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Situational awareness - May 15, 2020

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Utah will lift more coronavirus restrictions on Saturday.
  • McAdams says he's a likely "no" vote on a new coronavirus relief bill.
  • President Trump suggested the U.S. could cut trade relations with China because of COVID-19.


Polling 01

We've got a new round of polling results coming next week. Newsletter subscribers will get the first look at the numbers in these races:

Monday - GOP primary for governor

Wednesday - GOP primary in CD4

Thursday - GOP CD1 primary

Friday - GOP Attorney General primary


Today's question comes from Jen Ball:

Utah is scheduled to put a statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon in National Statuary Hall. In the current collection, 9 of the 100 statues are women.  There are currently two other states also working on female statues for National Statuary Hall.  Name the other two states and the women they have chosen to memorialize.

Send your responses to me via email at mailbag@utahpolicy.com

We'll randomly pick a winner from all of the correct responses. 

Good luck!

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 newsletter.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/20200514_Herbert_Presser.jpgUtah will lift more COVID-19 restrictions beginning Saturday
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert announced Thursday that, beginning Saturday morning, most of the state will move from moderate (orange) to low (yellow) risk from the COVID-19 outbreak.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_05.jpgMcAdams is a likely 'no' vote on massive coronavirus relief proposal
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
House Democrats unveiled a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill earlier this week. The proposal includes nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments and another round of direct stimulus payments to residents. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Changing affiliations
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A lot of independent voters in Utah are wondering if they should formally register as belonging to the Republican Party so they can get a GOP ballot in the June 30 primary election.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_11.jpgLegislative leaders confront grim budget picture because of COVID-19
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
No pay raises for state workers, public education teachers, or college professors; no funding increases for state programs; no growth in social services.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_09.jpgUtah will soon start doling out hundreds of millions in federal aid to Utah cities and counties
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah cities and counties will soon start getting $562 million, allocated by the state based on populations of each entity, that comes from the federal coronavirus relief act -- CARES -- a top state budget committee heard Wednesday.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_26.jpgLawmakers planning on budget special session in June and another on policy in July
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah lawmakers have been told to plan for a special session in June to address changes to the budget because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but any policy changes will take place in a second special session after Independence Day.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Cold fusion boondoggle'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick break down the top political headlines.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Gasoline_Tax_01.jpgCOVID-19 restrictions cause Utah's gas tax revenue to plummet
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Some early state tax data showing the impact of the coronavirus' on revenues is bad. And it will only get worse.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200512_Romney_Coronavirus.jpgRomney says Trump administration's efforts on COVID-19 testing 'nothing to celebrate'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney criticized the United States' efforts on coronavirus testing, saying it was "nothing to celebrate" during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

sl chamber task force 10


 Deseret News

 Salt Lake Tribune


Darkest winter

A whistleblower who claims he was removed from his job for raising concerns about the Trump administration's lack of coronavirus preparedness told a congressional hearing that the U.S. could face "the darkest winter" if it does not improve the response to the pandemic [Reuters].

More stimulus

The House is expected to vote today on a Democratic-led proposal to provide another $3 trillion in coronavirus relief funds. The House will vote in waves because of virus-related restrictions [Bloomberg].

Trump vs. China

President Trump said in an interview he does not want to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping right now and mused about breaking off trade relations with China because of the coronavirus pandemic [Bloomberg].

Scant guidance

The CDC issued just six pages of guidance for businesses that are beginning to reopen [Washington Post].


36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last 8 weeks [NPR].


Economists expect April's economic data will be much worse than March, which delivered a deep hit to the nation's economy [Bloomberg].

One projection says a quarter of American restaurants may not re-open [Bloomberg].

Coronavirus will cause the largest loss on record for the insurance industry. Claims could reach up to $4.3 billion by June 30 [CNBC].

A survey found lower-income workers are being hit hardest by coronavirus-related job losses [Reuters].

The New York Stock Exchange will partially re-open its trading floor on May 26 [CNBC].

Mr. Burr, sir...

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr is stepping down as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee while he's under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market crash from the pandemic [CNN].

Burr's suspicious trades helped him avoid $250,000 in losses from the market downturn [Wall Street Journal].


The U.S. government has paid nearly $1 million to President Trump's company since he took office, including more than 1,600 nightly room rentals at Trump's hotels and clubs [Washington Post].

A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit accusing President Trump of illegally profiting off the presidency through his Washington hotel [ABC News].

Playin' the hits

Under fire for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump is returning to familiar tactic - blaming President Obama [New York Times].


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell apologized for wrongly claiming the Obama administration failed to leave a pandemic playbook for the Trump White House [Politico].


Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Utah ski resorts emphasizing insurance in 2020-21 season pass plans -- Salt Lake Tribune: Zion reopens, but park offerings remain slim -- Salt Lake Tribune: As Utah's national parks reopen, visitors should brace for a 'new normal'-- KSL.com: Central Wasatch Commission approves funding for 6 projects in Cottonwood canyons
Utah Inland Port Authority and Rocky Mountain Power announce cooperation agreement
The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) and Rocky Mountain Power have signed a Joint Clean Energy Cooperation Statement to create a sustainable energy supply within the UIPA jurisdictional area.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 81: COVID-19 disruption has hackers on the offensive
When society's regular routine is thrown out off-kilter, cybercriminals get right to work. Whether they are stealing your video conferencing credentials to interrupt a meeting, using those credentials to access other accounts or launching websites to phish your employees, you need your defenses up now more than ever.
Central Wasatch Commission approves funding for projects in the Central Wasatch for the 2020 work season
During the May 4th meeting of the Central Wasatch Commission, the Commission approved funding for six project proposals that resulted from the Call for Ideas opened to the public in March.

More National Headlines


1536 - Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery, and incest; she is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.

1776 - The Fifth Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the Declaration of Independence.

1793 - Diego Marin Aguilera files a glider for "about 360 meters" at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted manned flights.

1817 - The first private mental health hospital, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason, opens in Philadelphia.

1869 - In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association.

1905 - Las Vegas is founded when 110 acres in what would later become downtown are auctioned off.

1911 - The Supreme Court, ruling in Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey vs. United States, ordered the dissolution of the company after determining it to be a monopoly.

1930 - Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess, flying on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

1940 - McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1969 - Justice Abe Fortas, under fire for a money deal with jailed financier Louis Wolfson, resigned from the Supreme Court.

1972 - In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace while he's campaigning to become president. 

Wise Words


"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you."Walt Whitman

Lighter Side

Blame Obama

"Now, Trump has claimed this is all Obama's fault, because when Trump came into office, there were no tests for this disease that didn't exist yet."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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