Morning must reads for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 88th day of the year. There are 277 days remaining in 2017.  

Utah Democrats are energized by the Trump presidency. Draper volunteers two sites for a possible homeless shelter. Congress votes to undo many online privacy protections.

The clock:

  • Today is the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 52 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 80 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 223 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 299 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 344 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 587 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,315 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • Utah’s Democratic Party is reaping the benefits from Donald Trump’s presidency [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he would be willing to step aside if an “outstanding person” like Mitt Romney were to run for his seat [Utah Policy].
  • Bloomberg looks at how Salt Lake City has become a place where upward economic mobility is easier than other cities [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump‘s approval ratings continue to fall, but they’re still not the worst pollsters have ever seen [Utah Policy].
  • Draper steps up and offers two possible sites for a homeless shelter in their city. The offer comes just days before the deadline for choosing a final location for the new facility [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin hints he knows more than what has already been made public about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. He calls the story is a “big, big deal” [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder proposes opening an outdoor camping area for the homeless in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune].
  • State alcohol regulators are readying to implement changes passed by the 2017 Utah Legislature, including the demise of the much-maligned Zion Curtain [Deseret News].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert signs a bill allowing the use of wood for cooking over the objections of the state Air Quality Board [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • President Donald Trump‘s business dealings have been linked to some wealthy Russian businessmen, some of whom have alleged ties to criminal organizations [USA Today].
  • The Trump administration reportedly sought to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying before Congress about possible links between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign [Washington Post].
  • It’s baaack…kinda! House Republicans are trying to revive their failed healthcare reform bill, but they’re not sure how to move forward with the plan, and they surely don’t have the votes [Axios]. More states are eyeing Medicaid expansion following the failure of the Obamacare repeal bill in Congress [Wall Street Journal].
  • President Donald Trump signs an executive order rolling back many Obama-era environmental regulations [New York Times].
  • Congress has approved a bill undoing some online privacy protections [Washington Post].
  • Congressional Republicans are working to avoid a budget showdown that could potentially lead to another government shutdown. The fly in the ointment is President Donald Trump wants to include funding for his proposed border wall with Mexico in a spending bill, which could lead to a stalemate. The deadline is April 28 [Washington Post].
  • The U.K. has officially begun the “Brexit” process for leaving the European Union [New York Times].
  • Wealthy supporters are launching an ad blitz to shore up support for President Trump [Bloomberg].
  • President Trump would be the first president in a century to not throw out the first pitch on opening day of the Major League Baseball season [Marie Claire].

On this day in history:

  • 1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union.
  • 1961 – The 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment gave District of Columbia residents the right to vote in presidential elections.
  • 1973 – The last U.S. combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
  • 1999 – The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time.