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Situational awareness - September 6, 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:

  • Herbert calls a special session to tweak Utah's medical marijuana laws.
  • The tax reform task force suggests school boards aren't pulling their weight when it comes to school funding.
  • Howard Schultz ends his presidential bid.
  • Congress working to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September.

Friday Trivia

What former governor of California is buried in Utah?

Thanks to reader Ken Roberts for this week's stumper. Send your guesses to me via email at bschott@utahpolicy.com. The first three subscribers with a correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 60 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 143 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 183 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 292 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 424 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgLawmakers say school districts should boost property taxes, cut school construction costs to fix education funding problems
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Local school districts, and to some extent their patrons, took a bit of a beating in Thursday's Tax Reform Task Force meeting.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Rice_Eccles_Stadium.jpgWhat college and pro football teams do Utahns follow? Our new poll says the University of Utah and the Denver Broncos are tops in the Beehive State
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The University of Utah is the most popular college football team in the Beehive State, while the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers are among the favorite pro teams in Utah according to our new poll.
images/1000px_Logos/2020_election_01.jpgUtah's 2020 candidate nominating schedule may be changing
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 One of the items on the agenda in this month's special session is a slight change to Utah's 2020 election schedule that will allow the state's political parties more time to hold their nominating conventions.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_20.jpgHerbert calls special session to make changes to medical cannabis law
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert called a special for Monday, September 16 for lawmakers to consider changes to Utah's medical cannabis law.
images/1000px_Mugs/Heidi_Matthews_01.jpgGuest opinion: Takeaways from Utah's tax town hall meetings
By Heidi Matthews, UEA President
With the "listening phase" over and the "study phase" underway, I would like to share a teacher's perspective on what I've seen so far from the Utah Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190905_GOED.jpgIndustry leaders to share insights at the 2019 Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit
By GOED team
The Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit will be held Oct. 22 to 24, 2019, at the Dixie Center in St. George, Utah. This three-day event in Washington County - the fastest growing county in the U.S. - provides opportunities for attendees to engage with local stakeholders, industry professionals and land managers who play vital roles in Utah's outdoor recreation community.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgReport: Greater dependence on water rates can drive conservation
By Utah Foundation
Utah Foundation releases Drop by Drop: Water Costs and Conservation in Utah. In this second installment of Utah Foundation's new Paying for Water Series, the property tax versus water rate debate is examined from the standpoint of conservation.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Abortion_Protest_01.jpgMajority of Utahns oppose overturning Roe v. Wade
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Abortion and reproductive rights is a newly ignited flashpoint during the Trump presidency. President Donald Trump has already appointed two conservative justices to the Supreme Court, and the fate of Roe v. Wade seemingly hinges on the health of 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. If Trump gets to pick her replacement, pro-choice groups fear the 1973 landmark decision could be overturned.
images/1000px_Mugs/Spencer_Cox_01.jpgHeir apparent? Herbert donates $50,000 to Cox's campaign
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
  Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox Gov. Gary Herbert put his financial weight behind his political protg on Wednesday, cutting a $50,000 check for Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox's 2020 gubernatorial campaign.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Point_of_the_Mountain_01.jpgUtah's generational opportunity at Point of the Mountain
By Muriel Xochimitl, X-Factor Strategic Communications
Utah is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, with the youngest median age and largest family size. The state has doubled in population over the last 30 years and is anticipated to double again by 2065.
Guest opinion: Reauthorizing key provisions of STELAR will benefit rural Utahns
By Tara Thue
Tara ThueThere are few things Utahns love more than watching football. From Labor Day weekend to Super Bowl Sunday, we gather with family and friends to watch the big game and cheer on our favorite teams. Understandably, we take for granted the ability to sit down on the couch, turn on the television and find high-definition coverage of our favorite teams. However, the possible expiration later this year of a key piece of legislation could jeopardize all that for hundreds of thousands of Americans across rural parts of the country, including people right here in Utah. 

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


We barely knew him

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Friday morning he would not run for president in 2020 as an independent candidate [WaPo].

Here we go again

The House is expected to pass a stopgap measure next week to keep the government from shutting down on September 30 [Politico].

Thumb on the scale

Republican parties in four states are scrapping their 2020 primaries and caucuses to cut off GOP primary challengers to President Donald Trump's re-election [Politico].


House and Senate Democrats plan to push for legislation to address election security when Congress gets back to work this fall [The Hill].

Hurricane Dorian

The storm made landfall in the Carolinas, bringing 100 mph winds and flooding [WaPo].

Let it go

President Trump continued his Orwellian insistence he was correct when he said Hurricane Dorian was threatening Alabama despite zero evidence to back him up [AP].

An official White House photo shows President Trump being briefed with an accurate Hurricane Dorian map before it was altered to show the storm threatening Alabama [Business Insider].

President Trump called a Fox News correspondent into the Oval Office on Thursday to argue he was not wrong about the hurricane potentially hitting Alabama [CNN].

Trump reportedly told a Coast Guard admiral to issue a statement defending his erroneous information about the hurricane and Alabama [Business Insider]. 

Gun control

President Trump met with West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin at the White House on Thursday to discuss a policy response to mass shootings that have killed dozens of people over the past several weeks [WSJ].

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke calls for a mandatory government buyback of AK-47 and AR-15 rifles [AP].

CVS and Walgreens ask customers to stop openly carrying guns in their stores [AP].

Boring but important

The Trump administration unveiled a sweeping plan to overhaul the U.S. housing market on Thursday. The first phase would release government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac [WaPo].

Warning signs

Texas Republicans are growing increasingly worried long-term demographic shifts may threaten their control of this longtime Republican state [The Hill].

Robert Mugabe dies

The former strongman leader of Zimbabwe died on Friday at the age of 95 [NYT].



Policy News

Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report-- KSL.com: Indian Creek rock climbing routes reopen after 6-month closure for nesting raptors-- KSL.com: 44 citations issued during Labor Day weekend due to quagga mussels in Lake Powell
Space Dynamics Lab delivers small satellite in preparation for launch to ISS
Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that it has delivered a small satellite designed for NASA to measure the microphysical properties of cloud water and ice particles.
Salt Lake City recognizes owners of energy-efficient buildings as new City ordinance begins roll-out
Salt Lake City honored buildings with high energy performance at the annual Elevate Buildings Awards.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgRomney and Lee comment on emergency funding diversions impacting Utah
U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) today issued the following statements after the Air Force informed both senators that funding appropriated by Congress for military construction projects at Hill Air Force Base would instead be spent to construct a wall on the southern border, as a result of the February 2019 emergency declaration. Romney and Lee previously urged the Department of Defense to protect funding for these Utah projects.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSens. Lee, Klobuchar announce hearing on digital platform mergers
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, will hold a subcommittee hearing September 24th examining concerns relating to acquisitions of nascent or potential competitors by digital platforms.
Utah submits Family First Act Prevention plan ahead of Oct. 1 start date
Outlining the expansion of mental health and substance use treatment and parenting skills services to prevent children from entering foster care, the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted its plan to implement federal Family First Prevention Services Act provisions with an Oct. 1, 2019 start date.

More National Headlines


1522 - The Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, returns to Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620 - The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England, on the Mayflower.

1628 - Puritans settle Salem which became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1870 - Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming becomes the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally in a general election.

1901 - President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York. Mckinley died eight days later.

1916 - The first self-service grocery store Piggly Wiggly was opened in Memphis, Tennessee.

1972 - Nine Israeli athletes taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games by a Palestinian terror group died at the hands of their kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt.

1995 - Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131 consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.

Wise Words


"Change your thoughts and you change your world." Norman Vincent Peale

Lighter Side

Trump Economy

"Trump's got about how long, 15 months? Fifteen months to keep the economy from collapsing before the election, so you can expect him to use every trick in the book he has never read."- STEPHEN COLBERT

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