What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 8, 2014

Utah officials try to determine the status of same-sex couples who got married before the Supreme Court stay. A proposal to hike Utah’s minimum wage. Convention hotel fight heads to the Salt Lake County Council.


  • 19 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 167 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 300 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 663 days to the 2015 elections
  • 727 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1034 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • With same-sex marriage on hold in Utah, officials are trying to figure out the status of those couples who were issued marriage licenses before the Supreme Court issued the stay [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A couple who underreported how much they spent on a fundraiser for former Attorney General John Swallow have acknowledged the discrepancy by changing their financial disclosure report [Tribune].
  • A fight over a possible government subsidy to build a convention center hotel in downtown Salt Lake City is headed toward the Salt Lake County Council [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Sen Jim Dabakis is proposing a measure to raise Utah’s minimum wage by $1 per hour [Standard-Examiner].
  • Dabakis also wants to hike the gas tax and index that rate to inflation [Standard-Examiner].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch was not present for the vote that confirmed Janet Yellen as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve, but a spokesperson says Hatch supported her nomination. Sen. Mike Lee voted no [Deseret News].
  • The Box Elder Republicans are forming “Teen Age Republican” clubs at Box Elder High School and Bear River High School [Standard-Examiner].
  • UDOT launches variable speed limit signs in Parley’s Canyon in order to warn drivers of difficult driving conditions [Tribune].
  • Odgen Mayor Mike Caldwell has vowed to ride his bicycle to work every day in 2014 [Deseret News].
  • Utah’s mid-winter snowpack levels are extremely low…again and prospects for a recovery to normal levels are very small [Tribune].
  • Cottonwood Heights officials say they have ironed out the problems that city has been having with snow removal since they’ve decided to contract with a private company for that service [Tribune].
  • The mother of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager killed by George Zimmerman under that state’s “stand your ground” law, will speak at the University of Utah’s Martin Luther King celebration [ABC 4].
  • Salt Lake Comic Con is turning into an economic powerhouse for the state [Utah Policy].

On this day in history:

  • President George Washington delivered his first State of the Union address in New York in 1790.
  • The Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 was fought in 1815.
  • Bobby Fischer won the United States Chess Championship at the age of 14 in 1958.
  • President Lyndon Johnson announced his War on Poverty in 1964.
  • The AT&T Bell System telephone monopoly agreed to break up and split into seven “Baby Bells” in 1982.
  • Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a gunman at a public meeting in 2011.