What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – November 18, 2013

Countdown:  There are 70 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 218 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections, 351 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 778 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • Any changes the feds make to the implementation of Obamacare won’t have much of an impact in Utah [Deseret News].
  • The BLM is reversing course on a decision to open up land surrounding the San Rafael Swell to oil and gas exploration [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says conservatives should join the fight against poverty [Deseret News].
  • Lawmakers may consider a number of proposals to hike Utah’s gasoline tax to pay for transportation projects [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert’s plan for significantly increasing the number of Utahns with a college education will take a lot of funding to accomplish [Tribune].
  • Sen. Stuart Reid says he is retiring from the Legislature and will not run for re-election in 2014 [Utah Policy].
  • Reid is proposing legislation to raise the age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 [Daily Herald].
  • Rep. Brad Dee wants the state to fund a clean-air campaign as soon as possible [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah’s Democratic party joins the fight against the “Count My Vote” citizen’s initiative [Tribune].
  • Utah enhances its online health exchange portal for small businesses [Tribune].
  • Just how damaging to Jon Huntsman’s future political career are some embarrassing revelations in a new book about the 2012 campaign? [Deseret News]
  • Ally Isom, Gov. Herbert’s spokesperson, says she is leaving that position to spend more time with her family [Tribune].
  • Two telemarketers who have been interviewed as part of the House probe into John Swallow talk publicly [KUTV].
  • Newly elected West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow talks about his plans for Utah’s second-largest city [Tribune].
  • The 2013 elections could have an impact on Salt Lake City’s plans to expand the new Sugar House streetcar line [Tribune].
  • A new poll shows the government shutdown had a positive impact on how Americans view national parks [Tribune].