What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – December 13, 2013

Countdown:  There are 45 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 193 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections, 326 days until the 2014 midterm elections, 690 days to the 2015 elections, 754 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses and 1061 until the 2016 presidential election.

On this day in history:

  • The Philadelphia Mint began producing the Susan B. Anthony dollar in 1978.
  • Al Gore conceded the presidential election to George W. Bush in 2000.
  • Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces near the town of Tikrit in 2003.

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • Bombshell! Six felony charges are filed against Tim Lawson, Mark Shurtleff’s “fixer” for obstruction of justice, threatening witnesses and tax evasion [Tribune, City Weekly].
  • Here’s a timeline of Lawson’s activities leading up to the charges [Tribune].
  • All four of Utah’s House members vote in favor of a bi-partisan budget deal [Tribune].
  • A Legislative task force suggests Utah could use public money to buy private insurance for poor residents instead of opting into Medicaid expansion [Tribune].
  • Utah Rep. Derek Brown is resigning from the Legislature to take a job as Sen. Mike Lee’s deputy chief of staff [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Former State Rep. Brad Galvez passes away from cancer [Standard-Examiner].
  • Bob Bernick says the exit of Pat Jones and Stuart Reid from the Legislature following the 2014 Session will be a big loss for Utah [Utah Policy].
  • New Census numbers show Summit County as Utah’s wealthiest while Piute is the poorest [Tribune].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart gets an appointment to the powerful House Appropriations Committee [Deseret News].
  • There are no raises for employees or new taxes in the 2014 Davis County $104 million budget [Standard-Examiner].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker joins other mayors from across the nation in presenting their list of critical issues facing urban areas [Tribune].
  • Two environmental groups may sue the Washington County Water Conservancy District for potentially harming two endangered fish species because they’re taking too much water out of the Virgin River [KUTV].