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Situational awareness - June 11, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City

Welcome to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Utah's tax collections are growing, but projections show a big problem is on the horizon.
  • A new report shows more than a third of federal workers in Utah missed a mortgage or rent payment during the government shutdown.
  • Mexico was able to talk Trump out of slapping tariffs on them by agreeing to a crackdown on Central American migrants.

Conversation BubbleNews tips/story ideas

Kindly send suggestions, concerns and news tips to us via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com

The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))

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Today is the 162nd day of the year. There are 203 days remaining in 2019.

11 days to the Utah State Democratic Party Organizing Convention (6/22/2019)

15 days to the first Democratic presidential primary debates in Miami (6/26/2019)

49 days to the second Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit (7/30/2019)

63 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

93 days to the third Democratic presidential primary debate (9/12/2019)

147 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

230 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

238 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

266 days to the 2020 Utah presidential primary (3/3/2020)

507 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_08.jpgUtah's tax collections continue to grow, but long-term projections show problems on the horizon

As Republican leaders in the Utah Legislature and GOP Gov. Gary Herbert prepare for a summer of public hearings across the state concerning the "structural imbalance" of the state's taxing system, they have a political problem:Utah state government continues to have healthy tax revenue surpluses, a recent report to the Executive Appropriations Committee shows.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Government_shutdown_01.jpgMore than a third of federal workers in Northern Utah missed a mortgage or rent payment during the government shutdown

The partial government shutdown that stretched from late 2018 to early 2019 had a significant impact on the personal finances of federal workers in Utah according to a new study from Weber State University.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_02.jpgRomney may not endorse Trump in 2020

Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday he may not endorse President Donald Trump for re-election, and he might skip making an endorsement altogether in the 2020 presidential contest.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Advertising_01.jpgReport: Political ad spending could hit $10 billion in 2020

A new estimate suggests political ad spending will grow more than 8 percent in 2020 and could reach $10 billion next year.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgNew development tactics can improve fiscal sustainability, quality of life

Utah Foundation's newest report explores the fiscal challenges that accompany growth, both in the short-term and in the long-term. The report also draws from Utah Foundation's 2018 Quality of Life survey to demonstrate what Utahns value most in their communities, and which issues concern them most.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Jon_Huntsman_04.jpgHuntsman discussed possible 2020 run with political allies this week

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman recently visited Utah where he met with political allies and advisers to discuss a possible run for governor in 2020 according to multiple sources.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



  • Negotiators were able to talk President Donald Trump out of his threat to impose tariffs on Mexico by agreeing to a severe crackdown on Central American migrants - https://wapo.st/2Ix0U3d
  • Mexican officials said on Monday there is no secret immigration deal between the U.S. and Mexico, directly contradicting President Trump's claim that an agreement would be unveiled in the future - https://nyti.ms/2Iy8eM1

"I am a tariff man." President Trump appears to be emboldened after his economic brinksmanship with Mexico paid off. Experts are expecting him to use the same playbook again - https://nyti.ms/2IadGpG

The investigations 

  • John Dean, a central figure in the Watergate scandal and a vocal critic of President Trump, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Monday where he drew parallels between Trump and the Nixon-era scandal. Republicans on the committee repeatedly attacked Dean in an attempt to discredit him - https://politi.co/2IEyyo2
  • The Justice Department has agreed to turn over evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election - https://nyti.ms/2IbVRXj
  • House Democrats are crafting a number of bills to "safeguard democracy" to counter Russian interference in future elections - https://nbcnews.to/2I9kC6g

Congressional pay raise. Democrats in the House yanked a bill to boost congressional pay after a backlash from several party members who are vulnerable heading into next year's midterm elections - https://politi.co/2IuKVCU


  • Associates close to President Trump say he is mostly uninterested in his re-election campaign, but attacking Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden is one thing that gets his attention - https://nyti.ms/2I7R8FV
  • Mitch McConnell is blocking legislation to prevent an attack on the 2020 election from a foreign country - https://nym.ag/2ICkpra

Drain the swamp? Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, helped coordinate grant applications for several transportation projects in McConnell's home state of Kentucky. At least $78 million in grants were doled out to projects in Kentucky outside of the normal process - https://politi.co/2Iy9AX7

Hmmm. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to discuss how his company handles misinformation, but she has not replied - https://wapo.st/2IDdGNR

Whoa. Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was a CIA source before his assassination - https://on.wsj.com/2Ixu5Ds

Iran. International inspectors said Monday that Iran was increasing its production of nuclear fuel, making good on a threat made after the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal with the country - https://nyti.ms/2IsA7oE


1184 BC - The city of Troy is sacked and burned according to calculations by Eratosthenes.

1770 - British explorer Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef.

1776 - The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.

1788 - Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska.

1805 - A fire consumes large portions of Detroit.

1920 - During the Republican National Convention in Chicago, party leaders gathered in a room at the Blackstone Hotel to come to a consensus on their candidate for the presidential election, leading the Associated Press to coin the political phrase "smoke-filled room."

1963 - Alabama Governor George Wallace defiantly stands at the door at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they are able to register.

1963 - Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burns himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.

1963 - President John F. Kennedy addresses Americans from the Oval Office proposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1990 - The Supreme Court struck down an anti-flag-burning law passed by Congress the year before.

2001 - Timothy McVeigh is executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Policy News

Salt Lake City secures distinguished economic development accreditation
The International Economic Development Council announced that Salt Lake City's Department of Economic Development has been recognized as an Accredited Economic Development Organization.
Kosovar leaders examine renewable energy in Utah
The Open World Leadership Center, an agency of the U.S. Congress, is sending a delegation of Kosovar Leaders examining renewable energy to Utah through 15, 2019. The delegation consists of five professionals and will be accompanied by a bicultural facilitator and an interpreter. While in Utah, the Open World program participants will be hosted by Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. 
Chairman Lee: The economy remians fundamentally resilient
Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Labor Department May 2019 jobs report:
Downtown Farmers Market opens for 28th season
Beginning June 8th and running every Saturday through October 19th, the Downtown Farmers Market will support local farmers and provide fresh produce to the public.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: First harmful algal bloom of the summer appears at Utah Lake

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Mental Strength

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Lighter Side

Trump Leading D-Day Invasion

"Absolutely. I'd be right there. Especially now that those World War II soldiers are so old and easy to fight. I mean, just bingity-bangity-boom, nighty-night, grandpa, beach saved!" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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