Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 18th day of the year. There are 347 days remaining in 2017.

Support for a tax hike to fund schools is dropping. Utah’s international trade is booming. Attorney General Sean Reyes could be in line for a Trump administration job.

The clock:

  • 2 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 5 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 50 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 293 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 657 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1385 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Momentum waning? A new poll shows support for a proposed income tax hike to boost school funding has dropped 11 points since October [Utah Policy].
  2. Trade boom. Derek Miller, CEO of the World Trade Center Utah says Utah’s global exports grew 9 percent last year, making Utah the fourth-fastest growing state in the country regarding exports [Utah Policy]. Here’s the video of our interview with Miller [Utah Policy].
  3. Washington-bound? Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is reportedly under consideration to head the Federal Trade Commission in a Donald Trump administration [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. Whoops! The Congressional Budget Office says repealing Obamacare without a replacement in place could leave 18 million people without health insurance [The Hill]. That means the pressure is growing on Congressional Republicans to come up with the “replace” part of their plan to dismantle the law [Washington Post].
  5. Going out on top. President Barack Obama will leave the White House with his highest approval ratings since he took office in 2009 according to two new polls [Washington Post, CNN].
  6. Now he tells us! Donald Trump now claims he does not enjoy using Twitter, but he views the social media platform as a way to get around the “unbelievably dishonest” media. Trump also says he plans to reduce his use of Twitter once he takes office on Friday [New York Daily News].
  7. Staying in the dark. Utah refuses to release the details of their deal with to collect sales tax for online purchases because it might give an advantage to Amazon’s competitors [Tribune].
  8. Public lands fight. Rep. Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump‘s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, says he believes the president has the power to change, and possibly, reverse a national monument designation [Tribune]. Zinke also says he does not believe climate change is a hoax but is not convinced its cause is human activity [Politico].
  9. Hate crimes law. Sen. Daniel Thatcher is taking a swing at fixing Utah’s “unenforceable” hate crimes law by focusing on the perpetrator of the crime instead of the victim [Tribune].
  10. Sticker shock. Salt Lake City is preparing a report on the $7 million purchase price for the proposed homeless shelter on the Simpson Avenue site [Tribune]. Councilwoman Lisa Adams is worried the exorbitant price could put further state funding for relocating the homeless shelters in jeopardy [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1788 – The first English settlers arrived in Australia’s Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.
  • 1919 – The World War I peace conference opened in Versailles, France.
  • 1943 – The Soviets announced that they had broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.
  • 1990 – Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.