ArchiveWhat You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 24, 2014Bryan Schott·January 24, 2014· Share Utah will accept Medicaid expansion. Herbert says he’s open to civil unions for same-sex couples. Becker slams state leaders over air quality. Countdown: 3 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature 48 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature 151 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections 284 days to the 2014 midterm elections 647 days to the 2015 elections 712 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses 1018 days to the 2016 presidential election Today’s Utah news highlights: Gov. Gary Herbert says the state will accept some form of Medicaid expansion from the federal government [Tribune]. Gov. Herbert says he while he will continue to defend Amendment 3 in the courts, he would be open to exploring the idea of civil unions for same-sex couples [Tribune]. Traditional marriage advocates announce legislation designed to protect religious freedom [Deseret News]. Fact-checking the LDS Church’s video claiming Utah’s existing liquor laws don’t need any further changes [City Weekly]. The LDS Church wields big influence on Utah’s Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to liquor policy [Standard-Examiner]. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker comes out swinging on air quality, saying the state is an “obstacle” to efforts toward reducing pollution [Tribune]. It sure looks like House Speaker Becky Lockhart is readying a challenge to Gov. Herbert in 2016 [Tribune]. Rep. Paul Ray wants to crack down on electronic cigarettes [Deseret News]. New Census numbers show more people are moving into Utah than are moving away [Tribune]. New West Valley City Police Chief Lee Russo holds a public meeting with residents [Tribune]. Russo and Provo Police Chief John King are working to end the use of racial profiling in their departments [KSL]. Utah ranks last in providing breakfast to low-income students in public schools [Tribune]. On this day in history: Gold was discovered at Sutter’s mill in California in 1848. The first Boy Scout group was organized in England in 1908. The Russian city of St. Petersberg was renamed Leningrad in 1924. Winston Churchill died in London at the age of 90 in 1965. Confessed serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair in 1989. Retired Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall passed away in 1993. The prosecution in the O.J. Simpson murder trial gave their opening statement in 1995. The Department of Homeland Security became a cabinet department in 2003.