Ten Things You Need to Know for Thursday – March 12, 2015

It's the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature. Lawmakers are still looking for a deal on Medicaid expansion, but time is running out. Utahns overwhelmingly support a shift in Utah's criminal justice system.


  • Today is the final day of the 2015 Legislature.
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 152
  • Days to the 2015 election – 236
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 312
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – 319
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary – 474
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 607

Thursday's top-10 headlines:

  1. There are less than 24 hours to go in the legislative session and lawmakers are still at an impasse on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  2. Utahns overwhelmingly back a shift in Utah's criminal justice system focusing that's focused on treatment over incarceration [Utah Policy].
  3. The Utah Senate hijacks a House bill calling for non-partisan school board elections, swapping it out with a plan for partisan elections [Tribune, Deseret News].
  4. Lawmakers are still trying to come to an accord over a gas tax hike [Deseret News].
  5. The Legislature gives final passage to historic non-discrimination legislation that includes protections for religious liberties [Tribune].
  6. The House gives final approval to legislation allowing government workers to opt out of performing same-sex marriages [Tribune].
  7. The public is split on whether police should be able to pull over drivers because they're not wearing a seat belt, but they're solidly behind a plan to ban drivers from making calls behind the wheel unless it's hands-free [Utah Policy].
  8. A bill to equalize tax revenue among school districts barely passes the Utah House and now heads to the governor [Tribune].
  9. Lawmakers send a bill making game fowl fighting a felony to the governor [Deseret News, Tribune].
  10. Former Governor Jon Huntsman joins Sen. Mike Lee's re-election campaign [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his radio "fireside chats."
  • 1947 – In a speech to Congress, President Harry Truman outlined what became known as the Truman Doctrine, calling for U.S. aid to countries threatened by communism.
  • 2003 – Elizabeth Smart was found in the custody of a panhandler and his wife in Sandy, Utah.
  • 2008 – New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after being caught in a high-priced prostitution scandal.