Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Thursday, December 21, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. There are 345 days left in 2016.

Bishop and Chaffetz unveil their public lands bill. Herbert’s approval ratings remain high. Utah Democrats want to boost public school funding.

The clock:

  • Four days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (1/25/2016)
  • 11 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus – (2/1/2016)
  • 19 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary – (2/9/2016)
  • 49 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 61 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 93 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 159 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 292 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Thursday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveil their long-awaited public lands bill which is already taking fire from critics [Utah Policy, 2 News, Fox 13, ABC 4, Deseret News, Tribune, KUER].
  2. Gov. Gary Herbert is riding high ahead of the 2016 election as more than 70% of Utahns approve of his job performance [Utah Policy]. 
  3. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman says Donald Trump‘s surge to the head of the GOP field is surprising, but he will support the reality TV star if he ends up winning the Republican nomination [Tribune, Deseret News, 2 News, ABC 4, KUER].
  4. Utah House Democrats are solidly behind a plan to boost funding for public education by taking money away from higher ed [Utah Policy, Deseret News, KUER].
  5. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski‘s selection of Mike Reberg to head the public utility division is raising some eyebrows [Tribune].
  6. A Utah-based car manufacturer is re-igniting a debate on whether direct-sales of autos to consumers should be allowed under Utah law [Tribune].
  7. A “whole plant” medical cannabis bill is unveiled ahead of the 2016 session [Fox 13].
  8. Utah’s economy is expected to keep chugging along in 2016 [Deseret News].
  9. The markets continued their wild ride as stocks turned around and posted huge gains after days of losses [Bloomberg, CNBC]
  10. 2015 was the hottest year ever on record [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1793 – French King Louis XVI was executed in Paris, ending more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy rule.
  • 1861 – Mississippi Sen. Jefferson Davis resigned from the U.S. Senate, 12 days before Mississippi seceded from the Union. He later became president of the Confederate States of America. 
  • 1954 – The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn.
  • 1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned American Vietnam War-era draft evaders and ordered a case-by-case study of deserters.
  • 2010 – The Supreme Court, in a far-reaching and controversial 5-4 decision, ruled the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations and unions for political campaigns.