utah policy logo

The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

zions bank sponsorship ad

Situational awareness - April 21, 2020

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Oil prices go negative.
  • Congress tries to reach a deal on more small business funding.
  • Utah lawmakers may provide legal protections for businesses that reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart has a huge lead over his GOP rivals.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our

sl chamber campaign strategies

Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Stewart_02.jpgPoll: Rep. Chris Stewart has a big lead over his GOP challengers
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
U.S. GOP Rep. Chris Stewart seems a shoo-in to win re-nomination to his 2nd Congressional District, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll shows.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_03.jpgMcAdams joins bi-partisan plan to restart American economy
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The bi-partisan "Problem Solvers Caucus" in Congress unveiled a comprehensive plan on Monday to reopen the economy.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_25.jpgLawmakers reach deal with Gov. Herbert on vetoed special needs scholarship bill
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
When Utah legislators meet, again, in special session Thursday, the special needs private school program vetoed by GOP Gary Herbert will be amended and passed, it's sponsor, House Majority Whip Mike Schultz, tells UtahPolicy.com.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_02.jpgBill offers legal protections for businesses that re-open during coronavirus pandemic
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert are pushing to get some parts of Utah's economy back to work starting May 1. A bill set for debate when Utah lawmakers re-convene in their special session later this week offers some protection to businesses that reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Stevenson_Witt_01.jpgPoll: Stevenson, Witt lead race for GOP nomination in Utah's 1st Congressional District
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson is ahead in the U.S. 1st District House GOP race to replace retiring Rep. Rob Bishop, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll finds.
images/Icons-Blue/button1.pngUtah County Republicans oust long-serving legislator, while several Salt Lake County contests are headed to a second round of voting
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah County Republicans gave the boot to 7-term Rep. Brad Daw while Salt Lake County Republicans pushed Sen. Wayne Harper to a primary election in June.
images/1000px_Mugs/Herbert_Trump_01.jpgPoll: Republican delegates give Trump, Herbert high marks on coronavirus response
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah GOP delegates give President Donald Trump and Gov. Gary Herbert high marks for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200419_Utah_Job_Numbers.jpgUtah's unemployment rate grows to 3.6 percent
By News Release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for March 2020 grew by an estimated 2.6%, adding 40,400 jobs to the economy since March 2019. Utah's current employment level registers 1,583,000. February's year-over job growth has been revised down to 2.8%. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Sprinting toward reopening'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick wrap up the week's political news.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_07.jpgLawmakers, Governor Herbert, want to kickstart Utah's economy beginning May 1
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Republicans in the Utah Legislature let it be known Friday: They want the state's economy opened quickly.
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.

World Trade Center Utah ad


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Oil wipeout

Oil futures dropped below zero on Monday, settling at minus $37.63 a barrel as producers are running out of space to store crude that is set to be delivered in May [Bloomberg].

Policymakers in Washington are paralyzed over how to handle oil prices plunging into negative territory [Politico].

Small business loans

The Senate is set to vote on a $450 billion package to provide more money for small business emergency loans. The original $349 billion allocated by Congress was snapped up in a matter of days [AP].

Banks are warning a new round of funding for small businesses could evaporate in two days [Politico].

Publicly traded firms claimed $300 million from the first round of funding meant for small businesses [AP].

The White House and Republicans in Congress are taking some heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run the small business loan program dry [Washington Post].

U.S. restaurants are on track to lose $240 billion in total by the end of June [Reuters].

Immigration ban

President Donald Trump said Monday he would "suspend immigration" into the U.S. in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and economic collapse [Politico].

Trump could sign an executive order banning the issue of new green cards and work visas in the next few days [New York Times].

No confidence

A new poll finds most Americans rate President Trump's response to the coronavirus negatively, and belive it could be June or later before it will be safe for large gatherings [Washington Post].

Coronavirus in the states

New York has canceled all public events in June [ABC7].

Georgia will allow some businesses, including gyms, bowling alleys and hair salons, to reopen on Friday as long as they can comply with social distancing standards and other safety guidelines [AJC].

Tennessee will not extend its stay at home order past April 30. Businesses in Ohio will be allowed to reopen at the end of the month [New York Times].

North Korea

Kim Jong Un is reportedly in critical condition following a surgical procedure. Kim has not been seen in public since April 11. He missed the celebration of his grandfather's birthday on April 15 [CNN].


Joe Biden's campaign begins the November election cycle $187 million behind the Trump campaign [New York Times].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgSave Small Business Initiative applications open now
On April 15, 2020, the U.S. Chamber its Save Small Business Initiative to address the immediate needs of the small business community, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery in the wake of the economic destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 78: Driving forces behind ransomware growth
Ransomware is a growing problem for American businesses - particularly small and medium-sized businesses. In just the first nine months of 2019, there were nearly 152 million ransomware attacks.
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgEconomic Response Task Force releases blueprint for reopening business in 'Utah Leads Together 2.0'
As the COVID-19 curve begins to flatten, Utah's Economic Task Force released a plan for reactivating the economy through a process that is described not as a "switch" but a "dail," and calls for vigilance, confidence, patience, innovation, and engagement. 
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah Foundation: Mass telework experiment offers potential, pitfalls
Utah Foundation began a teleworking study in early 2020 without knowing just how timely the topic would become. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease a couple of months later, public and private sector responses upended many Americans' working lives, sending millions into telework arrangements overnight.

More National Headlines


1649 - The Maryland Toleration Act, which provided for freedom of worship for all Christians, was passed by the Maryland assembly.

1836 - With the battle cry "Remember the Alamo!" Texas forces under Sam Houston defeated the army of Mexican Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at San Jacinto, Texas, opening the path to Texas independence.

1918 - Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the "Red Baron," was killed in action during World War I.

1977 - Annie opens on Broadway.

Wise Words

Self Motivation

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lighter Side

Listening to Protesters

"I'm sure that convinced the legislators.[imitating legislator]You know, the medical data doesn't back up an early reopen, but I heard some sound policy ideas from Lady Flag Screamer and Guy in a 'Purge' Mask."- STEPHEN COLBERT

facebook link twitter link youtube link linked in logo

Listen to us on_Apple Podcasts

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play Music

Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.

Advertise With Us