Morning Must Reads for Thursday, December 8, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 343rd day of the year. There are 23 days remaining in 2016.

Gary Herbert takes the wraps off his $16.1 billion budget proposal. Utah has struck a deal with Amazon to start collecting online sales taxes. Joe Biden backtracks and says he’s not running for president in 2020.

The clock:

  • 11 days until the Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president (12/19/2016)
  • 43 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 46 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 91 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 334 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 698 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. Gov. Gary Herbert unveils his $16.1 billion budget proposal, which is a 6.2% increase over last year [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  2. House speaker Greg Hughes says he’s not likely to take a job in a Donald Trump administration, but it’s still possible [Utah Policy].
  3. Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s struck a deal with to start collecting state and local sales taxes for online purchases [Deseret News].
  4. Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter against Chuck Jones, an Indiana labor union leader, who criticized his deal with Carrier for keeping jobs from going to Mexico. After the president-elect’s tweets, Jones started getting death threats. Said Jones, “He (Trump) needs to worry about getting his Cabinet filled and leave me the hell alone” [Washington Post].
  5. Joe Biden makes it clear he’s not planning on running for president in 2020 [Wall Street Journal].
  6. Mitt Romney is thought to be the front-runner for Donald Trump‘s secretary of state according to sources close to the incoming administration [CBS News].
  7. Donald Trump names Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a leading critic of the Environmental Protection Agency, to head the EPA [Bloomberg]. Trump also taps professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration [Wall Street Journal].
  8. Donald Trump has tapped three former generals for key positions in his Cabinet, leading some to worry about an undue military influence on his administration [Wall Street Journal, Washington Post].
  9. Donald Trump says he will personally negotiate with Boeing over the price of a new Air Force One [Wall Street Journal].
  10. The Utah Transit Authority spent 59% more for a consultant on “union busting” than they originally disclosed, bringing the total price tag to $74,000 [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1776 – George Washington’s retreating army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War.
  • 1941 – United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • 1980 – John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment building in New York City. He was 40.
  • 1991 – The Soviet Union ceased to exist when the republics of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • 1993 – Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.