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Situational awareness - April 17, 2020

Good Friday 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.


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

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

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

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

283 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 takes the wraps off a three-stage plan to restart the economy.
  • Utah lawmakers tackle economic and political issues related to the coronavirus during the first day of their online special session.
  • The race for the GOP nomination in Utah's 4th CD looks to be a wide-open contest.


Today's women's suffrage-related question comes from Katherine Kitterman:

125 years ago this month, delegates to Utah's constitutional convention voted to include women citizens' right to vote and hold public office in Utah's constitution. The next year, in 1896, seven women ran for the state legislature and three were elected: Martha Hughes Cannon became a state senator and Sarah Anderson and Eurithe LaBarthe joined the House of Representatives. Name the four women who were unsuccessful in that election.

Think you know the answer? Send your guesses to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com.

Good luck!

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Logos/2020_Buttons.jpgPoll suggests Republican race in 4th District looks to be a wide-open contest
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The race for the Republican nomination in Utah's hotly contested 4th Congressional District looks to be a wide-open affair, but former radio host Jay McFarland and former NFL player Burgess Owens have a slight lead on the rest of the field according to a new poll.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200416_Special_Session.jpgLawmakers tackle fiscal and political response to coronavirus on first day of special session
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
While the overriding issue in the virtual Utah legislative special session is money -- changing budgets and deadlines because of the coronavirus's impact on state operations, there are a few political issues as well to be dealt with over the next few days.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Legislature puts pressure on Herbert's coronavirus response
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While praising how he's responded to the coronavirus outbreak, the Republican majorities in the Utah House and Senate, meeting in special session, are clearly moving to collar GOP Gov. Gary Herbert.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_09.jpgRomney snubbed by White House on coronavirus task force
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican Senator not named to a congressional task force created by the White House to study how to kick start the nation's economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200416_Wilson_Online_Session.jpgWith a few glitches, Utah lawmakers begin inaugural online-only session
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The Utah Legislature got underway Thursday morning with just a few glitches in a historic online, virtual special session.
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.

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Plan to re-open the economy

President Donald Trump now says it will be up to governors whether to re-open their economies for business. He previously claimed "total authority" when it comes to opening up the economy [CNN].

Here's what's in the White House guidelines sent to states about when they can begin to restart businesses [Politico].


Most Americans say President Trump was too slow to react to the initial threat posed by the coronavirus [Pew Research Center].

Jobless claims skyrocket

Another 5.2 million Americans lost their jobs last week. 22 million people have filed jobless claims in the last month, wiping out all of the job gains made since the Great Recession [NPR].

Out of cash

An emergency loan program to help small businesses keep workers on their payrolls has run out of money [Reuters].

Housing starts collapse

New home construction in the U.S. collapsed in March, dropping by 22.3 percent [CNBC].

Nobody is flying

U.S. airlines said demand for travel has dropped to "essentially zero" during the coronavirus pandemic [Yahoo! Finance].

Just 90,784 people passed through TSA checkpoints on April 15. For comparison, on the same day a year ago, that number was more than 2.3 million [TSA].


Scientists believe the American West is in the midst of a man-made megadrought that could cause major social upheaval [SF Chronicle].

China's economy contracts

China reported its first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% from a year ago [CNBC].

For your radar

The Trump administration weakened regulations on the release of mercury from coal-fired power plants [New York Times].


Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:Wasatch Front residents are getting outside, but trail options are few and crowded--KSL.com:Salt Lake City creates survey to decide which streets to open up for pedestrians, cyclistsVirtual EventsWorldwide Museums--Met 360 Project--Virtual Museum Tours--Museum Zen Art--Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery--Tate Britain Museum--Musee D'Orsay Museum--Uffizi Gallery--Van Gogh Museum--Louvre Egyptian Antiquities Virtual Tour--Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History--The British Museum--The White House--Palace of Versailles--Doge's Palace--Anne Frank HouseLocal Museums--The Leonardo At Home--Utah Museum of Contemporary Art: Art Everyday--Utah Museum of Fine Art at HomeArt/Galleries-- Clever Octopus Kits-- Salt Lake Gallery Stroll-- Kimball Art Center Lesson Plans and ARTS Tours-- Free Art Streamed-- Google Art & Culture Project-- Utah Arts Alliance Online-- BYU Museum of Art App-- ACE Virtual Coloring Book--Visual Art Institute Virtual ClassesBotanical/Zoological--Hogle Zoo--Loveland Living Planet Aquarium-- Ogden Nature Center--Thanksgiving Point--Tracy AviaryDance-- Covey Center for the Arts Dance Classes-- Odyssey Dance Theatre: A Midsummer Night Dream--Repertory Dance Theatre Dance Classes--Ririe Woodbury Virtual Movement Dance ClassesTheatre-- Hale Centre Theatre Brighter Days-- "Little Red" streaming through April 23, SCERA Center-- On Pitch Performing Arts Virtual ConcertsLesson Plans for Children-- Clark Planetarium Activities for Home-- Discovery Gateway--Museum Lesson Plans-- National Student Essay Competition--Natural History Museum of Utah: Research Quest Live--Swaner Eco Center-- Utah Film Center--Utah Symphony Education from Home--Utah Opera Education from HomeFilms-- DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival-- Holt/Smithson Foundation Friday Films--Salt Lake Film Society--Sundance Collab--Tumbleweeds Film Festival On Demand--Utah Film Center has a variety of Film Streaming OptionsHumanities--Kings English Bookshop Story Time-- National Student Essay Competition-- Mapping Literary Utah -- "Mozart & Razaz," Sunday, 3 p.m., NOVA Chamber Music Series, free-- SLC Library Community Resources Page--Utah Humanities #VirtualCampfireMusic--Locals Lounge Every Night at 7PM--The Metropolitan Opera--Orchestra of Southern Utah YouTube--Utah Chamber Artists Virtual Vitruosity--Utah Symphony YouTubeSTEM-- Clark Planetarium STEM Activities for Home-- Discovery Gateway STEM Learning Lab--Stem Action Center STEM in the HomeHealth & Wellness-- Mindfulness: Online by UMFA--Seek Studio EverywhereEt cetra-- Explore Your Outdoors! Family Friendly Nature Talks & Activity Ideas (Virtual Event), Saturday, 10 11 a.m.,Utah Society for Environmental Education-- Baby Animal Festival Drive-Thru-Edition, through May 2,Cross E Ranch, 3500 North 2200 West, Salt Lake City
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngWTC Utah webinar series: SBA programs for ranchers and farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Join World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the SBA, for a webinar focused on Small Business Administration programs that could serve ranchers and farmers in the State of Utah.
Navigating COVID-19: How to save your business -- What's Happening in Healthcare to get Utahns back to work
Join us for an urgent and compelling forum that will provide clear and actionable direction to help local businesses navigate the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
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. 

More National Headlines


1397 - Geoffrey Chaucer tells The Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II.

1512 - The Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Martin Luther after he refused to admit to charges of heresy.

1524 - Italian navigator Giovanni Verrazano discovered what is now New York Harbor.

1861 - Virginia's secession convention votes to secede from the United States, becoming the 8th state to join the Confederate States of America.

1905 - The Supreme Court decides Lochner v. New York, which holds that the "right to free contract" is implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

1961 - Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of Cuban exiles financed and trained by the CIA lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1969 - Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.

1993 - A federal jury convicted two Los Angeles police officers and acquitted two others of violating the civil rights of Rodney King during his 1991 arrest and beating. 

Wise Words


"Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier."Colin Powell

Lighter Side


"The president is not a cheerleader. The president is a quarterback. Tom Brady doesn't pull everybody into the huddle and say 'OK, bring it in guys. All right, I've got a theory that in a couple of months when it gets warmer, the other team is just gonna go away like a miracle. Ready? On three: do nothing!"- STEPHEN COLBERT, on Trump saying he is a "cheerleader for the country"

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