How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – May 22, 2014

Lawmakers may put off a decision on Medicaid expansion until 2015. Utah spending more than $500,000 on a study about the benefits of taking control of public lands from the feds. Utah Transit Authority approves $1.9 million in bonuses.


  • 33 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 166 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 249 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 530 days to the 2015 elections
  • 606 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 901 days to the 2016 presidential election

Thursday’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Lawmakers may wait until 2015 before acting on any sort of Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News, Daily Herald].
  • Utah is spending more than a half million dollars on a study about the costs and benefits of taking over control of public lands from the federal government [Tribune, Deseret News, Daily Herald].
  • President Obama names 500,000 acres along the Mexican border in New Mexico as a national monument. He also promised that he would take steps to protect other public lands as well [Tribune].
  • A new report details how working Utahns would benefit from Medicaid expansion [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Lawmakers begin to ponder the future of the Utah State Fair [Tribune].
  • A judge rules against Park City Mountain Resort in a lawsuit with the Canyons resort, meaning PCMR loses control of the slopes on its mountain [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • The Utah Transit Authority approves more than $1.9 million in bonuses for executives even though they did not meet all of their goals [Tribune].
  • A Davis School Board member alleges the Davis School District discriminates against minorities and non-Mormons in their hiring practices [Tribune].
  • New Census numbers say Vineyard is the fastest growing community in Utah [Tribune].
  • Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and former Senator Joe Lieberman visit Utah to speak at the Zions Bank Trade and Business Conference [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1761 – The first life insurance policy in the United States was issued in Philadelphia.
  • 1849 – Abraham Lincoln received patent number 6469 for his floating dry dock.
  • 1859 – Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Canon Doyle was born in Scotland.
  • 1868 – The Great Train Robbery took place near Marshfield, Indiana as members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000 in cash, gold and bonds.
  • 1939 – Germany and Italy enter into a formal military alliance dubbed a “Pact of Steel.”
  • 1947 – The Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress approved military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.
  • 1972 – Richard Nixon arrived in Moscow, becoming the first U.S. president to visit the Soviet Union.
  • 1992 – Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the final time.
  • 1998 – Voters in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland overwhelmingly approved a Northern Ireland peace accord.
  • 2011 – A tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri claiming 159 lives.