What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 27, 2014

The 2014 Legislature gets underway. Utahns rally for clean air. Wayne Owens’ son jumps into politics.



  • Today is the first day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 45 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 148 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 281 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 644 days to the 2015 elections
  • 709 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1015 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • Thousands of residents rally at the state capitol urging lawmakers to do something about the state’s air quality problems [Tribune]. 
  • Possibly hiking the gas tax will be on the agenda for lawmakers as they get down to business today [Deseret News].
  • A number of measures in reaction to the John Swallow scandal will be in play during the 2014 Legislature [Tribune].
  • Utahns favor tighter regulations for payday lenders [Tribune].
  • Rep. Jerry Anderson moves to de-criminalize cohabitation [Standard-Examiner].
  • Rep. Brad Dee lays out his priorities for the 2014 session [Standard-Examiner].
  • Lawmakers race to raise money ahead of the 2014 legislative session [Tribune].
  • Utah’s plan to increase education performance is running into the reality of finances and school capacity [Deseret News].
  • It’s looking more and more likely a plan to move the state prison from Draper will come to fruition [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert’s approval rating is hovering around 75% while Sen. Mike Lee is still below 50% [Utah Policy].
  • The company operating a medical incinerator in North Salt Lake says they are planning to move the facility to Tooele County [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Doug Owens, son of the late Congressman Wayne Owens, is jumping into the race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District [Utah Policy].
  • Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff sits down for a lengthy interview on a number of topics [Salt City Throwdown].
  • So very weird. A member of the Utah County Republican Party is suing the party’s vice chair for statements he made about her during party meetings [Daily Herald].

On this day in history:

  • Thomas Edison was granted a patent for his incandescent lamp in 1880.
  • Russian forces liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945.
  • The U.S. Air Force began atomic testing in the Nevada desert in 1951.
  • The Vietnam War peace accords were signed in Paris in 1973.
  • First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said allegations against her husband were part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” in 1998.
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad tablet in 2010.
  • J.D. Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” passed away in 2010.