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Situational Analysis - February 17, 2021

It's Ash Wednesday today, the beginning of Lent and also National Random Act of Kindness Day. Seems like a particularly nice way to begin a season of reflection and sacrifice.

Also, snow is blanketing Utah's roadways this morning. Be careful out there. You know some people have forgotten how to drive in snow - don't be that person.

If you only have time for one thing today: Jane Bolin was a trailblazer. She was the first Black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, the first Black woman to join the New York City Bar Association and the nation's first Black female judge. In an interview after becoming a judge, Bolin said she hoped to show "a broad sympathy for human suffering." She served on the bench for 40 years. Before her death at age 98, she looked back at her lifetime of first. "Everyone else makes a fuss about it, but I didn't think about it, and I still don't," she said in 1993. "I wasn't concerned about (being) first, second or last. My work was my primary concern." Read more about her remarkable story here and here


16 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
56 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
72 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)

Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Capitol_Photos/Utah_State_Capitol_01.jpgTaking a closer look at some Utah bills
By Holly Richardson
Here are three bills plus one declaration about maternal mental health that deserve a closer look.No, you can't share that picture - When Lauren McCluskey was being stalked and threatened by the man who would eventually kill her, she went to campus police at the University of Utah for help. During one of multiple visits, Lauren shared with officer Miguel Deras an explicit picture of herself that was being used to extort her. Officer Deras then shared that photo multiple times with colleagues, including the night of Lauren's murder, when another investigating officer said at the crime scene, "I wonder what she looked like."
images/Resized_Logos/Tweet.pngTweets of the day: #utleg roundup
By Holly Richardson
Today's tweet reflect a resolution praising Utah's 2020 election process, a bill to reduce recidivism, a state stone, choosing university presidents, university names, guardrails on executive powers and a visit from Congressman Curtis.
images/Resized_Capitol_Photos/Utah_State_Capitol_11.jpgUtah legislature introduces bill to 'properly balance emergency powers'
By Holly Richardson
With the onset of COVID-19, Utahns watched the Emergency Management Act in effect for an extended period for the first time in our state's history. It became clear the Emergency Management Act is not structured for long-term emergencies such as a pandemic. After listening to Utahns' concerns, the Senate and the House of Representatives began working with the governor's office to create checks on broad executive emergency powers.

Utah Headlines


Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News

COVID Corner

National Headlines

Policy News

images/Logos/UIPA_logo.pngUtah Inland Port Authority 'in complete compliance,' says audit
An independent audit concluded the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) has complied with all state requirements for financial reporting, budget, and the Open and Public Meetings Act. Squire & Company, PC reported that the financial statements audited "present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities and the general fund" of UIPA.UIPA is required by law to provide an annual audit of its financial statements and state compliance by a Certified Public Accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The report is designed to provide citizens, taxpayers, customers, and investors and creditors with a general overview of the finances of the Authority."We embrace these independent audits to make sure we're meeting our financial requirements, as well as meeting the public expectations of a public agency," said Jill Flygare, Chief Operating Officer for UIPA. "A key objective of ours is to be a responsible custodian of public resources and this audit confirms we are on track."The Authority's revenues totaled $3.4 million for the budget year ending in June 2020, resulting in a net position of $2.4 million.
images/Resized_Logos/UASSP_logo.pngUtah Principals of the Year come from Nebo, Ogden and Canyons Districts
The principals of Mt. Nebo Middle School (Ryan McGuire), Ogden High School (Heather Gerrard), and Alta High School (Brian McGill) were named 2021 Utah Secondary Principals of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals (UASSP).
images/Resized_Logos/Wildfire_Caucus.pngCurtis, Neguse launch bipartisan wildfire caucus, introduce legislation
Today, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) and Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO) launched the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, a new congressional caucus which seeks to elevate awareness and bipartisan consensus around wildfire management and mitigation, and wildfire preparedness and recovery. Notably, the caucus will require that members join in equal bipartisan numbers, and will serve as a useful tool for facilitating conversations and cultivating solutions for communities facing wildfire. 
images/Resized_Logos/Mike_Lee_logo.pngSen. Lee sets Senate Republican Antitrust agenda for 117th Congress
Upon being assigned the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, Senator Lee issued the following statement today on antitrust matters in the 117th Congress:"Antitrust law and policy continues to grab headlines and attract attention in Congress, and there appears to be a broad consensus that the status quo isn't working. With the Senate split 50-50, any effort to reform or update our antitrust laws will need to be a bipartisan effort with buy-in from both sides.
images/Logos/SL-Chamber-Logo.pngKeeping up with the SL Chamber's legislative priorities
Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, presents the legislative priorities for Utah's business community, including short-term recovery priorities and long-term growth priorities. 

Business Headlines

On This Day In History

(From History.com)

  • 624 - Wu Zetian, the only female Chinese emperor in history, is born.
  • 1621 - Myles Standish is elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony.
  • 1801 - Thomas Jefferson is elected 3rd president of the U.S., after a very acrimonious campaign against Aaron Burr.
  • 1820 - The U.S. Senate passes the Missouri Compromise.
  • 1870 - Tenley Albright became the first American woman to win the World Figure Skating championship.
  • 1904 - Madame Butterfly premieres.
  • 1912 - Alice Mary Norton is born. She wrote under the pseudonym Andre Norton because she thought it would be more salable in science fiction and fantasy and later legally changed her name to Andre Alice Norton. She also used the pseudonyms "Andrew North" and "Allen Weston."
  • 1942 - Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party, is born. 
  • 1963 - Michael Jordan is born. 
  • 1972 - President Nixon leaves DC for an historic trip to China.
  • 1996 - Garry Kasparov defeats IBM computer "Deep Blue" 4-2.

Wise Words

In honor of Ash Wednesday:

"Let today be the day you give up who you've been for who you can become."

Lighter Side

Lighter Side

How do mountains stay warm?
They put on their snowcaps.

What do you call it when a snowman throws a temper tantrum?
A meltdown.

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