ArchiveWhat You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – October 28, 2013Bryan Schott·October 28, 2013· Share Countdown: There are 8 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 91 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 372 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 799 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. Utah Republicans approve some reforms to the neighborhood caucus system at the same time the “Count My Vote” group launches their petition drive to do away with the caucus system [Tribune]. How has Sen. Mike Lee become a rockstar-like figure with Tea Party affiliated voters? [Tribune] NAACP president Benjamin Jealous warns a Salt Lake City audience that voter-suppression is an eminent danger [Tribune]. The mayors of South Jordan, Riverton and Bluffdale say the proposed $495 million bond from the Jordan School District is too large [Tribune]. How much should endorsements matter in local elections? [Provo Buzz] Rep. Ralph Okerlund wants to change the official state tree from the Colorado blue spruce to the aspen [Tribune]. The Utah Transit Authority hopes to double current ridership by the end of the decade [Tribune]. Good news for Utah’s schools. Eighth-graders in the Beehive state perform better in science than their peers in all but 5 countries. Those same students rank 11th in math [Tribune]. Advocates worry Utah’s anti-bullying law, which requires school officials to notify parents of victims, could accidentally “out” LGBT kids [Tribune]. A new study gives Utah an A+ for efforts to keep people with mental illness out of the criminal justice system [Deseret News]. The state’s retirement system delivers the 8th-best returns in the country [Tribune]. UDOT has some bridges and roads that can salt themselves to melt ice [Tribune]. The Utah State Prison bans pictures drawn with crayons because some are using the wax as a way to smuggle drugs into the facility [KSL]. A small group of protestors rally outside the NSA data facility in Bluffdale [Tribune]. The Road Home is bracing for a surge in the number of homeless and poor people needing shelter this winter [Tribune]. Utah farmers and ranchers are advocating for immigration reforms that will allow them to hire enough workers [Deseret News].