Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. There are 339 days left in 2016.

Trump tells Fox News to stuff it. Utah Democrats are sick of the Utah GOP fighting against SB54. Proposed legislation would drastically change the way Utahns deal with water.

The clock:

  • Five days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus – (2/1/2016)
  • 13 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary – (2/9/2016)
  • 43 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 55 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 87 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 153 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 286 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Wednesday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. Authorities arrested Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with several others who were occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon have been arrested. During the arrest, gunshots were exchanged, and LaVoy Finicum was reportedly killed [Washington Post, New York Times].
  2. Donald Trump says he won’t participate in the final debate, sponsored by Fox News, ahead of the Iowa Caucuses. Instead, he will host a rally in Iowa at the same time [Politico, Washington Post]. Not surprisingly, Fox News was not happy but responded to Trump’s shunning with some first-rate trolling [Mediaite]. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz says he would debate Trump one-on-one [New York Times].
  3. The Utah Democratic Party is jumping into the lawsuit the Utah GOP has filed against the dual-track system for candidates to get on the primary ballot. Democrats say Republicans are using “frivolous litigation” to interfere with state law and wants a judge to order them to comply with SB54 or be disqualified as a political party [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  4. Utahns are split on whether lawmakers should eliminate existing budget earmarks for transportation [Utah Policy].
  5. Sen. Scott Jenkins is proposing several bills to change drastically how the state deals with water, including legislation to prohibit cities and towns from requiring property owners to plant grass [Utah Policy, Tribune, KUER].
  6. Sen. Gene Davis is pushing legislation for Utah to accept full Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy].
  7. Lawmakers propose boosting funding for charter schools by $36 million [Deseret News].
  8. Rep. Kraig Powell is sponsoring a bill to give priority to heterosexual couples over same-sex couples in adopting children [2 News].
  9. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski delivers her first State of the City Address [2 News, Fox 13, ABC 4, Tribune, Deseret News]. Following the speech, Biskupski’s spokesperson attempts to shield her from asking questions from a reporter about the ouster of some longtime city hall employees [2 News].
  10. A Utah man has filed a federal lawsuit against Ted Cruz, alleging he is not eligible to be president because he’s not a natural born citizen [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history: 

  • 1785 – The first public university in the United States was founded as the University of Georgia.
  • 1880 – Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an incandescent electric lamp.
  • 1945 – Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
  • 1967 – U.S. astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in a fire aboard the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a launch simulation at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
  • 1973 – The United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement. On the same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.
  • 1987 – President Ronald Regan acknowledged mistakes and accepted responsibility in the Iran-Contra arms scandal.