How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – March 10, 2014

Lawmakers near a final budget deal. Final report on John Swallow investigation delayed. Likely no decision on Medicaid before the 2014 session ends.



  • 3 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 4 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 8 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 10 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 10 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 46 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 106 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 239 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 602 days to the 2015 elections
  • 667 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 973 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Sources say House Speaker Becky Lockhart will get no money for her education technology initiative in a budget deal worked out by lawmakers [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The House committee investigating former Attorney General John Swallow is delaying their final report by a few days because they recovered 400 more emails from a supposed destroyed hard drive [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • It appears the 2014 session will end without a decision on Medicaid expansion [Tribune].
  • A Senate committee approves a bill to create a new panel tasked with finding a new location for Utah’s prison [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee’s camp almost scuttled the deal between lawmakers and “Count My Vote” backers [Tribune].
  • The House kills a bill that would make elections for the State School Board a partisan affair [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Senators change a clean air bill allowing the state to adopt tougher standards than the feds before advancing it [Tribune].
  • The Senate approves a modification to Utah’s abortion laws [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A convention center hotel in downtown Salt Lake City moves one step closer to approval [Deseret News].
  • One ethics reform that won’t happen this year – campaign donation limits [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The Senate approves a bill to freeze boundaries of the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County until 2015 [Tribune].
  • Utah’s unemployment rate hits a five-year low [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1496 – Christopher Columbus concludes his second visit to the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1629 – England’s King Charles I dissolves Parliament and rules alone for 11 years.
  • 1785 – Thomas Jefferson appointed minister to France.
  • 1848 – The Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico.
  • 1864 – Ulysses S. Grant becomes commander of the Union armies during the Civil War.
  • 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful voice transmission over his telephone when he said to his assistant, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”
  • 1969 – James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 1985 – Konstantin Chernenko, was the Soviet leader for just 13 months, died at the age of 73.
  • 1997 – “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” debuted on the WB network.
  • 2008 – New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer apologized after allegations surfaced that he had paid thousands of dollars for a high-end call girl.