Morning Must Reads for Thursday, January 26, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 26th day of the year. There are 339 days remaining in 2017.

Gov. Gary Herbert gives his State of the State address. Utahns say the state is on the right track. Legislators plan to unveil their plans to authorize scientific studies on medical marijuana.

The clock:

  • 33 days until President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 42 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 285 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 650 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1377 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. State of the state. Gov. Gary Herbert highlights efforts to boost job creation, reform Utah’s liquor laws and was to clean up Utah’s dirty air in his annual address [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  2. Right track/wrong track. 2/3rds of Utahns say they’re confident in the direction the state is headed, while nearly half think the country is on the wrong track [Utah Policy].
  3. Let the scientists handle it. Legislators are set to unveil their plan to authorize scientific studies on the efficacy of medical marijuana but don’t expect legalization this year [Utah Policy].
  4. I call shenanigans. Rep. Brad Daw wants to crack down on election dirty tricks like the ones that ousted him from his seat a few years ago [Utah Policy].
  5. Count all the ballots. Legislators consider allowing election officials to count some “spoiled” ballots that would usually be thrown out [Utah Policy].
  6. Hughes pushes back hard. House Speaker Greg Hughes says he’s willing to take the stand in the John Swallow public corruption trial after his name was unexpectedly dragged into the controversy earlier this week [Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Pay equity. Sen. Jake Anderegg says he’s going to sponsor legislation mandating equal pay for equal work. His proposal would focus mainly on making sure men and women are paid at the same rate during the first three years of employment [Deseret News].
  8. Voter fraud. Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he has not seen any evidence of the massive voter fraud President Donald Trump claims was the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton [The Hill].
  9. Investigating the president. Rep. Chaffetz says he is looking into the lease for President Donald Trump‘s hotel in Washington, D.C. because it may represent a conflict of interest [Politico].
  10. He gives all the best interviews. President Donald Trump gives his first interview since moving into the Oval Office. The president spent most of the conversation focusing on his own popularity [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1802 – Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol.
  • 1998 – President Bill Clinton denied having an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, telling reporters, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”