How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 18, 2014

Bill to nullify “Count My Vote” moves ahead. Measure to make the attorney general appointed instead of elected moves forward. Proposal to increase the number of liquor licenses stalls.



  • 23 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 24 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 28 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 28 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 30 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 67 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 126 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 259 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 622 days to the 2015 elections
  • 687 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 993 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • A bill that would neuter the “Count My Vote” initiative moves out of a Senate committee [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Bob Bernick says the proposed legislative alternatives to “Count My Vote” don’t go far enough to reform the process [Utah Policy].
  • Lawmakers and advocates still await Gov Gary Herbert’s decision on Medicaid expansion [Deseret News].
  • A Senate committee advances a measure to make Utah’s attorney general appointed by the governor instead of elected [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Brad Wilson introduces resolutions in support of moving the prison away from Draper [Tribune].
  • A proposed bill would require state lawyers and judges to to study federalism [Tribune].
  • A House committee holds a measure that would have increased the number of liquor licenses available to restaurants [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Rep. Greg Hughes says his legislation about breathalyzers in bars would not mandate their placement or use [Tribune].
  • Rep. Rich Cunningham wants to roll back a law allowing charter schools to locate on land zoned for any purpose [Tribune].
  • A bill cracking down on payday lenders flies out of a House committee [Tribune].
  • Senators reluctantly advance a bill making cockfighting a felony [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Customers of the federal Obamacare exchange in Salt Lake and Davis Counties pay among the least of any areas in the nation [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in 1861.
  • Pluto was discovered by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.
  • Five of the “Chicago Seven” defendants were found guilty of intent to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic national convention in 1970.
  • The California Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty in 1972.
  • Anthony Kennedy was sworn in as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988.
  • FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for Russia in 2001.