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Situational Analysis - January 6, 2021

It's already Wednesday of the first full work week of the year. Today is Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, and the traditional Twelth Day of Christmas. It is also the day that Vice-President Pence presides over a joint session of Congress and ceremoniously counts each state's electoral votes. Should go smoothly, don't you think?


14 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/19/2021)
15 days to presidential Inauguration Day (01/20/2021)
59 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Logos/Holly_R.pngExplainer: What is happening in today's joint session of Congress
By Holly Richardson
 Today, at 1 pm EST, Vice-President Mike Pence will preside over the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes. It's a process dating back to 1887 when Congress passed a law that detailed the way the ceremony should proceed. It is not a "certification" - that already happened a month ago when each state's electors met and certified the vote count for their respective states.
images/mugs-300/lavarr-policy-insights.jpgAnalysis: Will new state focus on homelessness be successful?
By LaVarr Webb
n the next legislative session, lawmakers will likely create a new position in state government -- homeless czar. That person will lead a state-level governance structure to better coordinate and provide accountability to combat homelessness across the state.So, five years from now, will we have fewer homeless people and be on a path to eliminate homelessness?I wouldn't bet the farm.
images/mugs-300/Wilf_Sommerkorn.pngGuest opinion: We need a new word for 'density'
By Wilf Sommerkorn
You keep using that work - I do not think it means what you think it means! ~Inigo MontayaNearly two and a half years ago (has it really been that long?), I wrote an opinion piece published on the Utah Policy website titled Density is Not the Problem! (I was really in love with exclamation marks then, good grief!).  The gist of what I wrote then was that the word "density" inspires reactions against it with people envisioning bad things.  In actuality, I wrote, density becomes very much more "acceptable" when it is properly planned and designed.

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Policy News

images/Logos/UHPP_Logo.jpgUtah Health Policy Project presents virtual conference
Utah Health Policy Project is presenting a virtual conference on Health Policy Solutions. The event will take place on Tuesday, January 12, from 8:30-2:30 pm. Register here.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Mitt_Romney_11.jpgRomney: Has ambition eclipsed principle?
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) released the following statement in response to an announcement that several Republican senators plan to oppose certification of the presidential election results:   "The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.
images/Resized_Logos/USBE_logo.pngUtah State Board of Ed meeting Jan 6-7
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 6 beginning at 9 a.m. The meeting will be held online only. In accordance with directives about social distancing, members of the public will not be allowed in the Board's offices.  Individuals desiring to give public comment must contact Board Secretary Lorraine Austin by 5 p.m., January 5 at [email protected] There are a limited number of spaces available. Public comment will also be accepted through e-mail.
Coalition of Religious Communities previews the 2021 legislative session
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 10:30 AM, the Coalition of Religious Communities will broadcast its preview of the 2021 session of the Utah Legislature on Facebook Live on the Crossroads Urban Center Facebook Page.
images/Resized_Mugshots/John_Curtis.jpgCurtis: I have faith in America's election system
Today, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement ahead of the process to certify the Electoral College results:

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On This Day In History

(From History.com)


  • 1412 - Joan of Arc is born.
  • 1759 - George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis. 
  • 1838 - Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph.
  • 1907 - Dr. Maria Montessori opens her first school and daycare center, Casa Dei Bambini, in Rome, Italy.
  • 1912 - New Mexico joins the Union as the 47th state.
  • 1919 - Theodore Roosevelt dies.
  • 1925 - John DeLorean is born.
  • 1941 - Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks to Congress on the "Four Freedoms" - freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God in his own way, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
  • 1945 - George Herbert Walker Bush marries Barbara Pierce.
  • 1975 - "Wheel of Fortune" premieres.
  • 2001 - Al Gore presides over a joint session of Congress that certifies George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 presidential election.

Wise Words

"Federalism is a core principle of our country and an important piece of that is respecting each state's election procedures and outcomes. The Constitution grants Congress the specific authority to count electoral votes, not debate the merits of each state's election laws or the validity of the electors they choose to send-to do so would be to federalize the election process, taking fundamental rights away from states. I have consistently opposed when Democrats have made such attempts and I will not use one standard for my party and a different one for the other."

~Congressman John Curtis

Lighter Side

Lighter Side

Q: What would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men? 

A: They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts.

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