Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. There are 16 days left in 2015.

GOP presidential candidates face off in Las Vegas. Congress comes up with a spending bill to avoid a shutdown. Salt Lake County approves the 2016 budget.

The clock:

  • 40 days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (1/25/2016)
  • 47 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus – (2/1/2016)
  • 55 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary (tentative) – (2/9/2016)
  • 86 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 97 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 129 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 196 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 329 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Wednesday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. You might have heard that the Republican presidential candidates had a little get together in Las Vegas Tuesday night [New York Times, Washington Post, CNNThe Hill, Vox].
  2. Congressional Republicans unveil a $1.6 trillion spending deal to avoid a government shutdown [The Hill, Roll Call].
  3. Los Angeles shut down their school system on Tuesday due to a terrorist threat. That turns out to have been a hoax [LA Times].
  4. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has high approval ratings heading into his re-election bid in 2016 [Utah Policy].
  5. The number of times cops accessed the state prescription drug database has fallen dramatically after lawmakers passed a bill requiring a warrant to look at the list [2 News, Tribune].
  6. The Salt Lake County Council passes next year’s budget that keeps a tax in place to fund criminal justice reform [2 News, Deseret NewsTribune]. 
  7. Next year’s legislative session could be a record-setter with the number of bills filed [Fox 13].
  8. Republican gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson and Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis will debate twice this week [ABC 4].
  9. Ridership on the Sugar House Streetcar is up nearly 20% this year, but that’s still far below what planners predicted [Tribune].
  10. Former GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker is paying off his campaign debts by selling his donor email lists to other candidates [Politico].

On this day in history:

  • 1770 – Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.
  • 1773 – About 50 American patriots, protesting the British tax on tea, dumped 342 chests of it into Boston Harbor in what became known as the “Boston Tea Party.”
  • 1916 – Gregory Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.
  • 1944 – Germany announced a counteroffensive in World War II that became known as “The Battle of the Bulge.”
  • 1978 – Cleveland, Ohio defaulted on its financial obligations, the first American city to do so since the Great Depression.
  • 2010 – Larry King concluded his CNN talk show after 25 years.