Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday – March 18, 2015

Speaker Hughes reflects on the 2015 session. Lawmakers are developing a bad procrastination habit. Death penalty opponents want Gov. Herbert to veto the firing squad bill.


  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 146
  • Days to the 2015 election – 230
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 306
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – 313
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary – 468
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 601

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Speaker Greg Hughes reflects on lessons learned during the 2015 Legislature [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  2. Lawmakers passed 528 bills this year, but 277 of those passed in the final week of the session [Utah Data Points].
  3. Death penalty opponents are putting pressure on Gov. Gary Herbert to veto legislation allowing the firing squad as a means of execution in the state [Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. Clean air advocates say few inversions this season took the focus off the issue during the legislative session [ABC 4].
  5. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker testifies before Congress in favor of the Obama administration's transportation plan [Tribune].
  6. The Utah Transit Authority moves to cut executive bonuses and salaries [Deseret News].
  7. Some students at Jordan High School hold a bake sale to highlight the wage gap between men and women [Fox 13].
  8. Congressman Aaron Schock resigns abruptly following allegations he submitted phony mileage reimbursements [Politico].
  9. Rep. Chris Stewart slams the Secret Service during a budget hearing, suggesting misbehaving agents be reassigned to "the furthest tip of the Aleutian Islands" [Tribune].
  10. The Presbyterian Church votes to include same-sex marriage in their definition of marriage [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the interning of Japanese-Americans.
  • 1963 – The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that state courts were required to provide legal counsel to criminal defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.
  • 1965 – Soviet cosmonaut Alexi Leonov became the first person to walk in space.
  • 2005 – Doctors removed the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive after a wide-ranging fight over the brain-damaged Florida woman's care that involved President George W. Bush and Congress.