What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – December 12, 2013

Countdown: There are 46 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 194 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections, 327 days until the 2014 midterm elections, 691 days to the 2015 elections, 755 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses and 1062 until the 2016 presidential election.

On this day in history:

  • 1787 – Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution
  • 1870 – South Carolina’s Joseph Rainey becomes the first African American member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1998 – The House Judiciary Committee approves a fourth article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton
  • 2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Florida presidential election recount, Making George W. Bush the president-elect.

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • The candidates hoping to become Utah’s next Attorney General debate ahead of Saturday’s Utah Republican State Central Committee meeting [Tribune].
  • Brent Ward drops out of the race to succeed John Swallow because he may not meet the residency requirements for the job [Tribune].
  • Brett Rawson, one of those vying to replace Swallow, has been spending much more money on his campaign than the other candidates in the field [Holly on the Hill].
  • Sen. Todd Weiler wants organizations or lobbyists who are trying to influence the appointment of mid-term vacancies to disclose their spending for that purpose [Standard-Examiner].
  • Some lawmakers are expressing frustration over the slow pace of the group studying the feasibility of moving the state prison [Tribune].
  • Editorial: Utah should cap the number of concealed carry permits the state grants to out-of-state applicants [Standard-Examiner].
  • Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Jason Chaffetz are on opposite sides of the budget deal under discussion in Congress [Daily Herald].
  • Lawmakers may consider changing the timing of a mandatory course for parents considering divorce [Tribune].
  • The Legislature is mulling a plan to create a new office to help lawmakers interact with constituents [Utah Policy].
  • The Utah Transit Authority draws praise and criticism during a Congressional hearing on transit projects [Tribune].
  • Energy developers are conducting seismic testing in the Escalante Valley near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument [Tribune].
  • A court rejects an effort by Las Vegas to pump rural groundwater to that city [Tribune].
  • The head of the NSA tells a Senate committee their collection of metadata, some of which may be stored at their massive data center in Utah, is a valuable tool in fighting terrorism [Tribune].
  • University of Utah students protest over speculation that the schools officer in charge of diversity had been asked to resign [Tribune].