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Situational awareness - August 23, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

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:

  • Utahns oppose ending Utah's constitutional requirement that income taxes go toward funding education.
  • Vice President Mike Pence visits Utah.
  • White House advisers say forecasts show the economy will slow down dramatically over the next year.

Friday Trivia

Rob Bishop is reportedly considering running for Utah governor in 2020 after he retires from Congress. If he wins it would be a first as Utah is one of three states to have never elected a governor who previously served in the U.S. House. Can you name the other two states?

Send your guesses to me via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com. I'll recognize the first three readers to submit correct answers in Monday's newsletter.

Moving on up!

Our podcast hit #67 in the U.S. on the Apple political podcast chart this week. 

Thanks to all of our listeners for making our podcast a top-100 program in the country.

You can listen to our podcast on every major platform or your favorite podcast app.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 74 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 157 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 193 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 306 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 438 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/School_Funding_01.pngShould Utah ditch the constitutional earmark for education funding? Our new poll shows voters are mostly opposed to the idea
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
One idea for changing Utah's tax system that seems to be gaining traction on Utah's Capitol Hill is ending the constitutional requirement that all income taxes collected by the state go toward funding education. If lawmakers decide to head down that path, they may have a difficult time getting Utah voters to follow them.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Oh, how Republican Utah has changed
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Bob Bernick Before you condemn Utah as an archconservative, Republican-only state, consider the following:Sen. Mitt Romney and Gov. Gary Herbert are talking about gun control --full background checks and even "red flag" laws that could take guns away from those a danger to themselves or others.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jeff_Burningham_01.jpgBurningham staffing up ahead of official campaign launch
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Jeff Burningham Republican Jeff Burningham is expected to officially launch his gubernatorial campaign in the coming weeks. Ahead of that announcement, Burningham has brought on several veteran Utah politicos to help run his campaign.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities work podcast: Rescue Me - The expectations of residents during an emergency
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
A quake hits, a fire rages, a mudslide blocks off a main thoroughfare. Who do residents depend on when disaster hits their community? A large amount of trust is placed in city leaders based on a ULCT/Y2 Analytics survey. ULCT's Cameron Diehl speaks with Y2's Kyrene Gibb about resident's expectations when there's a community call for help.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgLawmakers will consider ditching state-run medical marijuana dispensaries in upcoming special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah lawmakers are set to consider major changes to the state's new medical marijuana legislation, primarily doing away with the central-fill pharmacy provision in the bill and replacing it with more privately-run pharmacies.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_31.jpg2/3 of Utahns oppose reinstating sales tax on food, but they're unsure about imposing sales taxes on services
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Republicans in the Utah Legislature and GOP Gov. Gary Herbert have quite a sales job ahead of them if they want most Utahns to support their tax reform effort, especially extending the sales tax to services, a new UtahPolicy.com poll finds.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpg5 Reasons to attend the Business H2O: Water Innovation Summit
By Salt Lake Chamber
 On September 12, the Salt Lake Chamber will host this year's Business H20: Water Innovation Summit in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at Snowbird Resort.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190821_GOED.jpgTalent Ready Utah and partners announce new youth apprenticeship program
By GOED team
Talent Ready Utah (TRU) recently announced it's partnering with Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake Education Foundation and Stadler US to start a new youth apprenticeship program for the state of Utah. The program is called Talent Ready Apprenticeship Connection (TRAC).
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


Recession fears. White House advisers told President Donald Trump earlier this month that some forecasts showed the economy could slow down dramatically over the next year, but might not tip into recession. Trump is struggling to come up with a coherent message in response [WaPo].

  • The U.S. created 501,000 fewer jobs since 2018 than previously reported [MarketWatch].

Tax cuts. A top adviser to President Trump said the administration could propose a middle-class tax cut ahead of the 2020 election [WSJ].

The investigations. It seems unlikely that Congressional Democrats will get their hands on President Trump's tax returns before the 2020 election [WaPo].

Trump scraps plan to cut billions in foreign aid. President Trump is backing away from a plan to freeze more than $4 billion in foreign aid without the approval of congress [Politico].

Uh oh. Data shows the manufacturing sector contracted for the first time since 2009, mostly due to the trade war between the U.S. and China [WaPo].

2020. The Trump campaign is pushing to mobilize women Republican voters in 2020 battleground states [Reuters].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

  • President Trump floated the idea of swapping Puerto Rico for Greenland [NYT].
  • President Trump said on Wednesday that he considered giving himself the Medal of Honor, but aides warned him against it [Politico].

Pence's future. Amid rumors that President Trump is considering replacing Vice President Mike Pence on the 2020 ticket, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said during a speech that Pence "will be on the ticket" next year [Tampa Bay Times].

Green new deal redux. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders proposed a plan to fight climate change that carries a hefty $16 trillion price tag. Sanders says his proposal would pay for itself [NYT].

  • We're living through a climate emergency right now, but nobody is paying attention [BuzzFeed].

Faithless electors. A federal court ruled members of the Electoral College could choose whomever they please regardless of which candidate won a state's popular vote [NYT].


Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--KSL.com:Here's why tiger muskies can now be found in 3 of Utah's higher-elevated lakesNew Films-- Angel Has Fallen: Tribune review
Fighting illegal robocalls: Utah Attorney General Reyes joins 51 attorneys general, 12 telecommunication companies
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes has announced an agreement to protect phone users by fighting illegal robocalls and to make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute 'bad actors'. This agreement is the result of a bipartisan, public/private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies. 
George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home receives prestigious national award
The George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home won the prestigious 2019 Gold Excellence in Quality Award, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) announced earlier this month.
Executive Director of my529, Lynne N. Ward, to step down effective October 4
After 15 years as Executive Director of my529, Utah's official nonprofit 529 educational savings plan, Lynne N. Ward is stepping down effective October 4, 2019. It is anticipated that Richard K. Ellis, Senior Director of Compliance, Finance, and Investments of my529, will be appointed new executive director at the USHE Board of Regents meeting on September 13, 2019, at Utah State University.
Cicero Group ranked in top 50 consulting firms
In the 2020 Vault.com "Top 50 Consulting Firms" rankings, Cicero Group ranked as the No. 10 firm for overall business outlook, No. 17 boutique consulting firm, and No. 42 overall consulting firm. These rankings, in addition to recognition for top informal training and internal mobility, position Cicero Group as one of the leaders in management consulting in North America.
Salt Lake City-based foundation brings UN Conference to the world
When thousands of people come to Salt Lake City from Aug. 26-Aug. 28 to take part in the 68th annual United Nations Civil Society Conference, many more will participate around the world via online video streaming sponsored by the Utah-based Semnani Family Foundation.

More National Headlines


1784 - Western Noth Carolina declares itself an independent state under the name of Franklin. It is not accepted into the United States, and only lasts for four years.

1939 - Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty. Less than two years later, Germany launched a blitzkrieg attack on Russia.

1970 - Organized by labor union leader Cesar Chavez, the Salad Bowl strike, the largest farm worker strike in U.S. history begins.

1990 - West and East Germany announce they will reunite on October 3.

1991 - The World Wide Web is opened to the public.

Wise Words


"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." Mark Twain

Lighter Side

Relying on the NYT

"New York Times, we depend on you," [Seth] Meyers concluded. "We need you to learn the lessons of 2016, and one of them is don't just uncritically repeat whatever this president reads off a teleprompter, because he never means it."

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