How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – June 18, 2014

Utahns really, really like Gov. Herbert’s “Healthy Utah” plan. Utah looking at another budget surplus. Stats show more cell-phone related crashes despite a new Utah law restricting their use behind the wheel.


  • 6 days to Utah’s 2014 primary election
  • 139 days until the 2014 midterm elections
  • 222 days to the opening day of the 2015 legislature
  • 503 days until the 2015 elections
  • 579 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 874 days until the 2016 presidential election

Wednesday’s Utah political news highlights:

  • A new poll shows an overwhelming number of Utahns favor Gov. Herbert’s “Healthy Utah” alternative to Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • The state will finish the fiscal year with a budget surplus of between $25 and $150 million [Tribune].
  • Gov. Herbert and other legislators are putting their financial support behind Sen. Evan Vickers in his primary fight against former Sen. Casey Anderson [Tribune].
  • Lawmakers will get an update on Wednesday about the future of the Utah State Fairpark [Deseret News].
  • A Utah County Commission meeting gets heated over a planned mining operation at the southern end of Utah Lake [Daily Herald].
  • The Bluffdale City Council voted to create its own public records committee after the State Records Committee ordered the city to turn over documents related to the NSA’s data center in that city [Tribune].
  • Despite a new law restricting cell phone use while behind the wheel, stats show an increase in the number of accidents caused by that behavior [Fox 13]. 
  • The Lindon City Council rejects a proposed deal with a private company to operate the UTOPIA fiber optic network [Deseret News].
  • Wasatch front prices rose faster than the national average last month [Tribune].
  • LDS Family Services announces they will no longer match potential adoptive parents with children [Tribune].
  • Utah officials are bracing for an influx of 20,000 members of the “Rainbow Family” counter-culture group who plan to camp near Heber City this summer [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1812 – The United States declared war against Britain.
  • 1815 – British and Prussian troops defeated French forces commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.
  • 1873 – Suffragist Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.
  • 1928 – Aviator Ameila Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1940 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered his “finest hour” speech.
  • 1948 – The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted the International Declaration of Human Rights.
  • 1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II treaty.
  • 1983 – Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.
  • 2006 – Bishop Katharine Schori was elected the first female presiding bishop for the Episcopal Church.

Wednesday’s World Cup schedule:

  • Australia vs. Netherlands (10:00 am, ESPN)
  • Spain vs. Chile (1:00 pm, ESPN)
  • Cameroon vs. Croatia (4:00 pm, ESPN)