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 low fixed rate

Situational awareness - August 21, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City

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

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

  • Hemmert is prepping a run in Utah's 4th District. He will be the 5th Republican to join the race.
  • Utahns aren't convinced reforming the state's tax code is an urgent problem.
  • Trump cancels his state trip to Denmark because they won't sell Greenland to the U.S.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 76 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 159 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 195 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 308 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 440 (11/3/2020)

water innovation summit business h20

Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Daniel_Hemmert_01.jpg2020 roundup: Hemmert preparing to run for Congress, Moss and Wilde pass
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Sen. Daniel Hemmert There are already four Republicans running to face Democrat Ben McAdams in 2020. Senate Majority Whip Dan Hemmert is poised to be the fifth.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_07.jpgFewer than 4 in 10 Utahns believe overhauling Utah's tax system should be a high priority
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While Utah legislative leaders are working hard to come up with a tax reform package that can go to lawmakers in a fall special session, the urgent push is not shared by voters in general, a new Utah Political Trends survey from UtahPolicy.com and Y2 Analytics poll shows.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgStudy examines K-12 education outcomes in light of spending
By Utah Foundation
Utah may spend less per student in its public schools than any other state, but Utah students are doing as well or better than comparable states on a range of measures of educational outcomes. A new study from Utah Foundation, Making the Grade? K-12 Outcomes and Spending in Utah, compares the performance of students here with neighboring states in the Mountain West and with several peer states selected for their similarity to Utah's population demographics. It then places the outcomes in the context of spending.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgFriendzoned by Mitt Romney - Bernick and Schott on politics
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
National Democrats think there's a chance Rep. Chris Stewart could be vulnerable in 2020, mostly because of his low approval ratings and President Donald Trump's unpopularity. Do Democrats have a chance to flip this district next year?
images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Stewart_11.jpgNational Democrats think Rep. Chris Stewart could be vulnerable in 2020
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Rep. Chris Stewart speaks at the 2019 Utah GOP convention It sounds ludicrous, but national Democrats think they might have a chance to knock off four-term incumbent Republican Chris Stewart in 2020.
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Hughes_01.jpgHughes raising big bucks ahead of 2020 gubernatorial bid
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
It's nice to have a few well-to-do friends to help jump-start your governor's race.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgCEO Success Stories with University of Utah President Ruth Watkins
By Salt Lake Chamber
In the latest episode of the Salt Lake Chamber podcast "CEO Success Stories," Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, sits down with University of Utah President Ruth Watkins, to hear about her leadership philosophy, best practices, the American Dream Ideas Challenge, and what to expect at the U this upcoming year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Trump_Twitter_02.jpgUtahns think Trump's tweets are offensive, but not racist
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Given examples of six recent tweets by GOP President Donald Trump, a UtahPolicy.com poll finds that most Utahns find those tweets offense.But the respondents don't believe the Trump tweets were racist they concerned two African-American leaders.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Economy_04.jpgUtah's unemployment rate remains below the national average
By Press release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for July 2019 grew by an estimated 3.6 percent, adding 54,400 jobs to the economy since July 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,558,100. June's year-over job growth rate is unrevised at 2.9 percent. 

World Trade Center Utah ad


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


No Greenland, no trip. President Donald Trump cancels his planned state visit to Denmark because the Danish Prime Minister said they would not sell Greenland to the U.S. [CNN].

  • Danish officials are bewildered by Trump's behavior. "The man is unpredictable. Reality surpasses imagination" said one political leader following Trump's snub [Reuters].

Today's Trump outrage. President Trump sparked criticism on Tuesday said Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats showed "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty" [NYT].

The NRA gets results. President Trump was on board with a plan to expand background checks for gun purchases following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Trump backed away from the idea after speaking with NRA head Wayne LaPierre [Atlantic].

  • Republicans in Congress are starting to sour on new gun laws following Trump's reversal [Politico].

Economy. After the White House denied the story, President Trump confirmed he's considering pushing for a payroll tax cut to boost the economy [WaPo].

  • Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told wealthy donors at a Trump fundraising event in Wyoming this week to prepare for a "moderate and short" recession [Politico].

Immigration. The Trump administration is expected to announce a new regulation that would allow for the detention of migrant families beyond the 20-day limit for holding children [CNN].

  • The US will not vaccinate migrant families against the flu this year [CNBC].


  • So far, 10 Democrats have qualified for the next presidential debate. The latest is former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro [Politico].
  • Democrats are worried their presidential field is not doing enough to address the issues of rural voters [Politico].

This story is bananas. How the Epoch Times went from niche news outlet to an online juggernaut by going all-in on supporting President Trump [NBC News].

Hmmm. President Trump overstated the value and profitability of his golf courses in Scotland by $165 million [HuffPo].

The Amazon. The rainforest has hit a record number of wildfires this year as deforestation and development is increasing in the region [Reuters]. 


Policy News

Amazon announces plans to expand in Utah with new fulfillment center in West Jordan
Amazon.com, Inc. announced plans to open a new fulfillment center in West Jordan, Utah creating more than 800 full-time jobs starting at $15 an hour with comprehensive benefits starting on day one. Amazon currently employs more than 2,000 full-time associates throughout the State of Utah. 
UCAIR board elects new executive chair and committee to lead clean air pursuit
UCAIR, the Utah Clean Air Partnership, elected and inducted the new Executive Board Committee for the 2020-2021 term at its annual meeting of the Board. 
Ivory Homes brings innovation and affordability to Magna City
Ivory Homes released CW Farms, a new community in Magna City that will have 164 total lots, and 57 lots in Phase 1 and 2 of this development. Ivory Homes is meeting the region's high demand for quality housing at a price point that appeals to all types of homebuyers. CW Farms brings an innovative and streamlined process option to homebuyers in a difficult home building market with rising costs. 
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 podcast: Who's in your wallet? What business leaders, policy makers can learn from the Capital One breach
Sometimes the numbers are so big you can't ignore them. And when two business giants are involved it gets even harder to miss. The latest headline-grabbing cyber breach involves Capital One, a former employee of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a breach impacting 106 million people. 

More National Headlines



1831 - Nat Turner leads black slaves and free blacks in a rebellion in Virginia. Turner was later hanged.

1888 - The first successful adding machine in the U.S. is patented by William Seward Burroughs.

1897 - American automobile manufacturer Oldsmobile is founded.

1911 - The Mona Lisa is stolen by a Louvre employee.

1959 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

2017 - Millions watched the first total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 38 years.


Wise Words

Good Sense

"Good sense is both the first principal and the parent source of good writing." Horace

Lighter Side

Blaming an Inanimate Object

"Hannity and Fox News talk every day about protecting American freedoms, but if everyone in America is forced to live in a world of perimeter fences, metal detectors and armed guards in every hall, then it starts to feel like society is living in a prison, and the only thing that's free is the gun." Trevor Noah

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