Morning Must Reads for Monday, January 23, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 23rd day of the year. There are 342 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns want to continue the fight to control public lands. Rep. Brian King is worried the effort to raise taxes to fund schools could backfire. Utah lawmakers get back to work on Monday morning. 

The clock:

  • Today is the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 45 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 288 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 652 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1380 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Monday:

  1. Public lands battle. Now that the White House and Congress are unified under Republican control, most Utahns want to press on with the fight to win control of public lands from the federal government [Utah Policy].
  2. School funding worries. Rep. Brian King says he’s worried that the effort to raise income taxes to boost funding for schools could backfire. If it fails, he warns, that would send a terrible message about future school funding efforts to legislators [Utah Policy]. Here’s the video of our interview with Rep. King [Utah Policy].
  3. Legislative priorities. Our “Political Insiders” pick education funding as the top issue for lawmakers as the 2017 Utah Legislature gets underway [Utah Policy].
  4. 45-day sprint. The 2017 Utah Legislature gets underway on Monday. Here are some of the big issues lawmakers will confront over the next 45 days [Associated Press]. Lawmakers are ready to work on finding more money for Utah’s schools [Tribune, Deseret News].
  5. Off to a rocky start. President Donald Trump and his team spent their first weekend in office lashing out about crowd size and pushing falsehoods to the media [New York Times].
  6. Women hit the streets. Millions of women hit the streets to demonstrate against the new Trump administration over the weekend in what may have been the largest demonstration in U.S. history [Vox]. Utah women who went to Washington, D.C. to participate in the largest demonstration talk about their reasons for going and their experiences [Deseret News]. Democrats are trying to figure out how to take advantage of the large crowds opposed to the Trump administration [New York Times].
  7. It’s baaack! Rep. Lee Perry is the latest Utah lawmaker to push legislation that would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed similar legislation in 2013 while other legislative efforts have fizzled out [Deseret News].
  8. A really short form. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirms what most of us were expecting anyway, saying Donald Trump will not release his tax returns [Politico]. Wikileaks did not like that announcement, inviting their readers to leak Trump’s tax returns to them so they can make them public [Politico].
  9. Time to renegotiate. President Donald Trump says he will begin renegotiating NAFTA when he meets with leaders from Mexico and Canada. Renegotiating the trade pact was a central theme of his presidential campaign [Wall Street Journal].
  10. Get ready to hear a lot about emoluments. A diverse group including former White House ethics lawyers will file a lawsuit on Monday that claims President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution because his hotels and other business interests accept payments from foreign governments [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1845 – Congress decided that all national elections would take place on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
  • 1964 – The 24th Amendment to the Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified.
  • 1973 – President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War.
  • 1980 – President Jimmy Carter reinstated the Selective Service System.