ArchiveHow to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – March 3, 2014Bryan Schott·March 3, 2014· Share Lawmakers and “Count My Vote” reach an accord on election bill. Utah’s budget picture is mostly flat for next year. Lawmakers still getting freebies, but not as many as last year. Countdown: 10 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature 11 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens 15 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings 15 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes 17 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings 54 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions 113 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections 246 days to the 2014 midterm elections 609 days to the 2015 elections 674 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses 980 days to the 2016 presidential election Today’s Utah political news highlights: Lawmakers and the backers of “Count My Vote” come to a deal on changing Utah’s system for nominating candidates [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune]. Utah’s revenue picture grows a bit, but not enough to meet every need [Deseret News, Tribune]. Tensions between Gov. Herbert and Speaker Lockhart could shape negotiations on the Hill over the final days of the 2014 session [Tribune]. Lawmakers are still getting free dinners and receptions from lobbyists, but not as many as last year [Tribune]. Healthcare advocates are encouraged by Gov. Herbert’s plan to extend coverage to Utah’s poor [Utah Policy]. A bill requiring health insurers to cover autism treatments passes the Senate [Tribune, Deseret News]. The LDS Church is encouraging members to attend this month’s caucus meetings [KUTV]. Most of the same-sex couples who got married in Utah in December were lesbian [Tribune]. A House committee approves spending an additional $23.5 million on STEM education [Tribune]. Jonathan Johnson says Utah should look for ways to increase technology use in the classroom [Tribune]. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wants to sell some “surplus” open space adjacent to the city’s new streetcar line [Tribune]. State Auditor John Dougall says a number of local government agencies are late filing their annual financial reports [Tribune]. On this day in history: Florida became the 27th state in 1845. Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, was born in 1847. Congress created the Minnesota Territory in 1849. President Herbert Hoover signed a bill into law making “The Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem in 1931. Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police in an incident that was captured on video in 1991.