ArchiveWhat You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – December 17, 2013Bryan Schott·December 17, 2013· Share Countdown: 41 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature 189 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections 322 days to the 2014 midterm elections 686 days to the 2015 elections 750 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses 1057 days to the 2016 presidential election On this day in history: France recognized American independence in 1777 Simon Bolivar died in Columbia in 1830 The Wright brothers made the first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903 The U.S. Army ended it’s policy of holding Japanese-Americans in internment camps in 1944 The U.S. Air Force terminated it’s investigation into UFO’s, labeled “Project Blue Book,” in 1969 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by the U.S., Canada and Mexico in 1992 North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died in 2011 Today’s Utah news highlights: Ick! Air quality in Northern Utah is among the worst in the nation today [Daily Herald]. Gov. Gary Herbert met with all three candidates to replace John Swallow as Attorney General. He says he hopes to make a decision by Christmas [Tribune]. Sen. Orrin Hatch says he will back a compromise budget deal currently under consideration in Congress [Tribune]. The LDS Church releases an essay on polygamy following a federal judge’s ruling that parts of Utah’s laws prohibiting the practice are unconstitutional [Tribune]. Social conservatives blast the polygamy ruling, saying it’s a serious threat to the institution of marriage [KSL]. Many members of Congress, including Utah’s Jim Matheson, are paying more for health insurance because of Obamacare [Tribune]. Sen. Steve Urquhart says the fate of his proposed statewide non-discrimination legislation may hinge on what the LDS Church says, or doesn’t say, about the measure [Standard-Examiner]. The Utah Education Association fires lobbyist and former legislator Kory Holdaway [Deseret News]. The University of Utah is exploring the use of free online textbooks for classes [Tribune]. Further sequestration budget cuts could hit Utah housing programs hard next year [Standard-Examiner]. A former inspector for the Heber Valley Railroad alleges he was fired because of his complaints about safety issues to inspectors [Tribune].