Morning Must Reads for Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 10th day of the year. There are 355 days remaining in 2017.

Lawmakers are wary of a proposed tax hike to fund Utah’s schools. Barack Obama prepares to give his farewell speech. The confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General begin Tuesday.

The clock:

  • 10 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 13 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 58 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 301 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 665 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1393 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Tuesday:

  1. Planning ahead. Get a jump on 2017 with our “master calendar” of key political dates for the next year [Utah Policy].
  2. School funding battle looming. Utah lawmakers are very wary of a proposed income tax hike to fund public schools as they worry the measure could slow down Utah’s economy [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune]. Lawmakers are also starting to push back against the proposal even before proponents get started [Utah Policy].
  3. Republicans in control. LaVarr Webb argues Donald Trump‘s bombastic style is overshadowing the political success Republicans are enjoying [Utah Policy].
  4. Show them how to say goodbye. President Barack Obama heads to Chicago to deliver his farewell address tonight [Washington Post].
  5. Confirmation squabble. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump‘s pick for Attorney General, goes before the Judiciary Committee Tuesday for his confirmation hearing [New York Times]. Sen. Cory Booker will testify against Sessions during the confirmation process, marking the first time a sitting senator testifies against another sitting senator during a confirmation hearing [CNN].
  6. Obamacare latest. A group of moderate Republicans in the Senate want to slow down the speeding train racing to repeal Obamacare to give Republicans more time to find a replacement [Politico]. 
  7. Aggressive reform agenda. Rep. Jason Chaffetz plans to pursue some changes as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that has many federal workers on edge [Washington Post].
  8. Keeping it in the family. Donald Trump names his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as one of his senior advisors, immediately raising fears he’s violating nepotism laws [Wall Street Journal].
  9. Hate crimes redux. Sen. Daniel Thatcher is bringing back a hate crimes proposal to the 2017 legislature, but he’s hoping to keep the focus on the perpetrator of the crime instead of the victim [Deseret News].
  10. Housing plans. Salt Lake City unveils a plan to create affordable housing and boost business creation in downtown [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1776 – Thomas Paine published the pamphlet “Common Sense.”
  • 1789 – The first presidential election was conducted. Electors chosen by the voters unanimously picked George Washington as president and John Adams as vice president.
  • 1861 – Florida seceded from the Union.
  • 1878 – A constitutional amendment that would give women the right to vote was introduced in the Senate. It wasn’t until 42 years later that the amendment was enacted.