How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – October 8, 2013

Countdown:  There are 29 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 113 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 388 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 825 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • Rep. David Lifferth is working on legislation asking the federal government to turn over management of Utah’s five national parks to the state if there’s a government shutdown lasting more than 30 days [Daily Herald].
  • Southern Utah counties are declaring a “local emergency” because of the tourist dollars they’re losing due to the shutdown of national parks [Tribune].
  • A number of sportsmen’s groups call for Congress to end the shutdown because of the potential long-term economic pain for some rural areas [Tribune].
  • More than 4,000 Utah defense workers report back to work after being furloughed because of the shutdown [Tribune].
  • Utah Republicans says they will announce their organization to counter the “Count My Vote” group this week [KUTV].
  • A new report says the price tag is too high for Kane County to pay for the proposed Lake Powell pipeline project [Tribune].
  • Despite being tasked with finding ways to make the legislature run more smoothly, the Legislative Process Committee hasn’t done much this year [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart talks about his experience co-authoring Elizabeth Smart’s memoir [Deseret News].
  • John Swallow accuser Jeremy Johnson wants to use the money seized from him by federal prosecutors to hire lawyers for his defense [Deseret News].
  • Mitt Romney buys a mansion in Park City [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County officials say they’ve identified the first case of influenza requiring hospitalization this season [Deseret News].
  • NSA officials confirm the new data center in Bluffdale experienced a number of electrical failures during testing [Deseret News].
  • Utah education officials plan to address Utah’s high school drop out rate, which was nearly 20% in 2012 [Tribune].
  • Some budget cuts to Utah juvenile detention centers are actually costing taxpayers more [Tribune].