Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday – March 11, 2015

Time is running out for a deal on Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers are grappling with big issues in the final hours of the 2015 session. Most Utahns oppose moving the state prison.


  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 1
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 153
  • Days to the 2015 election – 237
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 313
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – 320
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary – 475
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 608

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. It certainly seems like legislators are on the road to doing nothing on Medicaid expansion during the 2015 session [Utah Policy, Deseret News].
  2. There are still a number of big issues left in the final two days of the 2015 session [Tribune].
  3. The non-discrimination/religious liberties bill has one more hurdle to clear after a House committee sends it to the full House for consideration [Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. A new poll shows a sharp divide in Utah on the issue of religious freedoms [Utah Policy].
  5. Another survey finds a majority of Utahns oppose moving the prison from Draper. Those results are consistent with a similar poll conducted in December. Surprisingly, Utah's Democrats seem to be changing their mind on the issue  [Utah Policy].
  6. A measure providing for non-partisan school board elections takes another step forward on the Hill after a Senate committee gives it the thumbs up [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Lawmakers send a bill allowing police officers to pull over motorists for not wearing a seatbelt to the governor's desk [Deseret News, Tribune].
  8. The Senate gives final passage to a measure restoring the firing squad as a backup plan for executions if the chemicals for lethal injections are unavailable [Tribune, Deseret News, ABC 4].
  9. Legislators ask for $500,000 to study how a transfer of public lands to state control could benefit Utah's public schools [Tribune].
  10. The public tends to side with Gov. Gary Herbert when there's a conflict between him and the legislature according to a new survey [Utah Policy].

On this day in history:

  • 1824 – The U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • 1941 – The Lend-Lease Bill to help Britain survive attacks by Germany was signed into law by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • 1993 – Janet Reno won unanimous U.S. Senate approval to become the country's first female attorney general.
  • 2011 – Japan was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake that caused a tsunami. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was severely damaged in the disaster.