How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 25, 2014

An alternative to Medicaid expansion moves forward. A House committee approves a resolution supporting a move for the state prison. Legislation would make it more difficult to gather signatures for a citizen initiative.



  • 16 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 17 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 21 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 21 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 23 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 60 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 119 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 252 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 615 days to the 2015 elections
  • 680 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 986 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • A legislative committee approves an alternative to accepting Medicaid expansion money from the feds [Tribune].
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox talks about his involvement in the negotiations over Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy].
  • A House committee unanimously advances a resolution in support of moving the state prison away from Draper [Deseret News, Daily HeraldTribune].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz visits lawmakers, voices his opposition to the “Count My Vote” initiative [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Curt Bramble says the state may have to repeal a pair of immigration reform laws passed by the legislature due to inaction by the federal government [Tribune].
  • A group of media outlets and educators form a non-partisan coalition to televise political debates [Utah Policy, Tribune.]
  • Gov. Gary Herbert meets with President Barack Obama and asks for more help dealing with drought conditions in the Western United States [Tribune].
  • Rep. Jon Stanard is proposing legislation to make it more difficult to gather signatures in order to get a citizen initiative or referendum on the ballot [Utah Policy].
  • The House approves a bill imposing reforms on the payday lending industry [Tribune].
  • The House Rules Committee uses a technicality to avoid taking action on a bill that would allow lawmakers to abstain from voting on legislation on which they have a conflict of interest [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • A Gallup survey says 60% of Utahns are members of the LDS faith [KSL].
  • You must see this amazing video of Lt. Gov. Cox from when he was in high school [Utah Policy].

On this day in history:

  • Samuel Cold patented his revolver pistol in 1836.
  • Hiram Revels became the first black U.S Senator in 1870.
  • The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power to collect income taxes, went into effect in 1913.
  • Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia in 1948.
  • Cassius Clay (who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) became the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964.