Morning must reads for Monday, May 8, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 128th day of the year. There are 237 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 109th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns want more tax money for public schools. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visits Utah. Utah’s sales tax collections are rising following the deal with Amazon.

The clock:

  • 12 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)

  • 40 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 183 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)

  • 259 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 304 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 547 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,275 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns say more tax money is needed to fund public schools in the state. Of those who want more tax money, most say they would favor a mix of property, sales, and personal income tax increases to meet that need [Utah Policy].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in Utah today to visit Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments as part of a review ordered by President Donald Trump [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • House Speaker Greg Hughes takes himself out of the mix of potential candidates to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz when he leaves Congress [Utah Policy, Associated Press].
  • Our “Political Insiders” say candidates to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz if he steps down early should be able to reach the primary ballot either by gathering signatures or being nominated by party delegates [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Brad Wilson wants to amend the Utah constitution to allow the Legislature to call themselves into a special session. Right now, only the governor has that power [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch will play a big part in writing the Senate version of the health care reform bill [Tribune].
  • Former President Barack Obama says members of Congress need to show “political courage” by saving the Affordable Care Act [Politico].
  • Yikes! There are already 43 people who could launch a bid against President Donald Trump in 2020 [The Hill].
  • Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates will testify before Congress on Monday about her discussions with the Trump White House about former national security adviser Mike Flynn‘s connections to Russia [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump is set to announce his first slate of federal court nominees, a move that could dramatically remake the federal judiciary [New York Times].
  • Silicon Valley is becoming a popular destination for politicos who want a fresh start outside of Washington, D.C. [Los Angeles Times].
  • Boring but important: The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed five members of a major scientific review board [New York Times].
  • Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, echoes President Trump’s warning that a government shutdown might be the way to remove roadblocks to the president’s agenda [Bloomberg].
  • Emmanuel Macron wins the French presidency, putting a halt to the populist and nativist wave that has been taken hold in the west [Politico].
  • House Majority Leader Brad Wilson and Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams both could profit handsomely from the construction of the West Davis Corridor. Both men own undeveloped property near the proposed freeway [Utah Investigative Journalism Project].
  • Yowza! Utah’s sales tax collections are skyrocketing following the deal with Amazon to collect sales tax on purchases made through the internet retailer [Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority warns they will not be able to finish a number of proposed transportation projects without a big sales tax hike [Tribune].
  • Media watch: The Sinclair Broadcast Group is close to a deal to purchase Tribune Media. The deal means Sinclair would control more than a third of local TV stations in the U.S. [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1541 – Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River.
  • 1945 – President Harry S. Truman announced in a radio address that World War II had ended in Europe.
  • 1958 – Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru.
  • 1987 – Gary Hart, dogged by questions about his personal life, withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.