How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – March 11, 2014

Lockhart’s education proposal comes up empty in the final budget deal. Herbert signs the “Count My Vote” compromise. Senate advances Medicaid plan. 



  • 2 days until the final day of the 2014 Legislature
  • 3 days until the Utah candidate filing period opens
  • 7 days until the Utah Democratic Party caucus meetings
  • 9 days until the Utah candidate filing period closes
  • 9 days until the Utah GOP caucus meetings
  • 45 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 105 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 238 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 601 days to the 2015 elections
  • 666 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 972 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • House Speaker Becky Lockhart’s education technology proposal gets shut out in the final budget deal negotiated by lawmakers [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • House Speaker Lockhart says proposed gas and property tax hikes are dead this session [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert signs the compromise between the Legislature and “Count My Vote” into law, ending the citizen initiative [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Utah Senate advances a plan to partially expand Medicaid that includes Gov. Herbert’s idea to ask the federal government for flexibility on how to use those federal funds [Utah Policy, Tribune]. 
  • House GOP leaders say they won’t consider the Senate plan, meaning there will be no decision on Medicaid by Thursday’s end to the 2014 session [Deseret News].
  • Lawmakers consider changing their own rules to eliminate constitutional review notes on legislation [Utah Policy].
  • The Utah House advances a plan to allow election-day voter registration [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The House kills a bill to put caps on political donations [TribuneDeseret News].
  • Lawmakers reject a call for Utah to join a constitutional convention [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The House gives the thumbs up to a plan for moving Utah’s 2016 presidential primary to first in the nation ahead of New Hampshire and Iowa [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The House approves a tax break for employers who hire homeless people [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Utah transit ridership jumped 3 percent in 2013, which is above the national average [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1861 – The Confederate States of America adopted its constitution.
  • 1930 – William Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetary.
  • 1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law.
  • 1942 – General Douglas MacArthur leaves the Philippines saying, “I shall return.”
  • 1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev was chosen as leader of the Soviet Union.
  • 1993 – Janet Reno was confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s first female attorney general.
  • 2011 – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a measure to eliminate most union rights for public employees.
  • 2011 – Japan is hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that triggers a deadly tsunami. The earthquake also damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.