Morning must reads for Friday, March 10, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 69th day of the year. There are 296 days remaining in 2017.

Utah Lawmakers put the wraps on the 2017 session. Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s eager to tackle tax reform. Sen. Orrin Hatch says he’s running for re-election in 2018.

The clock:

  • 19 days until the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 71 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 99 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 242 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 318 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 363 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 607 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1334 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL;DR –

  • Lawmakers pass a record 535 bills during the 2017 session. Here’s a rundown of what they did (and didn’t) do over the last 45 days [Utah Policy].
  • The final budget bill passed in the last hours of the 2017 session. Lawmakers found $78 million to fund many last-minute spending projects [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s eager to tackle tax reform in the coming year [Utah Policy]. Here’s the video of our interview with Gov. Herbert to wrap up the 2017 session [Utah Policy]. And, if you ever wanted to see Gov. Herbert sing the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song, here’s your chance [Utah Policy].
  • House Minority Leader Brian King is not happy that Republicans tried to overhaul Utah’s tax system this year without bringing Democrats into the discussions [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick praises lawmakers for moving some “big rocks” during the 2017 session [Utah Policy].
  • Lawmakers approve letting young adults between 18 and 20 get a concealed carry permit [Tribune].
  • A bill to strengthen Utah’s ban on polygamy snuck through the legislature in the final hours of the 2017 session [Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he plans to run for re-election in 2018 at the urging of President Donald Trump, but his office quickly tried to walk those comments back [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County officials are preparing to unveil five potential sites for a new homeless resource center sometime in the next few days. Mayor Ben McAdams promises that the final selection process will be open and transparent [Utah Policy].
  • Data shows Rep. Jason Chaffetz‘s constituents have some of the highest usages of Obamacare in the nation. 6.2% of his constituents use the ACA, and 89% of those get federal subsidies for healthcare [Utah Policy].
  • Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is suing the state for $1.1 million claiming current A.G. Sean Reyes interfered with the dismissal of the case against him [Tribune, Deseret News]. 
  • Former Attorney General John Swallow, who was acquitted on public corruption charges, wants the state to pay his legal bills [Tribune].
  • Even though he just accepted the job as U.S. ambassador to Russia, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman won’t rule out a run for U.S. Senate against Orrin Hatch in 2018 [Tribune].
  • Congressional Republicans move forward with their plan to dismantle and replace Obamacare while leaders try to mitigate backlash against the plan [Washington Post].
  • Washington State is the latest to join the legal fight against President Trump’s revised travel ban executive order [Wall Street Journal].
  • Will Mexico pay for President Trump’s wall on the southern border? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said bluntly, “Uh, no” [Politico].
  • Here we go again. The Treasury Department warns Congress that the debt limit will need to be raised fairly soon [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1496 – Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.
  • 1862 – The U.S. Treasury issued “legal tender notes” in denominations from $5 to $1,000, the first U.S. paper money.
  • 1876 – The first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”
  • 1985 – Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet leader for just 13 months, died at age 73.