Ten Things You Need to Know for Monday – December 15, 2014

Congress approves spending bill. Survey shows Utahns oppose GOP lawsuit against SB 54. Herbert wants to tax e-cigarettes.


  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 42
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 87
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 239
  • Days to the 2015 election – 323
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 399
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 694

Monday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Congress approves a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avert a government shutdown [Time]. During the debate Sen. Mike Lee forces a vote on President Obama's executive orders on immigration [Tribune].
  2. A gunman in Sydney, Australia is holding hostages in a cafe in that city [BBC].
  3. A new survey finds 55% of Utahns oppose a GOP lawsuit against SB 54, which establishes an alternative path to the ballot for candidates [Utah Policy].
  4. Mitt Romney supporters form a new super PAC urging him to run for president in 2016. It's called "Ready for Romney" [Weekly Standard].
  5. Utah Democratic Party executive director Matt Lyon announces he's stepping down [Tribune].
  6. Gov. Gary Herbert is proposing raising $10 million in revenue by taxing e-cigarettes [Tribune].
  7. Utah's high school graduation rate ticks up slightly [Tribune, Deseret News].
  8. Salt Lake City and County officials are considering moving the homeless shelter [Deseret News, Tribune].
  9. Sen. Harry Reid says "right-wing wackos" are responsible for the removal of his name from a building at Southern Utah University [Tribune].
  10. A group of former Tribune employees are fighting an effort by the Tribune and Deseret News to keep some documents confidential in the court case against a change in the joint operating agreement between the two papers [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1791 – The Bill of Rights took effect following ratification by Virginia.
  • 1989 – A popular uprising that led to the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu began in Romania.
  • 2003 – The late Sen. Strom Thurmond's family acknowledged Essie Mae Washington-Williams' claim that she was Thurmond's illegitimate mixed-race daughter.
  • 2009 – The Washington, D.C. City Council voted to legalize same-sex marriage.