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

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

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

  • President Trump will unveil guidelines for relaxing stay-at-home orders today.
  • Sean Reyes and Greg Skordas have big leads in the race for the Republican and Democratic Attorney General nominations.
  • Ben McAdams is building a massive cash lead over his Republican challengers.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Sean_Reyes_01.jpgReyes, Skordas hold big leads in race for GOP, Democratic Attorney General nominations
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
GOP Attorney General Sean Reyes holds a healthy lead over the two fellow Republicans seeking to unseat him this year, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll finds.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_01.jpgMcAdams has more than five times as much campaign cash as his Republican challengers combined
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Democrat Ben McAdams is close to taking Utah's 4th Congressional District out of play in November by building an almost insurmountable cash advantage over the field of Republicans vying to replace him.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200415_Stuart_Adams.jpgVideo: Senate President Stuart Adams previews Thursday's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, looks ahead to the Utah Legislature's online-only special session that begins on Thursday morning.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgThursday's special session will be the first of many as lawmakers deal with coronavirus pandemic
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Thursday's special legislative session to deal with the coronavirus pandemic will likely be just the first of several special sessions between now and June.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200414_Brad_Wilson.jpgVideo: House Speaker Brad Wilson previews Thursday's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, discusses the issues lawmakers will tackle during Thursday's virtual special session.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgBill would require the governor to give lawmakers 48 hour notice before taking some emergency actions
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
While recognizing the independence and authority of the Utah governor in times of pandemics, one of the bills in the Thursday special legislative session says the governor -- in the current case, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert -- will tell legislative leadership about his plans for executive orders two days before issuing them.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast - 'A dream come true'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the latest Utah political news.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Classroom.jpgHerbert makes it official. Utah schools will not re-open this year
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah grade schools will not reopen this school year Gov. Gary Herbert said Tuesday afternoon.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_02.jpgAnalysis: Huntsman qualifies for the ballot. What does that mean for the rest of the field?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
So, even though I didn't think his campaign could do it, former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman qualified via signature-gathering for the Republican Party's primary ballot on Monday -- the last day he could do so.
images/1000px_Mugs/Victor_Iverson_01.jpgHughes taps Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson as his running mate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former House Speaker Greg Hughes picked Victor Iverson, a Washington County Commissioner, to be his Lt. Governor nominee on Tuesday.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Back to business?

President Donald Trump said he will unveil guidelines for relaxing stay-at-home rules on Thursday, citing signs that the coronavirus outbreak may be hitting a peak in some parts of the country [Bloomberg].

Trump's frustration with Congress grows

President Trump threatened to invoke an obscure part of the Constitution to force Congress to adjourn so he could use his recess appointment power to fill several slots in the federal government. Scholars say that authority has never been used before, and they doubt Trump's gambit would be successful [The Hill].

Bad idea

U.S. officials warned President Trump that cutting funding to the World Health Organization would hobble global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic [Pro Publica].

Coronavirus conspiracy

U.S. intelligence and national security officials say the government is exploring the possibility that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab instead of a market. The U.S. does not believe that the virus was associated with bioweapons research [CNN].


Some business leaders had no idea they were included on President Trump's council to explore restarting the economy until they heard Trump read their names during a press event. Others were given little information on what they had agreed to [Washington Post].

Coronavirus protests

Conservative groups in Michigan jammed the streets in Lansing to protest the state's stay-at-home order on Wednesday [CNN].

Some right-wing media personalities are egging on protests against social distancing measures [CNN].

No end in sight

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that large gatherings like sporting events and concerts are unlikely to occur in that city until 2021 because of the pandemic [Politico].

Out of cash

The $349 billion small business loan program to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic is almost out of money [CNBC].

Unemployment skyrockets

The unemployment rate could hit 20 percent this month, and economists say there's no guarantee it would stop there [Bloomberg].

Terrible economic news keeps coming

Retail sales fell 8.7 percent in March [New York Times].

U.S. manufacturing dropped by the most since 1946 in March [Reuters].

Endorsement news

One time Democratic presidential frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed her former rival, Joe Biden, on Wednesday [New York Times].

The Trump show

President Trump wanted to start a daily call-in radio show to answer questions about the coronavirus, but the plan was dropped because Trump didn't want to compete with Rush Limbaugh [New York Times].

College testing

The College Board says they will implement a digital at-home SAT test this fall if the nation's schools don't re-open [CNN].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgUtah Economic Task Force town hall: Pandemic unemployment assistance -- What you need to know
The Utah Economic Task Force will host a virtual town hall on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST to provide an overview of pandemic unemployment assistance and an update on coronavirus testing in the state, as well as discuss the Silicon Slopes small and midsize business survey.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber launches grant program for rural and minority small businesses
The Salt Lake Chamber has announced the creation of the Mainstreet Preservation Grant through the Chamber's Utah Job Opportunities Foundation, thanks to a $500,000 donation from WCF Insurance.
Department of Commerce warns consumers about coronavirus and stimulus scams, and unveils fraud-fighting website
With economic relief payments, expanded unemployment benefits, loan programs, and other COVID-19-related initiatives, the Utah Department of Commerce is warning consumers to continue to be on the lookout for scams related to COVID-19, including stimulus and other government programs. 
Utah House of Representatives announces UHEAL fundraiser for frontline healthcare workers
The Utah House of Representatives announced a fundraiser in partnership with the Utah Restaurant Association to raise money for meals for frontline healthcare workers. The Utah Healthcare Employee Appreciation Lunches (UHEAL) initiative will collect funds through GoFundMe, which will then be used to purchase and deliver meals from local restaurants to healthcare workers in local hospitals.
images/1000px_Logos/EDCUtah_1000.pngThe PPE pivot: Five questions about face shields
One of the more disheartening aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line healthcare workers. Warriors against the virus, these people need more and better facemasks, gowns, and other supplies.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngWTC Utah webinar series: How to: PPP loans for 1099 contractors and sole proprietors
Join WTC Utah, in partnership with Lendio, for a webinar focusing on Paycheck Protection Program Loans. PPP Loans are open for sole proprietors, 1099 contractors and other small business owners, but many are confused about eligibility, owners draw and which lenders will let them apply.

More National Headlines


1818 - The U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada.

1862 - The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia becomes law.

1881 - In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.

1908 - Natural Bridges National Monument is established in Utah.

1912 - Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.

1947 - Bernard Baruch first applies the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated for protesting against segregation.

2007 - Virginia Tech shooting: A gunman kills 32 people and injures 17 before committing suicide on the Blacksburg campus.

Wise Words

Smile in Trouble

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death."Leonardo da Vinci

Lighter Side

Corona Burn

"I guess during a pandemic crazy ideas like Medicare for all just don't resonate."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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