Morning Must Reads for Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 24th day of the year. There are 341 days remaining in 2017.

Utah Lawmakers get back to work. Rep. Mike Noel says he’s got a “good chance” of being named BLM director. Lawmakers are on pace to request a record number of bills this year.

The clock:

  • 35 days until President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 47 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 287 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 651 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1379 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Tuesday:

  1. It begins. The 2017 Utah Legislature gets underway as leaders strike a defiant tone against the federal government and call for more action on solving homelessness [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  2. Job prospects. Rep. Mike Noel says he has a “good chance” of being picked to head the BLM in a Donald Trump administration. House Speaker Greg Hughes says he’s had no further talks with Trump administration officials about a job in Washington, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still interested. Neither man thinks if any appointment comes, it will not be before the Utah Legislature ends in March [Utah Policy].
  3. It’s money that matters. Utah lawmakers are preparing to scour this year’s budget, hoping they can find a “chunk of change” they can pull back” to spend elsewhere. Meanwhile, others hope that the new Trump administration will be able to boost the economy, giving them more money to spend this year [Utah Policy].
  4. A mountain of paperwork. Lawmakers are on track to open more than 1,500 bill files this year, which would be a new record. One unnamed lawmaker alone has requested at least 40 bill files this session [Utah Policy].
  5. Boring but important. Legislative Democrats are fighting like crazy against a bill that would reduce their representation on a number of state boards and commission. Many of those bodies require a certain number of members from both parties, but HB 11 would do away with some of those requirements [Utah Policy].
  6. A matter of priorities. Sen. Todd Weiler is abandoning his plan to establish an “official” state hashtag for Utah, saying there are more important things to focus on [Utah Policy].
  7. Not playing nice. LaVarr Webb argues that Donald Trump‘s adversarial relationship with the media could lead to “open warfare” between Trump and major news outlets over the next four years [Utah Policy].
  8. You’re (not) hired. Rep. Chris Stewart was widely rumored to be in the running to be Air Force Secretary in the Donald Trump administration. He was passed over for that job on Monday as Trump tapped former Congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  9. Women’s march redux. Thousands of Utah women descend on the State Capitol, calling for equal rights and better representation in politics [Tribune].
  10. If you repeat a lie enough times…Donald Trump once again pushes the lie that millions of illegals voted in the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton, which cost him the popular vote [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1848 – Gold was discovered at John Sutter’s mill near Sacramento. The discovery touched off the gold rush of 1849.
  • 1916 – The Supreme Court ruled an income tax was constitutional.
  • 1984 – Apple’s Macintosh computer went on sale. Price tag: $2,495.
  • 1995 – The prosecution gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.