Morning must reads for Monday, March 13, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 72nd day of the year. There are 293 days remaining in 2017.

Utah lawmakers feeling some urgency to tackle tax reform this year. Salt Lake County picks 5 possible sites for a new homeless shelter. President Trump is set to unveil his budget proposal this week.

The clock:

  • 16 days until the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 68 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 96 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 239 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 315 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 360 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 604 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1331 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL;DR –

  • Utah lawmakers are feeling some urgency to tackle tax reform sooner rather than later because there are some big budgetary challenges on the horizon [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch continues to lead the charge for the Senate to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, saying he hopes Democrats don’t turn the process into an “election campaign” [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” pick the best and the worst from the 2017 Utah Legislature [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake County picks five possible sites for a new homeless shelter, two in South Salt Lake and three in West Valley City. They plan to narrow those down to a final pick by the end of the month [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Democrat Kathryn Allen has already raised more than $400,000 for her campaign against Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2018 [Tribune].
  • Utah refugees are worried as President Donald Trump‘s second executive order on immigration is slated to go into effect later this week [Deseret News].
  • Here’s a nice deep-dive into the first year in office for Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. Biskupski says she loves being the mayor of Utah’s capital city, but she does have her fair share of detractors [Tribune].
  • Critics say Donald Trump is way behind the curve when it comes to filling many key federal offices, calling this the “slowest presidential transition is decades.” Important jobs are going undone as Trump struggles to fill them [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump is set to release his budget proposal this week which will seek some of the biggest cuts in the federal workforce since World War II [Washington Post].
  • Sen. John McCain says he wants President Trump to provide proof for his claims that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign or drop the accusations [Washington Post]. Democrat Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the Justice Department asking for evidence to support Trump’s wiretapping claims by Monday [Wall Street Journal]. Kellyanne Conway suggests the wiretapping may be even more extensive than Trump previously suggested [USA Today].
  • Remember when Republicans gleefully called John Kerry a flip-flopper on the issues? Donald Trump leaves him, and everybody else, in the dust when it comes to reversing positions [Washington Post].
  • The GOP plan for replacing Obamacare would hit poor, older Americans in rural areas hard financially [Wall Street Journal]. The Congressional Budget Office could release their scorecard on the GOP health proposal as early as Monday [New York Times].
  • Republican Congressman Steve King is under fire for a controversial tweet about immigration that read, in part, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” [The Hill].

On this day in history:

  • 1781 – The planet Uranus was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel.
  • 1852 – “Uncle Sam” made his debut as a cartoon character in the New York Lantern.
  • 1868 – The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson began in the U.S. Senate.
  • 1933 – Banks throughout the United States began to reopen after a week-long bank holiday declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a successful effort to stop runs on bank assets.
  • 1990 – Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies formally ended the Communist Party’s monopoly rule, establishing a presidential system and giving Mikhail Gorbachev broad new powers.