Morning must reads for Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 173rd day of the year. There are 192 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 153rd day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Lawmakers are backing down a bit in their fight with Gov. Gary Herbert over November’s special election. Rep. Rob Bishop is chairing a new task force on federalism. Donald Trump asked two top intelligence officials to say there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.

The clock:

  • 54 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)

  • 138 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)

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

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

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

  • 1,231 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Utah lawmakers are backing down a little from a fight with Gov. Gary Herbert over rules for the special election process in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Rob Bishop talks about the new task force he’s chairing to examine the relationship between federal and state governments [Utah Policy].
  • There’s a lesson for Utah politicos can learn from the special election in Georgia this past week [Utah Policy].
  • The Salt Lake County Council is considering budget cuts in the office of embattled County Recorder Gary Ott. The drastic move may be part of an effort to force Ott from office [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The United Utah Party files suit to get on November’s special election ballot [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Mike Noel says the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is asking state and local leaders to propose new boundaries for a smaller Bears Ears National Monument [Associated Press].
  • Former Gov. Jon Huntsman still isn’t saying much about his pending appointment to be ambassador to Russia [Tribune].
  • Legislators are considering tweaks to Utah’s lowest-in-the-nation DUI law [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Utah may allow grocery stores to sell beer with higher alcohol content than 3.2%. The change will be needed as manufacturers are cutting production of the lower-alcohol beverages because only two states still sell it [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • There are already nearly 100 bills in the works to address education in Utah for the 2018 Legislature [Deseret News].
  • Legislators give preliminary approval to a proposal allowing replacements for candidates who drop out of political races before ballots are printed [Tribune].
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox suggests upset over the election of Donald Trump may be partially to blame for the Outdoor Retailer Show leaving Utah [Deseret News].
  • SBA Administrator Linda McMahon makes a stop in Utah to tout the administration’s support for entrepreneurs [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • New Census numbers show the Asian population in Utah is the fastest-growing minority group [Deseret News, Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Two of the nation’s top intelligence officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s team that President Donald Trump wanted them to say publicly that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians during the presidential election [CNN].
  • Campaign Donald Trump returns as the president holds a rally in Iowa with supporters. Trump has now held five rallies outside of Washington during his first five months in office [Associated Press].
  • Senate Republicans are set to finally unveil their version of legislation designed to gut Obamacare on Thursday. The bill reportedly features big cuts to Medicaid [Washington Post]. The fight over federal tax credits to purchase insurance plans that include coverage of abortion could derail the legislation [New York Times].
  • Democrats are seething after a narrow loss in a Georgia special election. The loss is ramping up tensions between the moderate and liberal wings of the party as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is getting a lion’s share of the blame [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for the second time.
  • 1870 – Congress created the Department of Justice.
  • 1941 – Germany invaded the Soviet Union during World War II.
  • 1944 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights, authorizing a broad package of benefits for World War II veterans.
  • 1970 – President Richard Nixon signed a measure lowering the voting age to 18.