Morning must reads for Thursday, March 2, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 61st day of the year. There are 304 days remaining in 2017.

The NRA is responsible for the death of a proposal to allow the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit. Next year’s budget is coming together quickly. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under fire for contact with Russian officials. 

The clock:

  • 7 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 107 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 250 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 326 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 371 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 615 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1342 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL: DR –

  • Lawmakers are pulling the plug on a bill to allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit for an ironic reason: too much meddling by the NRA [Utah Policy].
  • The budget for next year is coming together very quickly, with only a few things left to negotiate [Utah Policy].
  • Lawmakers are killing the effort to create a mail-only run off election in some primary elections because of resistance from the Utah GOP [Utah Policy].
  • Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is reportedly under consideration to become the new ambassador to Russia [Utah Policy].
  • Legislative Republicans hope the confirmation of Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior will mean quick action on the effort to undo the Bears Ears Monument [Utah Policy].
  • House Republicans are not completely sold on the plan to restore the state portion of the sales tax on food [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Lawmakers continue to advance a plan to lower Utah’s legal limit for driving under the influence to the lowest level in the nation [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the election, despite saying under oath during his confirmation hearings that he had no contact with Russian officials. Sessions says the meetings were part of his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a Trump campaign official [Washington Post]. Democrats are calling for Session’s resignation because they claim he lied under oath [Washington Post].
  • Obama White House officials rushed to preserve the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election before Trump took over. They wanted to leave a clear trail for investigators after they were gone [New York Times].
  • The Supreme Court decided to take up a challenge to Virginia’s redistricting laws which allegedly packed most of the state’s African-American voters into a handful of state House districts [Wall Street Journal].
  • The public corruption case against former Attorney General John Swallow goes to the jury [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1807 – Congress outlawed the importation of slaves to the United States, effective the following year.
  • 1877 – Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote.
  • 1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks, an NBA record that still stands.