What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 24, 2014

Utah will accept Medicaid expansion. Herbert says he’s open to civil unions for same-sex couples. Becker slams state leaders over air quality.


  • 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.