ArchiveHow to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 28, 2014Bryan Schott·February 28, 2014· Share Herbert announces his solution for Medicaid expansion. A deal is reportedly in the works to scrap the “Count My Vote” initiative. New revenue estimates coming on Friday morning. Countdown: 13 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature 14 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens 18 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings 18 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes 20 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings 57 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions 116 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections 249 days to the 2014 midterm elections 612 days to the 2015 elections 677 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses 983 days to the 2016 presidential election Today’s Utah political news highlights: Gov. Gary Herbert announces the state will ask for block grants from the federal government to buy private health coverage for low income people instead of expanding Medicaid [Deseret News, Tribune]. Utah lawmakers will get new revenue estimates Friday morning [Utah Policy]. Legislators and backers of “Count My Vote” are reportedly discussing a deal to scrap the initiative proposal [Deseret News]. Utah argues that a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples who got married before the court ruling overturning Amendment 3 was stayed should be dismissed [Tribune]. A pair of bills prompted by the John Swallow investigation move forward on the Hill [Tribune]. A bill allowing elementary schools to teach parents on how to prevent sexual abuse of children moves out of the House unanimously [Tribune, Deseret News]. The House kills a proposal to give a tax break to parents who homeschool their children [Deseret News, Tribune]. A Senate committee approves a bill to slap reforms on payday lenders [Tribune]. Rep. Craig Hall’s bill to make it harder for school districts to split is approved by the House and on the way to the Senate [Deseret News, Tribune]. The Utah House approves a measure requiring the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to hold a meeting on whether the state should dump Daylight Saving Time [Tribune]. A Senate panel approves the creation of a statewide student safety tip line [Daily Herald, Deseret News]. A House committee gives the thumbs up to a resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution [Tribune]. On this day in history: About 50 opponents of slavery met in Ripon, Wisconsin to form a new political group that eventually became the Republican Party in 1854. The Territory of Colorado was organized in 1861. Scientists James Watson and Francis Crick announced the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953. The album “War” by U2 was released in 1983. Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot to death in Stockholm in 1986. A gun battle erupted at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas when agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tried to serve warrants on the group in 1993.