How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – March 5, 2014

Senate hijacks a school funding bill. Lawmakers not sure they’ll come to an agreement on Medicaid before the end of the session. The compromise measure over “Count My Vote” could come up for a vote Wednesday or Thursday.



  • 8 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 9 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 13 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetingsThe 15 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 15 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 52 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 111 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 244 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 607 days to the 2015 elections
  • 672 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 978 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • The Senate hijacks a bill to equalize funding between school districts to fund Speaker Lockhart’s plan to increase technology use in classrooms. Lockhart says she was surprised by the move [Tribune].
  • It’s not clear if lawmakers will be able to find an accord on Medicaid expansion before the end of the session, and Gov. Gary Herbert suggests it may take a special session to resolve the issue [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • SB 54, the compromise measure between lawmakers and “Count My Vote” could be up for a vote in the House today [Daily Herald].
  • “Count My Vote” organizers continue gathering signatures for their citizen’s initiative even while the compromise measure winds its way through the legislature [Deseret News].
  • A House panel approves a measure to provide more money from gas taxes [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers advance a bill to get rid of the so-called “Zion Curtain” [Tribune].
  • The House passes a measure providing a tax incentive for the construction of a convention hotel in Salt Lake City [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Legislators push ahead with a measure authorizing the state to keep the national parks open if the federal government has another shut down [Daily Herald].
  • A resolution supporting the relocation of the state prison sailed through the House on Tuesday [Tribune].
  • A number of clean air measures move forward on the Hill [Tribune].
  • The Senate unanimously approves a bill establishing more oversight of the USTAR program [Tribune].
  • A new study says Utah has the highest rate of mental illness in the nation [KSL].

On this day in history:

  • The Boston Massacre took place when British soldiers opened fire on colonists, killing five people in 1770.
  • The Nazi party won 44% of the vote in German parliamentary elections in 1933. These were the last free elections in Germany until after World War II.
  • Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech, referring to the Soviet Union’s influence in Eastern Europe in 1946.
  • Soviet leader Josef Stalin died in 1953.
  • The nuclear non-proliferation treaty went into effect in 1970.
  • Comedian John Belushi was found dead from a drug overdose at the age of 33 in 1982.
  • Martha Stewart was convicted of obstructing justice and lying to the government in 2004.