How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day! Lockhart starts sharing details of her massive education technology plan. A legislative committee recommends a moderate boost in school funding. Dunnigan wants to crack down on payday lenders.



  • 27 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 28 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 32 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 34 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 34 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 71 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 130 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 263 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 626 days to the 2015 elections
  • 691 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 997 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart is starting to share some details of her massive education technology initiative [Utah Policy, Tribune, Daily Herald].
  • Sen. Mike Lee joins an effort by Sen. Ted Cruz to protect states like Utah that define marriage as between a man and a woman [Tribune].
  • A legislative committee recommends a 2.5% increase in per-pupil spending in Utah’s schools [Tribune].
  • Rep. Jim Dunnigan unveils legislation to crack down on abuses by payday lenders in Utah [Tribune].
  • The Utah House approves a bill to modify the state’s controversial school grading program [Tribune].
  • Rep. Greg Hughes is proposing a bill that would require bars to have a breathalyzer on-site for patrons to use [Utah Policy, Tribune
  • Lawmakers could spend $2 million on lobbying against the federal government listing the greater sage grouse as a protected species [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker joins with more than 350 other mayors in signing the “Freedom to Marry” petition [Deseret News].
  • A proposal would move oversight for Utah’s strike force on immigrant crime from the Attorney General’s office to the Department of Public Safety [Tribune].
  • A clean air bill to help Utahns replace polluting yard-care equipment clears a Utah House committee [Tribune].
  • Critics of the Stericycle medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake rally outside the Governor’s office demanding the state shut the facility down [Tribune].
  • A bill aims to make local school board members more responsive to the constituents who elected them [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established in 1903.
  • Arizona became the 48th state in 1912.
  • The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920.
  • Members of Al Capone’s gang killed rival gang members in what became known as the “St. Valentine’s Day massacre” in 1929.