What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 17, 2014

Utah will allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns. Reyes picks outside counsel to help with defense of Amendment 3. Poll: Utahns support legalizing medical marijuana.



  • 10 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 55 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 158 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 291 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 654 days to the 2015 elections
  • 719 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1025 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • Utah announces it will allow legally married same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns [Tribune].
  • Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes picks a team of 3 attorneys to assist with the state’s defense of Amendment 3 [Tribune].
  • A bill in Congress would block the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in Utah while the state does not [Tribune].
  • Massachusetts announces that state will recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah [Standard-Examiner].
  • A new poll finds 51% of Utahns support legalizing medical marijuana, but not for recreational use [Tribune].
  • Rep. Gage Froerer wants to allow recall elections for statewide elected offices, but it will take a constitutional amendment to accomplish that [Standard-Examiner].
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee once again advances the nomination of Utah Judge Carolyn McHugh to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals [Tribune].
  • President Obama taps Utah native Matthew Tueller as ambassador to Yemen [Tribune].
  • Portions of Utah are part of a federal disaster declaration because of continuing drought [Standard-Examiner].
  • The consultant hired to come up with recommendations for moving the state prison will present their report next week [Deseret News].
  • Utahns air their concerns about a potential move for the state prison at a public hearing [Tribune].
  • 13 pollution cutting proposals receive grant money from the Utah Clean Air Partnership [Deseret News].
  • The cost of living for Utah residents dipped slightly last month, mostly because of lower gas prices [Tribune].
  • Former Rep. Holly Richardson officially announces she will challenge Rep. Brian Greene for the GOP nomination in HD 57 [Daily Herald].

On this day in history:

  • Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States died in Ohio in 1893.
  • Gary Gilmore became the first person executed by firing squad at the Utah State prison, the first execution in the U.S. after the death penalty was reintroduced in 1977.
  • Operation Desert Storm was launched against Iraq in 1991.
  • A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Northridge, California in 1994.
  • President Bill Clinton became the first sitting U.S. president to testify as a defendant in a criminal or civil suit in 1998.