2017 is shaping up as an utterly fascinating political year, especially at the national level. The Trump administration will keep all of us entertained, and we’ll see how Republican domination of Washington turns out.
In Utah, we turn to city governments for elective politics, and to the upcoming legislative session for policymaking.
Municipal elections in Utah are actually bigger than even-year general elections in terms of the number of people running. Most mayors are up for election this year, with the exception of Salt Lake City, Ogden, and a few other cities. In addition to mayors, about half of city council members will be running this year in Utah’s more than 230 municipalities.
Municipal elections are generally low-key, but some big fights do break out at the local level. Local political battles can be just as nasty as statewide and national elections.
City elections start about mid-year. The municipal election filing period is June 1-7, with the primary election Aug. 15 and the final election Nov. 7.
Meanwhile, the 2017 legislative session kicks off Monday, Jan. 23, and runs through March 9. After that, interim committees will be held most months, usually on the third Wednesday. The Legislative Management and Executive Appropriations committees usually meet on the Tuesday before interim committees on Wednesday.
A lot of other legislative task forces and special committees also meet. Legislative staff does a nice job of calendaring legislative meetings and you can check them out at the Legislature’s homepage:http://le.utah.gov/#iframe
Utah’s political parties will also be active this year, even without candidates to nominate. Party Central Committees usually meet quarterly on a Saturday morning.
County and state parties will elect new leaders — chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary — in organizing conventions this year. The county parties usually hold their conventions in late spring, with statewide parties electing leaders shortly thereafter. Those meetings have not yet been scheduled, by and large, although the State Republican Organizing Convention is scheduled for May 20, according to the GOP calendar.
State Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon has already announced he won’t run again. GOP Chair James Evans hasn’t yet announced whether he will run again or not. Evans has already served two, two-year terms. A three-term state GOP chair is rare, but not unheard of.
Here are dates for major state, national and international events, political and otherwise:
14 - Utah Democratic Legislative Gala 2017. Gov. Martin O'Malley is the keynote speaker.
16 - Martin Luther King Day holiday.
20 - Trump is inaugurated as 45th president.
23 - Deadline for Utah legislators to file financial disclosure.
23 - Utah legislative session begins, continues for 45 calendar days and ends March 9.
25 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting.
25-27 - U.S. House and Senate Republicans hold a joint retreat Philadelphia to plot strategy.
26 - Last day for a Utah legislator to designate priority bill request No. 3.
28 - Utah County Lincoln Day Luau.
2 - last day to request bills or appropriations without floor approval; last day to approve bills for numbering without floor approval.
2 - Groundhog Day.
3 - Box Elder County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
4 - Utah GOP State Central Committee Meeting.
5 -Super Bowl 51 in Houston.
7 - Last day for the Legislature to pass or defeat each base budget bill.
10 - Cache County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
11 - Salt Lake County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
14 - Valentine's Day.
14 - Emery County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
17 - Davis County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
18 - Washington County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
20 - President’s Day holiday.
22-25 - CPAC Conservative Political Action Conference will feature traditional -conservatives plotting the future.
25 - Last day for Legislature to present a bill to the governor, where the governor is required to act on the bill before the end of the session.
25 - Wasatch County GOP Lincoln Day Breakfast.
23-26 - New Democratic Party chair elected during DNC’s winter meeting in Atlanta.
3 - Last day for Executive Appropriations Committee to complete all decisions necessary to draft the final appropriations bill.
3- Last day for legislators to consider bills from their own house.
3 - Last day for legislators to make a motion to reconsider bills.
4 - Grand County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner
6 - Any bond bill shall be made available to legislators by noon; last day for a motion to reconsider; last day to consider bills from own house.
7 - Last day for legislators to prioritize fiscal note bills and identify other programs for new funding; last day final action must be taken on each bond bill; last day final action must be taken on each general appropriations bill, supplemental bill, and school finance bill.
9 - Last day of 2017 legislative session.
12 - Daylight Savings Time begins.
15 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting.
15 - Netherlands election offers look at how strong populism is in Europe.
16 - U.S. debt limit must be increased or country begins to default on its debts.
29 - Last day governor may sign or veto bills.
6 - Tooele County GOP Organizing Convention
8 - Carbon County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner
8 - Salt Lake County Democratic Organizing Convention.
16 - Easter Sunday
19 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting
22 - Davis County GOP Organizing Convention
22 - Salt Lake County GOP Organizing Convention
28 - The current continuing resolution funding the federal government expires. Congress must pass a budget or another CR or the government shuts down.
29 - Wasatch County GOP Organizing Convention
7 - France chooses its new president and the future of the European Union may be on the line.
8 - Last day a legislative veto-override session may begin.
9 - Normal effective date for Utah bills.
9 - First day a legislator may open a bill file for the next General Session
14 - Mother’s Day
17 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
17 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting
19 - Presidential election in Iran may draw a hardliner against current President Hassan Rouhani.
20 - Utah Republican Party organizing convention
25 - OPEC meeting in Vienna could impact gas prices.
26 - leaders of G7 meet in Sicily.
29 - Memorial Day holiday.
1 - Utah municipal election candidate filing period begins, through June 7. Declarations must be filed in person in the Office of the City Recorder.
7 - Utah municipal election candidate filing period ends.
13 - Virginia primary election. Four GOP candidates running for governor.
14 - Donald Trump turns 71.
18 - Father’s Day.
21 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
4 - Independence Day holiday.
7 - Trump attends first G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Could meet with Putin.
19 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
24 - Pioneer Day holiday
27 - India holds presidential election.
31 - Congress begins summer recess and members will face voters after first several months of GOP congress and Trump administration.
15 - Utah municipal primary election.
16 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
16 - Utah GOP Exeutive Committee Meeting.
21 - Total eclipse of the sun will occur.
4 - Labor Day holiday.
20 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
20 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting.
9 - Columbus Day holiday.
18 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
18 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting
31 - Halloween
5 - Daylight Savings Time ends.
7 - Election Day, featuring Utah municipal races, Virginia and New Jersey governorships and New York city mayorship.
11 - Veterans Day holiday.
15 - Utah legislative interim committees (tentative).
15 - Utah GOP Executive Committee Meeting.
23 - Thanksgiving Day holiday.
25 - Christmas Day holiday.