What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – January 31, 2014

Lockhart wants to spend big on technology in schools. Lawmakers could see a record number of bills this year. Legislation targets the use of drones in Utah.



  • 41 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 144 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 277 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 640 days to the 2015 elections
  • 705 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1011 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart wants to spend between $200 and $300 million to increase technology in Utah’s schools [Tribune].
  • Legislators say they may be considering a record number of bills during the 2014 session [Standard-Examiner].
  • The House GOP meets with Attorney General Sean Reyes and the rest of his team defending Amendment 3 in federal court [Tribune].
  • Utah has been given permission to file a legal brief in their defense of Amendment three that could run as long as 24,000 words, which is more than double the normal limit of 10,000 words [Deseret News].
  • The Sutherland Institute says they will pull misleading television ads targeting a proposed statewide anti-discrimination bill [Tribune].
  • Proposed legislation would toughen Utah’s DUI and seat belt laws [Tribune].
  • Sen. Jim Dabakis wants the state to charge more for out-of-staters who get Utah concealed carry permits [Standard-Examiner].
  • Proposed legislation would restrict the use of drones by governments in Utah [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers chew over Gov. Gary Herbert’s call to reduce air pollution [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduces legislation to strip the NFL of its nonprofit status [Tribune].
  • The University of Utah will close its Red Zone stores that unfairly compete with private businesses according to a legislative audit [Tribune].
  • Rep. Rob Bishop has three Democratic aiming to challenge him in this year’s election [Standard-Examiner].

On this day in history:

  • Guy Fawkes was executed for his role in a plot to blow up Parliament in 1606.
  • Robert E. Lee was appointed commander-in-chief of the Confederate forces in 1865.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives approved the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in 1865.
  • The very first social security check was issued in 1940.
  • The United States launched it’s first satellite, Explorer I, into orbit in 1958.
  • The first McDonalds restaurant was opened in Russia in 1990.
  • Samuel Alito was confirmed by the Senate as a Supreme Court justice in 2006.