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Situational Awareness - September 19, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Support for a gas tax hike to fund schools dips slightly. Kavanaugh's accuser wants an FBI investigation. North and South Korea pledge an era of "no war."


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Today At Utah Policy

images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Gas_Taxes_01.jpgSupport for gasoline tax hike to better fund schools dips slightly

Support for a state gasoline tax hike to support public schools has dropped slightly over the last few months now only half of all Utahns support the tax increase, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows. ...
images/Shutterstock_Icons/podcast_13.jpgPodcast: Rep. Brad Daw discusses medical cannabis

Rep. Brad Daw joins Managing Editor Bryan Schott to talk about the legalization of medical cannabis in Utah....
images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_11.jpgKeep My Voice surveying lawmakers on SB54, possibly looking for support to repeal Utah's dual path system

The backers of Keep My Voice, which successfully kept the Count My Vote initiative off of November's ballot, appears to be gauging support among lawmakers for SB54 ahead of the 2019 legislature....
Nominees announced for 2nd District Court vacancy

 The 2nd District Judicial Nominating Commission has selected nominees for a vacancy on the 2nd District Court. ...
Move people, not cars: The intersection of healthy communities and transportation choices

Utah is experiencing significant growth. We have the fastest growing economy in the country, with low unemployment and a high rate of job creation....

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Salt Lake Tribune

In one Utah school, it costs $2,500 to be on the cheerleading squad. A state audit says high fees for sports and clubs are breaking the law.

Audit: State could do more to recover $552 million in taxes left unpaid over past 5 years

Unified Fire Authority punts on decision of whether to sue to seek recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in allegedly misused public funds

Elizabeth Smart wants Wanda Barzee back in prison 'as soon as she messes up' federal probation, but it might not happen that easily

Utah lawmakers explore quick fix to state driver-license problem that could run afoul of federal airport security

Sen. Hatch says Senate must vet allegation against Kavanaugh but slams Dems for holding back information until now

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says legislation that created the inland port is 'unconstitutional' and will see its day in court

Ben McAdams will vote for Prop 2 to legalize medical marijuana; Mia Love is undecided

Deseret News

Amid critical audit, board says it may now penalize Utah schools over fees

Point of the Mountain Commission wrangles transportation issues

State needs to do more to collect $552 million in unpaid taxes, auditor says

Summit targets new innovations in Utah food production

Utah groups want to tank Nevada's groundwater pumping plan

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  • Kavanaugh confirmation: The woman who is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault wants the FBI to investigate her claims before she will agree to testify to the Senate - https://wapo.st/2PQVWk9...Sen. Diane Feinstein is under fire for not bringing the allegations against Kavanaugh forward until recently, even though she was aware of them for months - https://wapo.st/2PJCnKq...President George W. Bush reaffirms his support for Kavanaugh, calling him a "fine husband, father, and friend" - https://politi.co/2PLfhD9...President Trump says he doesn't think the FBI should get involved in investigating the allegations against Kavanaugh - https://abcn.ws/2PPKG7r

  • Kim Jong Un pledges to visit Seoul, which would be the first such trip by a North Korean leader - https://wapo.st/2PPETie...The two countries commit to an era of "no war." The North also promised to close a key missile test facility if the U.S. agrees to corresponding measures - https://cnn.it/2PRiiC3

  • President Trump said in an interview that exposing the FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election as a "hoax" could become of the "crowning achievements" of his presidency - http://bit.ly/2PNopah ..Trump also slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying "I don't have an Attorney General. It's very sad." - http://bit.ly/2PPIPQ2

  • Political nonprofits must now disclose many of their donors after a federal court ruling. That could curtail the ability of these groups to influence elections - https://wapo.st/2PJGGFs

  • The Trump administration lost track of another 1,500 migrant children who illegally entered the U.S.this year - https://nyti.ms/2POmbr8

  • Hillary Clinton says she fears President Trump will go through a wholesale purge of White House staffers after the election because of the anonymous op-ed authored by a Trump administration official - https://nbcnews.to/2PJJr9M

  • The FBI and DOJ plan to redact information contained in sensitive materials that President Trump ordered declassified - https://bloom.bg/2PPJ8Kv

  • A new poll shows Democratic women are more motivated to vote in November than any other demographic group - https://politi.co/2PMqLWU

  • Trump and his allies have claimed a dossier alleging connections between the Trump campaign and Russia triggered the FBI's Russia investigation. Sources say that isn't true, as the dossier sat untouched in the FBI's New York office for several weeks while agents were already investigating Russian interference in the election - https://abcn.ws/2PJDFoK

  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao used Federal Aviation Administration planes rather than commercial flights on at least seven occasions, costing taxpayers more than $93,000 - https://politi.co/2PJFrGq


  • 1676 - Jamestown is burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon's Rebellion.

  • 1777 - American soldiers won the first Battle of Saratoga in the Revolutionary War.

  • 1778 - The Continental Congress passes the first federal budget.

  • 1796 - George Washington's Farewell Address is printed across America as an open letter to the public.

  • 1881 - President James A. Garfield dies of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting. Vice President Chester A. Arthur becomes president upon Garfield's death.

  • 1893 - With the signing of the Electoral Bill by Gov. David Boyle, New Zealand became the first country to grant national voting rights to women.

  • 1985 - Tipper Gore and other political wives form the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testify at Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music.

  • 1995 - The Washington Post and The New York Times publish the Unabomber's manifesto.

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Policy News

Sen. Lee introduces the Screening Partnership Reform Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Screening Partnership Reform Act, a bill that would make changes to the Transportation Safety Administration's Screening Partnership Program....
Rep. Love Bill to increase congressional oversight of sanctions on state sponsors of terrorism
Congresswoman Mia Love has introduced a bill to give Congress better oversight into the financial services provided to state sponsors of terrorism and certain sanctioned persons. ...
Ivory Innovations announces $200,000 prize seeking to improve housing affordability
Ivory Innovations has announced the new $200,000 Ivory Prize in Housing Affordability, an award that will honor innovations in design, financing and policy that seek to increase access in housing affordability....
Federal Trade Commission and Utah Division of Consumer Protection present free consumer fraud and business symposium
Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce announced that the Federal Trade Commission will partner with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection in a free public event on September 20, 2018, focusing on fighting fraud.  ...

More National Headlines

Democrats will impose massive tax hikes if they win Congress (Washington Examiner)

Canada's Trudeau under growing pressure to get NAFTA deal done (Reuters)

Bill Gates: 'My biggest fears about what's coming next for this world' (Telegraph)

'Unprecedented' Government Spending Spree Picks Up Speed (Nextgov)

State Department bureaucrat caught plotting 'deep state' resistance: Project Veritas (Washington Times)

Nearly 90% Of Doctors Say Social Determinants Impede Care Of Patients (Forbes)

Trump says exposing 'corrupt' FBI probe could be 'crowning achievement' of presidency (The Hill)

Michigan professor slammed after refusing to write letter of recommendation for student applying to study in Israel (FOX News)

Ted Cruz holds solid lead over Democrat Beto O'Rourke as GOP aims to avoid Texas disaster, new Quinnipiac poll says (CNBC)

Schools closed as search continues in Mansfield area for fugitive wanted for threatening President Donald Trump (Cleveland.com)

Senate approves $854B spending bill (The Hill)

Wise Words

Public Safety

"Public trust is essential to public safety." Martin O'Malley


Lighter Side

Last President

"Filmmaker Michael Moore told MSNBC yesterday [Sept 13] he believes it is absolutely possible that President Trump could be the last president of the United States. And that's probably true. Last in spelling. Last in empathy. Last in geography. Last in approval ratings." Seth Meyers


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