How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 19, 2014

House GOP leaders unveil their plan for Medicaid expansion. Leavitt slams Bramble’s alternative to Count My Vote. Lawmaker says the atmosphere could use more, not less carbon dioxide.



  • 22 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 23 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 27 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 27 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 29 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 66 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 125 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 258 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 621 days to the 2015 elections
  • 686 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 992 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Utah House leaders unveil their plan for the state to not accept any Medicaid expansion money [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Former Gov. Mike Leavitt slams Sen. Curt Bramble’s bill that would neuter the “Count My Vote” initiative [Tribune].
  • Bramble’s SB 54 will be up for debate in the Senate on Thursday morning [Daily Herald].
  • Polls show only the most conservative Utahns want to preserve the caucus system, while those with other political leanings favor an open primary [Utah Data Points].
  • Sen. Scott Jenkins is proposing a constitutional amendment that would keep the state from changing the way political parties nominate their candidates [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Jerry Anderson thinks the atmosphere needs more, not less, carbon dioxide and is proposing legislation to de-fang the state’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses [Tribune].
  • Foes of Common Core education standards hold a rally at the Capitol [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A House committee advances a measure to help pay for a convention center hotel in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart visits lawmakers to talk immigration reform. federalism [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert warns if the federal government lists the sage grouse as an endangered species, Utah could lose billions in revenue [Deseret News].
  • The Senate passes a bill to restrict who can access Utah voter information [Standard-Examiner, Tribune].
  • A House panel passes a measure giving a tax refund to home-schoolers [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • Astronomer Copernicus was born in 1473.
  • Thomas Edison patented the phonograph in 1878.
  • Kansas became the first state to prohibit alcoholic beverages in 1881.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order allowing the military to relocate Japanese-Americans in 1942.
  • U.S. Marines landed at Iwo Jima in 1945.
  • The first broadcast of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood airs on PBS in 1968.
  • Former Enron executive Jeffery Skilling was charged with fraud in 2004.
  • New Jersey became the third state to offer civil unions to gay couples in 2007.
  • Fidel Castro resigned as President of Cuba in 2008.