Morning must reads for Friday, January 27, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 27th day of the year. There are 338 days remaining in 2017.

Lawmakers may not kill the “Zion Curtain” this session. Bramble proposes a runoff election to decide the winner of certain primary contests. Hughes offers an alibi.

The clock:

  • 32 days until President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress (2/28/2017)
  • 41 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 284 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 649 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1376 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Ten talking points for Friday:

  1. Week in review. Week one of the Utah legislature. Gov. Gary Herbert announces plans to boost job creation. Hughes gets dragged into the John Swallow muck. Watch Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down the week that was in Utah politics [Utah Policy].
  2. Boosting teachers. Rep. Mike Winder has an intriguing idea to help some teachers earn more money while keeping them in schools that are struggling to retain teachers [Utah Policy].
  3. Not so fast. Utah Senate leaders put the brakes on speculation that lawmakers could scrap the “Zion Curtain” this session, saying they don’t believe the political will exists this session to get rid of the barrier [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  4. Election changes. Sen. Curt Bramble proposes a runoff election in some primary elections where no candidate gets at least 35% of the vote. His bill also moves the filing period to run for office to early January instead of mid-March [Utah Policy].
  5. Monumental rollback. Rep. Mike Noel wants President Donald Trump to reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument [Utah Policy].
  6. EpiPen controversy. Sen. Brian Shiozawa wants to allow the use of other emergency epinephrine injectors in the state following the controversy this summer surrounding the astronomical price hike for the EpiPen [Utah Policy].
  7. Establishing an alibi. House Speaker Greg Hughes offers up proof that he was nowhere near a meeting he was accused of attending at the posh Pelican Bay golf resort. Hughes name came up unexpectedly during a hearing in the John Swallow public corruption trial this week [Deseret News].
  8. Hatch vs. Huntsman. A new poll suggests former Gov. Jon Huntsman would beat Sen. Orrin Hatch in a GOP primary matchup. The same survey shows most Utahns would like to see Hatch retire at the end of his seventh term in office [Tribune].
  9. Defying Trump on immigration. Salt Lake City officials say they will continue their policy of not using local police officers to enforce federal immigration policy, in defiance of an executive order from President Donald Trump [Tribune, Deseret News]. Trump’s executive order prompted Miami-Dade to drop their status as a “sanctuary city” for fear they would lose federal dollars [CBS News].
  10. Mystery money. The Utah League of Cities and Towns are trying to figure out the origin and purpose of a mysterious trust fund that came to light in a scathing audit released earlier this month [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1785 – The first public university in the United States was founded as the University of Georgia.
  • 1880 – Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.
  • 1945 – Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
  • 1951 – The era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began.
  • 1973 – The United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement following lengthy Paris talks between U.S. national security adviser Henry Kissinger and Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft. Although the U.S.combat mission officially ended in 1973, the Vietnam War would not be over until April of 1975.