Situational awareness – June 18, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Utahns support Medicaid expansion. Count My Vote takes their case to the Supreme Court. The policy of separating immigrant families roils Washington.



  • The final day to register to vote online or in person before the primary election is tomorrow (6/19/2018)
  • 4 days until in-person early primary voting ends (6/22/2018)
  • 8 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 141 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 224 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 869 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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Utahns support Medicaid expansion

Our latest poll of likely voters finds nearly 2/3rds of Utahns would vote for the ballot initiative to fully expand Medicaid [Utah Policy].

Count My Vote heads to court

Backers of the Count My Vote ballot initiative have appealed to the Utah Supreme Court, claiming the state’s process for allowing Utahns to remove their names from a ballot petition is unconstitutional [Utah Policy].

4th District fundraising

Republican Mia Love has raised nearly $3 million for this year’s election, but Democrat Ben McAdams has slightly more money in the bank [Utah Policy].

Utah’s economy still roaring

Utah’s unemployment rate ticked down slightly in May while Utah’s job creation rate continues to be best in the nation [Utah Policy].

How to fill legislative vacancies

Our “Political Insiders” agree with a plan to hold a special election for a legislative vacancy rather than let party delegates pick a replacement [Utah Policy].

Chamber attacks Trump nominee

The Salt Lake Chamber takes a firm stand against Ronald Mortensen, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. Mortensen has repeatedly expressed anti-immigration views [Utah Policy].


  • Salt Lake County Mayor vetoes a controversial high-density housing development near Herriman [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority plans to review discount fare programs since passenger fares only account for 14% of the organization’s revenue [Tribune].
  • Two female employees of former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson’s law firm allege gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace, but they can’t file a lawsuit because a quirk in Utah law won’t allow it [Tribune].
  • Wealthy homebuyers are snapping up expensive homes in Utah, which could drive up real estate prices across the state [Tribune].


  • Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the U.S. border over the last six weeks according to Department of Homeland Security figures [Associated Press].
  • Border patrol officials allowed reporters to see inside a detention facility where it holds families. Journalists described hundreds of children sitting inside cages made of metal fencing. One cage held as many as 20 children [Associated Press].
  • The Trump administration policy of separating children from parents who are seeking asylum at the southern U.S. border is starting to divide Republicans in Washington [Associated Press]. 
  • The Trump administration says their policy of separating immigrant families is the law, but it’s not [ABC News].
  • House Republicans will vote on two immigration bills this week, but they’re not sure if President Trump will sign either if they pass [The Hill].
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has told President Trump’s lawyers if he agrees to a sit-down interview, they will wrap up the obstruction of justice part of their probe within 90 days [Washington Post].
  • Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone says he met with a Russian who offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for cash during the 2016 presidential election [Washington Post].
  • Peter Strzok, the FBI agent removed from the Russia probe because of anti-Trump text messages says he’s willing to testify before Congress without immunity, and he would not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights [Washington Post].
  • House Republicans may attempt to remove Paul Ryan as Speaker before the end of the year [Breitbart].
  • The Senate is set to pass legislation blocking President Trump’s deal to save Chinese telecom giant ZTE [The Hill].
  • The House is set to pass more than 50 bills addressing the opioid epidemic [The Hill].
  • The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering in the coming weeks as they move toward the end of the current term [The Hill].
  • The proposal to split California into three separate states would likely give Democrats more seats in Congress [The Hill].


  • 1778 – American Revolutionary War: British troops abandon Philadelphia.
  • 1812 – The U.S. declaration of war upon the United Kingdom is signed by President James Madison, beginning the War of 1812.
  • 1815 – The Battle of Waterloo results in the defeat in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte by the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher, forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time.
  • 1873 – Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.
  • 1940 – The “Finest Hour” speech is delivered by Winston Churchill.
  • 1979 – SALT II is signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • 1983 – Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.