What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 14, 2014

Utahns are evenly divided on same-sex marriage. Education groups back “Count My Vote.” Lawmakers move closer to a possible compromise on Medicaid expansion.


  • 13 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 58 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 161 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 294 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 657 days to the 2015 elections
  • 722 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1028 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • A new poll shows Utahns are evenly split on the issue of same-sex marriage, but nearly 3/4 would support civil unions for same-sex couples [Tribune].
  • The debate over same-sex marriage could impact the fate of a proposed statewide non-discrimination bill [Deseret News].
  • Education groups come out in favor of the “Count My Vote” citizens initiative because they say it will help make education more of a priority in Utah politics [Tribune].
  • The number of Utahns enrolling in Obamacare is up, but still lagging behind government projections [Tribune].
  • Utah lawmakers may be moving closer to a compromise on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Jim Dabakis is proposing a campaign finance reform measure that would curb big political donations [Standard-Examiner].
  • Don’t expect any movement from the Legislature on a proposal to hike the gas tax in order to help build roads [Utah Policy].
  • Big snowstorms can cost the Utah economy millions of dollars according to a new study [KSL].
  • Someone has launched an online petition to impeach Gov. Gary Herbert [Utah Policy].
  • Utah National Guard employees may lose their job if the Army follows through with plans to remove 16 Apache helicopters from the state [Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority plans to focus efforts on improving the experience for customers [Deseret News].
  • Clark Ivory resigns from the University of Utah board of trustees in order to serve a mission for the LDS Church [Tribune].
  • A dozen staffers at the Ogden Standard-Examiner lose their jobs, including cartoonist Cal Grondahl [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • The U.S. ratified a peace treaty with England that ended the Revolutionary War in 1784.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle at a wartime conference in Casablanca in 1943.
  • NBC’s “Today” show premiered in 1952.
  • George Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama promising “segregation forever” in 1963.
  • Sylvia Plath’s novel “The Bell Jar” was published in 1963.
  • President Ronald Reagan delivered his 331st and final weekly radio address in 1989.
  • “The Simpsons” premiered on television in 1990.
  • Former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow pleaded guilty to conspiracy and accepted a ten-year prison sentence in 2004.
  • Bobby Jindal took office as the first elected Indian-American governor in the nation in 2008.
  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs in 2013.