Morning must reads for Friday, March 17, 2017

Good Friday morning and Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Salt Lake City. Today is the 76th day of the year. There are 289 days remaining in 2017.

Trump’s budget could hurt those who voted for him most. Tillerson says military action is an option to deal with North Korea. Utah’s housing crisis is poised to get worse.

The clock:

  • 12 days until the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 64 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 92 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 235 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 311 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 356 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 600 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1327 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL;DR –

  • Understand what happened this week in Utah politics with our award-eligible week in review video [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says if Legislative Republicans move forward on repealing SB54 it could lead to a tidal wave of changes to the Utah Legislature they may not like [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Norm Thurston debunks some of the myths surrounding HB155, which lowers the DUI threshold to 0.05% [Utah Policy]. Gov. Gary Herbert says he has not yet made a decision on whether to sign or veto the legislation [KUTV].
  • Bulletin! Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says “all options are on the table,” including military action when it comes to dealing with North Korea [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump‘s budget proposal is advocating deep cuts to many programs his base relies on [New York Times]. Trump’s budget isn’t likely to survive Congress intact [Wall Street Journal]. Here’s how Trump’s budget could affect Utah [Tribune].
  • Rep. Mia Love says she supports the GOP plan to replace Obamacare, but wants some changes made before it passes [Tribune].
  • Uh, oh! Fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was paid more than $50,000 by several Russian companies before he joined the Trump administration [Wall Street Journal]. 
  • Congress isn’t buying Donald Trump‘s claims that he was wiretapped by former President Obama [Politico]. British intelligence officials say it’s “utterly ridiculous” to think they assisted Obama in surveilling Trump during the presidential campaign [Guardian]. Watch Sean Spicer have a complete meltdown trying to defend Trump’s bogus wiretapping claims during his daily press briefing [Washington Post].
  • The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says President Trump may have divulged classified information when he said the CIA was hacked during a television interview [Politico].
  • For some reason, a Russian spy ship is hanging out offshore on the East Coast of the United States near a Navy submarine base in Connecticut [ABC News].
  • Sen. Wayne Harper passed the most bills during the just completed legislative session while four lawmakers got zero bills through the process [Fox 13].
  • The State Records Committee orders that part of the agreement between Utah and to collect online taxes be made public. The state originally withheld the records to protect trade secrets. They haven’t decided whether to appeal the ruling in court [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The state has been ordered to release to the public internal documents used to calculate water consumption [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Utah’s housing crisis is set to worsen as the supply of available housing is falling way behind demand [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • According to tradition, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul. Some sources list the year as 461, others say 493.
  • 1776 – British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.
  • 1942 – Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater during World War II.
  • 1959 – The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in the wake of a failed uprising by Tibetans against Chinese rule.
  • 2003 – President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave his country. Iraq rejected the ultimatum.