Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Friday, January 29, 2016

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. There are 337 days left in 2016.

Republicans debate without Donald Trump. Herbert stands his ground on Planned Parenthood. A proposal would raise taxes on the richest Utahns to fund public schools.

The clock:

  • Three days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus – (2/1/2016)
  • 11 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary – (2/9/2016)
  • 41 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 53 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 85 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 151 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 284 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Friday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. Republicans debate sans Donald Trump. In the absence of the GOP frontrunner, everyone turns their guns on Texas Senator Ted Cruz [Washington Post, Politico, New York Times]. While that was going on, Trump was counterprogramming with a rally that he billed as a fundraiser for military veterans [Washington Post].
  2. Vice President Joe Biden lays into the GOP presidential field, calling the race for the Republican nomination “a gift from the Lord” to Democrats [New York Times].
  3. Democrats are calling on Gov. Gary Herbert to reverse his decision to end state contracts with Planned Parenthood after a grand jury clears the organization of any wrongdoing. Herbert is refusing to back down [Fox 13, Deseret News, Tribune, KUER].
  4. Sen. Steve Urquhart unveils hate crimes legislation that includes enhanced penalties for crimes motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors [2 News, Fox 13, Tribune].
  5. Sen. Jim Dabakis wants to raise income taxes on the richest Utahns to boost funding for public education [Utah Policy].
  6. Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s wary of the $14 million price tag for a lawsuit against the federal government over control of public lands in the state. At the same time, the Utah House hears arguments from lawyers that the state has a good chance of winning the case [Deseret News, Tribune].
  7. Lawmakers don’t expect to make any changes to SB54 this session [Utah Policy].
  8. Rep. Brian Greene wants to raise sales taxes for transportation without giving any of that money to the Utah Transit Authority [Tribune].
  9. A measure allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public transportation moves out of a House committee [Tribune, ABC 4].
  10. Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is calling for the city council to block Jackie Biskupski‘s appointments because she is forcing out long-time staffers with valuable experience [2 News].

On this day in history:

  • 1861 – Kansas became the 34th state. It joined as a free or non-slavery state at a time when southern states were seceding from the Union.
  • 1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping, deputy premier of China, signed accords reversing decades of U.S. opposition to the People’s Republic of China.
  • 2002 – President George W. Bush warned in his State of the Union address that the war on terrorism was just beginning. It was in this speech he referred to Iran, Iraq and North Korea as part of an “Axis of Evil.”
  • 2009 – The Illinois Senate voted to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.