Ten Things You Need to Know for Thursday – February 19, 2015

New revenue numbers give lawmakers an extra $100 million to spend. Poll shows Utahns are split on a gas tax hike. Lawmakers unveil a massive overhaul of Utah's criminal justice system.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 21
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 173
  • Days to the 2015 election – 257
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 333
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – 340
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary – 495
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 628

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. New revenue numbers show lawmakers will have an extra $100 million to play with as they set the final budget [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  2. Utahns are split over whether lawmakers should increase the gasoline tax according to a new poll [Utah Policy].
  3. Senate sources say it's likely the votes are there to pass the Healthy Utah proposal when it comes up for a floor vote [Utah Policy].
  4. Lawmakers unveil a sweeping proposal for overhauling Utah's criminal justice system aimed at reducing recidivism [Tribune, Deseret News].
  5. House Speaker Greg Hughes discusses the 2015 Legislature at the halfway point [Utah Policy].
  6. A bill providing for partisan school board elections clears the Senate and now heads to the house [Deseret News, Tribune].
  7. Sen. Curt Bramble is sponsoring a change to the state's open-records law, but nobody is quite sure what the bill will do yet [Tribune].
  8. The Utah House puts the kibosh on a proposed task force to study why Utah's voter turnout has plummeted [Tribune].
  9. The Crossroads Urban Center pulls out of a coalition of homeless service providers, saying the group is trying to relocate the homeless away from the neighborhood surrounding Pioneer Park [Tribune].
  10. Real Salt Lake owner Del Loy Hansen says he will not "hire any lobbyists" in the effort to get lawmakers to approve a privately-funded minor-league soccer stadium at the Utah State Fairpark [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1881 – Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
  • 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.
  • 2007 – New Jersey became the third state to offer civil unions to gay couples.
  • 2008 – An ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power.