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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 21, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!


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

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

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

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

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

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

61 days to the Utah Attorney General debate (10/21/2020)

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

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

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

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

  • Biden accepts the Democratic nomination
  • Trump working overtime to produce next week's Republican convention.
  • Herbert issues a new emergency declaration.


Today's question comes from guest quizmaster Charlie Roberts:

In 1988, Tooele County created a Hazardous Industries District in the West Desert to better control the burgeoning and controversial hazardous waste treatment and disposal business. Name the three Tooele County Commissioners who created the area. 

Know the answer? Send your guess to me via email at mailbag@utahpolicy.com. We'll select a winner at random from the correct entries.

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/20200820_Herbert_news_conference.jpgLawmakers, Gov. Herbert at odds over scope, length of coronavirus emergency declaration
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert says he will issue a new state of emergency declaration on Thursday night when the current declaration expires at midnight.
images/1000px_Mugs/Derek_Miller_03.jpgGuest opinion: Child care underpins our economy
By Derek Miller, President & CEO Salt Lake Chamber
Often the first decision many parents make surrounds who is taking care of their children that day, what do they need, what's the schedule, and how can they plan work around their child's needs. This selfless act and choice is made by millions, daily. Single parents especially face a daunting task of caring for children that may need to learn at home and still being able to perform work responsibilities.  
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_26.jpgLegislators can't find enough support to extend coronavirus emergency declaration
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Legislators have decided not to extend Governor Gary Herbert's coronavirus emergency declaration, meaning it will expire at midnight on Thursday. But, Herbert can simply declare another emergency, which will keep the current coronavirus restrictions in place for another 30 days. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Running_Against_the_Devil.jpgPodcast: Rick Wilson on how Democrats can beat Trump in November
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Political strategist Rick Wilson has found a new life as part of a group of "never Trump" former Republicans who are working to deny President Donald Trump another term in office. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgLegislative Republicans nix proposal to shift state funding away from a controversial California coal port
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republicans on the legislature's top budgeting committee beat back Democrats' efforts on Tuesday to block state money from bailing out a controversial bankrupt coal port in Oakland and providing more money for Utah classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200818_Wilson_CNN.pngJenny Wilson represents Utah during Democratic roll call of the states
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson represented Utah during the roll call of the states during Tuesday's Democratic National Convention.
images/1000px_Mugs/Thomas_Wright_03.jpgPodcast: Thomas Wright on running for governor, and why he thinks Trump will win in November
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican Thomas Wright joins the podcast to discuss his run for governor.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


Biden makes it official

Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination during an emotional final night of the Democratic National Convention [WaPo].

13-year-old Brayden Harrington stole the show when he recounted how Biden helped him overcome his speech impediment [CNN].

Republicans up next

President Donald Trump is working overtime to produce a blockbuster convention next week that will outshine this week's Democratic event [CNN].

Trump's re-election campaign has invited "the majority" of Republican members of the House and Senate to the president's acceptance speech on the White House lawn next week [Twiiter].


Trump cabinet officials voted in 2018 by a show of hands to approve the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the border. White House adviser Stephen Miller saw the policy as a tool to deter more immigration [NBC News].

President Trump personally ordered former secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Neilsen to leave her post in Washington, D.C. and head to the southwest border at least half a dozen times, taking her away from focusing on national security matters [Politico].

Bannon arrested 

Former Trump campaign chairman and White House strategist Steve Bannon was arrested, along with others, for allegedly ripping off donors trying to fund construction of a wall on the southern border [CNN].

Bannon says his arrest was politically motivated by people who want to stop the construction of Trump's border wall [Twitter].


The number of Americans applying for unemployment rose above 1 million last week after two weeks of declines [AP].

American Airlines is suspending service to 15 small cities in the U.S. in October as federal aid is running out [CNBC].

Empty threat

President Trump threatened to send law enforcement to polling places on election day to protect against voter fraud, but he does not have the authority to do so [CNN].

Trump's taxes

A federal judge in New York threw out President Trump's latest lawsuit seeking to shield his tax records from the Manhattan District Attorney [WaPo].

Social media

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to allow the President to block his critics on Twitter [Politico].

Lyft and Uber

The ridesharing companies are threatening to suspend service in California if they are forced to reclassify drivers as employees [WSJ].


Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 8-21-20
Outdoors Report-- KSL.com: 3 (mostly) family-friendly arch hikes around MoabConcerts-- Silver City Pink, Saturday, 7 p.m., Zermatt Resort, 784 West Resort Drive, Midway, free-- Women of Rock n Roll Concert Cruise, Saturday, 6 p.m., Downtown Salt Lake City, 200 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, $35Theater-- "The Music Man" through August 21, SCERA Center-- "James Blonde License to Thrill" through August 22, Desert Star Playhouse-- "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" through August 22, Timpanogos Valley Theatre-- "Little Shop of Horrors" through August 22, Murray Arts in the Park-- "Forever Plaid" through September 5, Covey Center for the Arts-- "Mary Poppins" through September 5, Hale Centre Theatre-- "Window Seat Sessions" through September 5, Good Company Theatre-- "Finding the Fickle Fortune" through September 12, Pickleville Playhouse-- "Little Women" through September 12, Hale Center Theater Orem-- "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" through September 19, St. George Musical TheaterEt cetra-- Free Film: Coco, Davis Arts Council, Friday, 5 p.m., Kenley Amphitheater, 403 North Wasatch Drive, Layton-- Free Film: That Thing You Do, Davis Arts Council, Friday, 8 p.m., Kenley Amphitheater, 403 North Wasatch Drive, Layton-- SLC Drive-In: TESLA, Utah Film Center, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Land Cruiser Heritage Museum Parking Lot, 575 South 500 West, Salt Lake City-- Utah's 19th Amendment Centennial Celebration - Memorial Open House, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. 8 p.m., Grounds of Council Hall, 300 North State Street, Salt Lake City, registration required-- Canyon 2 Canyon Family Bike Ride, Saturday, 6:50 a.m. 1 p.m., Bryce Canyon City, 26 South Main, Bryce-- Millcreek Mask-up Music and Munchies Muster, Millcreek Arts Council, Saturday, 3 8 p.m., Canyon Rim Park, 3100 South 2900 East, Salt Lake City-- Real Monarchs vs. New Mexico United, Saturday, 1 p.m., Rio Tinto Stadium 9256 South State Street, Sandy-- SLC Drive-In: Ernest & Celestine, Utah Film Center, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Land Cruiser Heritage Museum Parking Lot, 575 South 500 West, Salt Lake City-- Box Elder County Fair, through August 29, Box Elder County Fairgrounds, 320 North 1000 West, Tremonton-- Downtown Farmer's Market, Saturdays, 8 a.m. 1 p.m., through October 24, Pioneer Park, 350 West Broadway, Salt Lake City
Amazon continues expansion in Utah, begins hiring in American Fork and announces lease for new delivery station in North Salt Lake
Amazon has begun hiring new full-time positions for a new delivery station located at 398 E 1100 S St., American Fork, UT, 84003. The company is also announcing a lease for a new delivery station at 989 West Center Street, North Salt Lake, UT, 84054, set to open next year. Collectively, these new delivery stations will add hundreds of new full- and part-time roles to Amazon's Utah delivery network.
Valley Behavioral Health hosts back to school drive-thru for at-risk Salt Lake County kids to receive hundreds of donated school supplies
Valley Behavioral Health, a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral and health conditions, hosted its third annual Children's Services Back to School event at the Maverik Center in West Valley City to provide school supplies for hundreds of at-risk kids. This year's event featured a drive-thru where current Valley clients received free lunch, shoes and backpacks as they pulled through the parking lot. Non-clients also were welcomed with free lunch prepare students for the upcoming school year.
Mayor Mendenhall proposes budget to equitably address community COVID needs
Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced six budget proposals aimed at developing a more equitable short- and long-term COVID recovery in the city.
Westminster begins Fall wemester with hybrid classes
Fall 2020 Semester classes at Westminster College began today. Courses are being delivered as a combination of in-person and remote instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic. The college has carefully developed protocols in line with CDC recommendations to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment for all students, faculty and staff.

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

Fools and Fanatics

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

Lighter Side

Constitutional Colbert

"Establishing post offices is in the Constitution. Congress needs to stand firm and protect the United States Postal Service with the same fervor the right uses to defend guns. What I am saying is you can have my sister-in-law's Christmas newsletter when you pry it from my cold dead hands." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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