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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.

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Situational awareness - August 10, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Monday!


10 days to the 6th special session (8/20/2020)

45 days to the 1st Congressional District debate (9/24/2020)

50 days to the Utah gubernatorial debate (9/28/2020)

52 days to the Utah Attorney General debate (10/01/2020)

58 days to the Vice Presidential debate at the University of Utah (10/07/2020)

63 days to the 4th Congressional District debate (10/12/2020)

66 days to the 3rd Congressional District debate (10/15/2020)

70 days to the 2nd Congressional District debate (10/19/2020)

85 days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

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

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

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

  • The U.S. passes 5 million coronavirus cases.
  • Utah lawmakers may take up a plan to give tax credits to parents whose kids can't attend school in person.
  • A Jon Huntsman write-in effort looks to be picking up steam.


I was off last week, so we had to wait a bit to crown our trivia winner. 

Florence E. Allen was the first woman appointed to a state supreme court and first woman appointed to the Federal Court of Appeals. Her father, Clarence Allen, served in the Utah House of Representatives. 

Congratulations to Zachary Zundel who was chosen at random from our correct answers. He on deck to ask this Friday's trivia question. 

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgLawmakers may tackle a controversial school funding issue in next week's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Nearly two dozen bills could make the cut for inclusion on next week's special session agenda. That may seem like a lot, but the initial list of items under consideration is more than twice that number according to a list of potential bills shared with UtahPolicy.com.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_03.jpgPotential Huntsman write-in campaign is picking up steam. Organizers say a final decision is coming soon
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The effort to convince former Gov. Jon Huntsman to mount a write-in campaign for November's election is picking up steam, and a final decision may be coming soon. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: The Donald Trump School of Epidemiology
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick wrap up another busy week in Utah politics.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion brief: Let's cut our political leaders a little slack
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
These are difficult, frustrating, stressful times and everyone is on edge. The angst has ratcheted up several notches as decisions are made about schools opening - or not -- and under what conditions. Public opinion is divided on just about everything related to the coronavirus, and some folks are looking for someone to blame. One easy target, of course, is Gov. Gary Herbert. He's either too prescriptive or not prescriptive enough. He's opening up the economy too soon or too late. He's either pushing schools too hard to open, or he's not dictating to them enough.
images/1000px_Mugs/Nathan_Gonzales_01.pngPodcast: Mapping out the 2020 elections with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We're less than three months toward election day, and some of the trends that will shape the November vote are coming into focus. To map out what the next three months could look like, we speak with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com.
images/1000px_Mugs/20200617_Herbert_Presser.pngHerbert announces new goal in Utah's fight against coronavirus
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert put forward Thursday a new goal in the state's fight against the coronavirus -- new cases down below 400 on average by Sept. 1.

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5 million

The U.S. topped 5 million coronavirus cases on Sunday. More than 160,000 Americans have lost their lives due to the virus [AP].

New Zealand has gone 100 days since reporting a new case of Covid-19. The country ended their lockdown in June [Business Insider].

Canadian citizens, worried about the spread of the coronavirus, are reporting illegal American visitors to that country [NYT].


The Trump administration reportedly pressured the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to delete part of a report that said Russia was working to get President Donald Trump re-elected in 2020. When former director of national intelligence Dan Coats refused to delete that conclusion from the report, Trump forced him to retire months earlier than he planned to [New York Times Magazine].

A new intelligence assessment says Russia and China are both interfering in our election, with Russia preferring Trump while China wants Democrat Joe Biden to win. But, it's not clear whether China is doing much to help Biden, while Russia is pushing hard for Trump [NYT].

Executive orders

President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to provide financial relief to millions of Americans after talks over another coronavirus stimulus bill broke down. Trump's executive orders are constitutionally dubious at best since they usurp power given exclusively to Congress [Politico].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump's executive orders "absurdly unconstitutional" and Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse said the move by Trump was "constitutional slop" [NBC News].

Trump's executive orders don't really provide much relief if you actually read them [CNN].


Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the U.S. during the last two weeks in July [NYT].

Nine people test positive for the coronavirus at a Georgia school where a photo of students packed into hallways and not wearing masks went viral [WaPo].

Biden's time in the spotlight

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's imminent selection of a running mate will shift the focus to his campaign [AP].

2020 campaign

Democrat Joe Biden leads Republican Donald Trump in the crucial swing states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin according to a new survey. Biden is ahead in Pennsylvania 49-43 percent. He leads in Wisconsin 48-42 percent [CBS News].

College football on the brink

Two prominent athletic directors say the cancellation of the fall college football season is inevitable after the Mid-American Conference canceled its season [CBS Sports].

Sources say fall sports will be postponed in all conferences by the end of the week [Sports Illustrated].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 91: Engaging your leadership team and board to your cybersecurity efforts
Building a culture of cybersecurity in your business doesn't just happen. And when it doesn't happen, trouble is just a few clicks away. So how do you keep your IT team connected to senior leadership and even to your governing board? 
How Utahns view the national masquerade
While Provo, Utah, made national news in July as the location of a protest against masks, does it really reflect a majority of Utah voters? Should there be a state mandate for masks?In a Utah Foundation blog post see what Utahns think and how it breaks down along urban/rural and ideological divides.
Herbert announces statewide effort to train and certify 5,000 students for cloud careers with Amazon Web Services
The Talent Ready Utah Center, housed in the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a new initiative to provide AWS cloud computing courses and learning resources to 5,000 students in Utah by June 2022.
Romney, Tester, King Lead Legislation to Extend Loan Support to Small Businesses
WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Angus King (I-ME) today introduced legislation which would enhance support for rural communities, family farms, and small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Rural Equal Aid Act would provide relief to rural small businesses by expanding assistance Congress previously provided for certain existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to Rural Development (RD) program loans within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Rural Equity Aid Act expands subsidies to the following USDA RD loan programs:
Community Facilities - These loans are provided to public and nonprofit organizations for essential community facilities like hospitals, libraries, child care and community centers, and public facilities like fire stations or town halls.Business and Industry - These loans are provided to businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits to develop and expand businesses in rural areas.

More National Headlines


1519 - Ferdinand Magellan's five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe. Second in command Juan Sebastian Elcano will complete the expedition after Magellan's death in the Philippines.

1776 - Word of the United States Declaration of Independence reaches London.

1776 - A committee of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson suggested the United States adopt "E Pluribus Unum" -- "Out of many, one" -- as the motto for its Great Seal.

1821 - Missouri is admitted as the 24th state.

1846 - The Smithsonian Institution is chartered by Congress after James Smithson donates $500,000.

1920 - Francisco "Pancho" Villa surrendered to Mexican authorities.

1948 - President Harry S. Truman signs the National security Act Amendment, replacing the Department of War with the Department of Defense.

1969 - A day after murdering Sharon Tate and four others, members of Charles Manson's cult kill Leo and Rosemary LaBianca.

1977 - In Yonkers, New York, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz is arrested in the "Son of Sam" murders.

1995 - Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are indicted for the Oklahoma City federal building bombing.

Wise Words

Still True Today?

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lighter Side

Jimmy Gotta Jimmy

"That's right, no more N.R.A., no more Confederate flags. This is turning into the worst year of Ted Nugent's life," Jimmy Fallon

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