How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 27, 2014

Lawmakers could be heading toward a face-off over Medicaid expansion. “Count My Vote” organizers say they’ve already collected 100,000 signatures. Legislators meet with members of the LGBT community.



  • 14 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 15 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 19 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 19 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 21 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 58 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 117 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 250 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 613 days to the 2015 elections
  • 678 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 984 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • A showdown may be brewing between House and Senate Republicans over whether Utah will accept federal Medicaid expansion money [Deseret News].
  • The group behind “Count My Vote” announce they’ve already collected 100,000 signatures [Daily Herald, Standard Examiner].
  • SB 54, which would make “Count My Vote” moot, is not going to pass in time to force Gov. Herbert’s hand on a veto before the end of the 2014 session [Utah Policy].
  • A proposed Constitutional amendment to give political parties complete control in how they choose their nominees advances [Tribune, Standard Examiner].
  • Lawmakers meet with members of the LGBT community [Tribune, KSL].
  • Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 case file a brief with the court claiming Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage treats those couples as “legal strangers’ [Deseret News].
  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart’s plan to expand technology in Utah’s schools passed out of a House committee, but there are still questions on how Utah is going to pay for the bill’s massive price tag [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A number of bills designed to strengthen Utah’s control over federal lands within the state move ahead on the Hill [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers take the first step toward approving a sales tax hike to fund mass transit [Tribune].
  • A proposed bill would impose harsher penalties for texting while behind the wheel [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  • Sen. Ralph Okerlund is backing a bill to help protect farmers and ranchers from environmental regulators [Tribune].
  • A bill would allow judges to consider a parent intentionally exposing children to pornography as a factor in child custody cases [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • The District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress in 1801.
  • The Reichstag caught fire in Berlin in 1933. The ruling Nazi party blamed the fire on Communists, which they used to suspend civil liberties in that country.
  • The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limited a president to two terms, was ratified in 1951.
  • President George H.W. Bush announced the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
  • Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect in 1997.
  • Fred Rogers, host of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, died in 2003.
  • Conservative author William F. Buckley died in 2008.