Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 25th day of the year. There are 340 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns want more vote-by-mail opportunities. Speaker Greg Hughes’ name has been dragged into the John Swallow legal mess. Utah Republicans want President Trump to act against the Bears Ears monument.

The clock:

  • 34 days until President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 43 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 286 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 650 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1378 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Ballot access. 71% of Utahns say the state should expand the opportunity to vote-by-mail [Utah Policy].
  2. Legal bombshell. House Speaker Greg Hughes is extremely unhappy his name was unexpectedly dragged into the public corruption trial of former Attorney General John Swallow [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  3. Monumental battle. Utah Republican lawmakers plan to pass a resolution to roll back or even eliminate the new Bears Ears National Monument [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  4. No illegal voters. President Donald Trump continues to push the false claim that millions of illegal votes were cast for Hillary Clinton in 2016. There’s almost zero chance that any of those alleged illegal votes could have come from Utah [Utah Policy]. Wednesday morning, Donald Trump called for a “major investigation” into voter fraud [CNN].
  5. Public safety. The Utah Capitol tightens up their security just a bit [Utah Policy]. The Utah House has also banned protestors from the visitor gallery [City Weekly].
  6. Liquor laws. Lawmakers are possibly moving toward killing the so-called “Zion Curtain” [Deseret News, Tribune]. At the same time, the DABC wants a $1 million budget boost to increase pay for employees [Tribune].
  7. School money. Sen. Ann Millner says public high schools should not lose state funding if their students graduate early [Tribune].
  8. Build the wall. President Donald Trump will announce his plan to begin construction on a border wall with Mexico on Wednesday [Wall Street Journal]. Trump will also order a temporary ban on most refugees from Syria and six other Middle East countries [Politico]. Here’s what Trump will need to do in order build his wall [USA Today].
  9. SCOTUS pick coming. President Trump’s short list for the vacancy on the Supreme Court is reportedly down to two names: Denver-based U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch and U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania [CBS News].
  10. Lending laws. A new study says Salt Lake County’s efforts to crack down on payday lenders had very little effect [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1890 – Nellie Bly, a young New York reporter, completed a trip around the world that lasted 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes.
  • 1915 – Transcontinental phone service was inaugurated by Alexander Graham Bell in a hookup between New York and San Francisco.
  • 1961 – President John F. Kennedy held the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and TV.