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Situational awareness - July 29, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Wednesday!


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

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

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

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

  • Tech giants set to appear at a hotly-anticipated House hearing.
  • Attorney General William Barr clashes with House Democrats.
  • Utah's tax revenues dropped 4.2 percent during the last fiscal year because of the coronavirus.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgUtah's tax revenues fell 4.2 percent this year due to the impact of coronavirus on the economy
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The Utah State government's financial picture has not been harmed as severely as economists/legislators/Herbert administration officials feared earlier this spring, a fiscal year-end revenue report shows.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Hide and seek with Spencer Cox'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick discuss the latest Utah political news with less than 100 days to the November election.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_03.jpgRomney's proposal to shore up Social Security, Medicare included in Senate GOP coronavirus bill
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Senate Republicans unveiled their $1 trillion coronavirus relief proposal on Monday. The bill also includes a bipartisan proposal from Utah Sen. Mitt Romney to empower Congress to find ways to shore up Social Security and Medicare.
images/1000px_Mugs/Charlie_Sykes_01.jpegPodcast: Making sense of our current political moment with The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Charlie Sykes, editor in chief of The Bulwark, joins the podcast to help us make sense of the current political moment in America.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_04.jpgMcAdams says Congress must take a fiscally responsible approach to coronavirus relief
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The centrist New Democrat Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative House Democrats in Washington, says the coronavirus is putting aside concerns about the ballooning federal deficit. However, Utah Democrat Ben McAdams, a member of the group, says he disagrees with that approach.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_06.jpgRomney opposes Trump Federal Reserve nominee
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney says he will vote against a controversial nominee for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors.
images/1000px_Mugs/Wilf_Sommerkorn_01.jpgA Planner's outlook on the politics of housing affordability 2020
By Wilf Sommerkorn
Housing affordability and "reform" of local land-use practices have been a hot topic around the country over the last couple of years, including here in the state of Utah.  And it appears that it continues to be on political agendas, even amid the pandemic, with its apparent but uncertain impacts on future urban growth.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Tech hearing on tap

A highly anticipated hearing involving tech giants will take place on Wednesday in Washington. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon's Jeff Bezos will face a grilling from House lawmakers over whether their companies have become too powerful [WaPo].

Republicans plan to attack Democrats for harboring "predetermined conclusions" about the outcome. They also want to make allegations of bias against conservatives in Silicon Valley a major portion of the hearing [Politico].

Barr testifies

Attorney General William Barr clashed with Democrats during a contentious hearing on Tuesday. During the hearing, Barr defended the use of federal police officers to combat violence in Portland. He also hesitated to answer when asked if it was against the law for a political campaign to accept aid from a foreign country and suggested President Donald Trump might have the authority to delay the November election [NYT].

2020 election

Democratic nominee Joe Biden says he will name his running mate by the end of next week [WaPo].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

President Trump promoted a video from a Houston doctor who claimed hydroxychloroquine was a cure for coronavirus and that masks did not prevent the spread of the virus. That doctor has bizarrely claimed that some medical conditions were caused by women having sex with demons in their dreams and that alien DNA was used in some medical treatments [WaPo].

Coronavirus misinformation

U.S. officials are warning that Russian intelligence is using three English language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus [AP].


Policy News

Salt Lake County expands reach of $40M Small Business Impact Grant program to include all business, COVID-19 aid recipients
Salt Lake County opened its Small Business Impact Grant to businesses closed by COVID-19's public health orders with the goal of reaching small businesses forgotten in the rush of initial federal relief. 
Millcreek launches $1.5 million in small business promotion grants
In Monday night's Council Meeting, Mayor Jeff Silvestrini and the Millcreek City Council unanimously approved the creation of a grant program to reimburse the city's small retail businesses for up to $5,000 in advertising. As part of the city's CARES Act Funds distribution, Millcreek is designating $1,500,000 available on a first-come-first-served basis, intent on helping 300 small businesses. 
Utah Inland Port Authority and Dominion Energy Utah announce cooperation agreement
The Utah Inland Port Authority and Dominion Energy Utah have signed a Joint Cooperation Statement aimed at reducing air pollution and improving energy efficiency within the UIPA jurisdictional area.
Avoid contact with bats to avoid rabies exposure
Utah public health officials are reminding everyone about the danger bats can pose to your health. In 2020, 44 bats have been tested for rabies and four tested positive. In Utah, bats are the primary carrier of the rabies virus.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngCOVID-19's impact on global security issues webinar
Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, the current CEO of ASERO Worldwide and former Director of Security & Protection Division of Israel Security Agency--Israel's most senior ranking counterterrorism official--will discuss the effects of COVID-19 on global security issues and what it means for Utah businesses and individuals. Bergerbest-Eilon will also share solutions to these challenges through the defense, security, and cybersecurity industries.
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgUtah Economic Response Task Force town hall: Utah congressional delegation members discuss the debate on the next federal stimulus package
You're invited to join the Utah Economic Response Task Force for a Town Hall on July 28, 2020, from 4 to 5 p.m. via Zoom or Facebook.

More National Headlines


1588 - Spain's "Invincible Armada" was defeated by an English naval force under the command of Charles Howard and Francis Drake.

1836 - Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

1914 - The first transcontinental telephone linkup was completed between San Francisco and New York City.

1921 - Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

1958 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs into law the act which creates NASA.

1981 - British Prince Charles married Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Wise Words

How's That Working Out

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side

Clever Colbert

"Today is a historic day for D.C. football fans because, after getting rid of the team's previous name, Washington's N.F.L. team will go by the name 'The Washington Football Team' until a new name can be chosen. So the Washington football team is now The Washington Football Team." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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