How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – February 28, 2014

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.



  • 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.