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Situational Analysis - March 1, 2021
Hello and welcome to March! It's the beginning of Women's History Month in the US. The theme for Women's History Month in 2021 captures the spirit of these challenging times. Since many of the women's suffrage centennial celebrations originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed, the National Women's History Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced." To learn more about the history of remarkable Utah women, be sure to check out Better Days 2020 and their companion site, Utah Women's History.
It is also the last week of the 2021 legislative session, which adjourns sine die no later than midnight on Friday. Oh, and the US House passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan at about 3:30 am on Saturday. The legislation will now move to the Senate.
If you only have time for one thing today: This op-ed on "The true message of Black History Month: Hope never dies" by Theresa Dear is inspiring. Ms. Dear is a strategist at The Human Capital Strategy Group and a national board member of the NAACP and has this to say: "While the story of Black people in America is replete with egregious treatment, prejudice and discrimination, it's also rich with stories of Black innovators, leaders, scholars, allies and mentors who prevailed against injunctions, indignities and injustice. They overcame barriers, elusive opportunities, contrived defeats, overt opposition, saboteurs and obstructionists. Their capacity to persevere reminds us that hope never dies." We can all benefit from her inspiring message as we work to eliminate the chains of racism in this country.
4 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
44 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
60 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyBills on the docket today on Utah's Capitol Hill
By Holly Richardson
Two more days of committee hearings for this year's legislative session. Bills were still being released on Friday. Chance of them passing this year? Not so good.Here are some bills on the docket today:
Tweets of the day: #utleg roundup
By Holly Richardson
Food insecurity task force, how are legislators addressing the pink recession, the LG weighs in on a BYU report on racism, targeted racism in Draper, federal funding for a highly controversial "school," rural grants and can they do that?! (Short answer: yes.)
Rep. Stewart reintroduces Fairness for All Act
By Holly Richardson
Today, Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) reintroduced the Fairness for All Act (FFA). This legislation aims to protect everyone's dignity in public spaces. It harmonizes religious freedom and LGBT rights by amending the Civil Rights Act, protecting religious freedom in the workplace, protecting the rights of LGBT individuals, and preserving 1st amendment rights.
- Caregiver stories show love, duty and the need for some help - Experts says caregiving is especially hard for those juggling work with need to care for ill or disabled loved ones
- Woman launches project to tell the stories of Black life in the Beehive State - The goal of Danielle Rowe's project is to highlight the faces of people who make the Beehive State their home and to learn about their experiences being a small but strong minority in a place of increasing diversity.
- The changes, the losses and the silver linings of a pandemic turning 1 year old (Deseret News) - Utah's top health official, a school principal, a funeral home owner, a restaurant owner and a pastor find hope.
- Mayor Jenny Wilson: The Biden administration is taking the right steps on immigrant inclusion - Today, more than 44 million newcomers contribute daily to the prosperity and diversity of our country, and more than 12% of Salt Lake County's population is foreign-born.
- State's first COVID-19 patient reflects on 1 year since he landed in Utah hospital - Mark Jorgensen and his wife contracted the virus while on a cruise ship in Asia, along with dozens of others - before the now-rampant disease made it to the states.
- Utah lawmakers mostly behind a passel of personal privacy bills, but time's running short - With only 5 days left in the legislative session, it is unlikely that all of them will make it through the process.
- Enthusiasts raising funds to keep picking at 9-ton Utah rock chock full of dinosaur bones - Geologists have concluded that the slab full of bones was originally a puddle of quicksand 136 million years ago. It appears that some unlucky plant-eating dinosaur got stuck in the quicksand and a pack of Utahraptors moved in on him for dinner.
- Is merging Department of Health with Department of Human Services wise in pandemic? - Supporters say it will streamline services for those most in need while some worry about how this merger will actually improve efficiency, and the potential for unintended consequences.
- Can pollution regulations help an industry's bottom line? - Utah study shows it's possible.
- Ronald Reagan spoke at the first CPAC gathering in 1974. Here's what he said - Before he was a twice-elected president, then-California Gov. Ronald Regan spoke to the inaugural Conservative Political Action Conference about unity and American's divine charge.
- 370K Utahns have some college, no degree; this proposal aims to help some finish what they started - Rep. Lowry Snow is sponsoring legislation that would create a state-funded grant program for adult learners to make it easier for them to complete those college degrees and certificate programs.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Navajo Nation teachers doing homework with students through car windows, over phone during pandemic - Poor internet access has made at-home schooling on the reservation difficult, but kids seem to be adapting.
- How a tiny Utah community fought off an LDS Church housing project and lost a temple - Erda residents balked at plans for a high-density development, and the faith ended up relocating and renaming a planned temple to neighboring Tooele.
- Robert Gehrke: In a mind-boggling vote to allow DIY rape kits, Utah's Republican legislators condoned exploiting victims - In nearly two decades of covering the Utah Legislature, not much shocks me, but Wednesday's vote to kill Rep. Angela Romero's bill banning these pseudo-rape kits was simply jaw-dropping.
- One year later, Utah's first COVID-19 patient recalls 'surreal' experience - Mark Jorgensen says he may have some long-term effects from the disease, but doesn't regret going on the cruise where he likely caught the coronavirus.
- The left is out to 'devalue' womanhood and manhood and destroy kids, Utah Rep. Burgess Owens says - The freshman Republican blasts Democrats and Black Lives Matter, while lamenting the loss of God and Limbaugh.
- Will Utahns wait their turn in line once vaccines open up for those with underlying conditions? - The state will rely on the honor system for coronavirus protection, with no proof required that someone meets the new requirements for underlying conditions.
- Robert Gehrke: Utah lawmakers opted for a tax break for the well-off instead of helping the working-class - More than 70% of the tax relief on the Social Security piece would go to households making more than $91,000 a year.
- BYU released a report saying its students of color feel 'isolated and unsafe' due to racism on campus - A committee recommends that school leaders take immediate action to address the concerns.
- Utah's minority communities disproportionately affected by food insecurity - A proposed state task force would aim to resolve the current barriers of food accessibility.
- Chris Stewart reintroduces bill he says will protect both LGBTQ and religious rights - Civil rights groups say it will permit discrimination in the name of religion against gays.
- Utah coronavirus cases continue to fall, but deaths on the rise (Salt Lake Tribune) - There has been an increase of more than 20 deaths due to COVID-19 in the past week.
- CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Fox Business) - The initial supply of 3.9 million doses is expected to be delivered as early as Tuesday
- More than 20 million in Britain get first COVID-19 vaccine dose (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the milestone represented "a huge national achievement and he paid testament to the country's health, workers, volunteers and armed forces.
- Yes, there are big shows in Utah this year (for now), even with COVID-19. Here's a look (Deseret News) - Big concerts this year include Marie Osmond, Kristin Chenoweth, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Backstreet Boys, Colbie Caillat, Maroon 5 and more.
- This May Be Most Dangerous COVID-19 Variant, Experts Say (MSN.com) - Recently, a new variant emerged in California. There is much worry that it is extremely deadly.
- If you get vaccinated, can you hang with your vaccinated friends? (Deseret News) - "You can start getting together as individual people, even though the risk is not zero, the risk becomes extremely low when you have both parties vaccinated," Dr. Fauci said.
- There's some real world data about the Pfizer vaccine, and the results look good (Deseret News) - Data from Israel - which vaccinated its elderly population - has found that mass vaccinations have helped stop severe COVID-19.
- What COVID-19 has revealed about the nursing profession (Deseret News) - During the past three months, we talked with 35 Utah nurses from the four major health care systems in Utah and across 15 hospitals, about working in a pandemic.
- House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package (Politico) - All but two Democrats voted for the bill - Rep. Kurt Schrader and Rep. Jared Golden. No Republicans voted for the bill.
- The golden Trump statue is the talk of CPAC. It was made in Mexico. (Slate) - A golden statue of former President Donald Trump has turned into the talk of the Conservative Political Action Conference taking place in Orlando.
- Trump slams 'establishment' Republicans McConnell, Cheney and others in CPAC speech as some deny GOP civil war (Fox News) - "I am announcing that I will be actively working to elect strong, smart and tough Republican leaders," Trump said. "We want Republican leaders who are loyal to the voters and who will vote proudly for the vision that I've laid out today."
- Trump teases 2024 presidential run in lie-filled CPAC speech (CNN) - During a lengthy speech in which he baselessly claimed he won in November, that the US has a "very sick and corrupt electoral process" and the Supreme Court failed to "have the courage" to overturn the election on his behalf, he called for a new round of voting restrictions.
- Trump has captured the Republican party and that's great news for Biden (The Guardian) - As the Trump party takes over the GOP, anti-Trump Republicans are abandoning the party in droves thereby weakening it for general elections
- Cuomo says he was 'being playful,' but admits he 'may have been insensitive' amid sexual harassment claims (Fox News) - "I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends."
- Trump railed against the 'deep state,' but he also built his own. Biden is trying to dismantle it. (NBC News) - From high-high level agencies to low-level boards, Biden's administration is trying to rid the broader federal bureaucracy of Trump loyalists.
- Iran rejects informal nuke talks with U.S. and EU, insists Biden drop sanctions first (CNBC) - In 2018, then-President Donald Trump kept a campaign promise and withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) calling it the "worst deal ever."
- Senior Democrats abandon backup plan on $15 minimum wage (Washington Post) - Lawmakers are backing off a Plan B to raise pay for workers through tax penalties on corporations.
- Pompeo: Release of Khashoggi report by Biden admin 'reckless' (The Hill) - "It was political. It was aimed at harming a relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the use of intelligence in a way that, as a former CIA director, I would have never stood for," Pompeo said, adding, "So I regret that they chose to do this. It was a political stunt."
- Why Republicans Are Moving To Fix Elections That Weren't Broken (NPR) - The Brennan Center, a nonprofit that tracks voting laws, says that 43 states - including key swing states - are considering 253 bills that would raise barriers to voting.
- Biden expresses support for Amazon union vote in Alabama: 'Make your voice heard' (CNBC) - Without calling out Amazon, President Joe Biden on Sunday expressed support for workers "in Alabama and all across America" who are moving to unionize.
Policy NewsSen. Romney continues effort to reauthorize Secure Rural Schools program
U.S Senator Romney (R-UT) this week joined his colleagues, led by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jim Risch (R-ID) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), in introducing legislation to ensure counties do not lose out on essential services due to federal land ownership by reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program through September 2022. The SRS program, which helps fund essential services in rural communities home to federal land, expired in September 2020; the last payment under the current authorization is scheduled for April 2021. Full text of the bill can be found here.
Bipartisan Curtis amendment for land study passes House with Lands Bill
On Friday, Representative John Curtis (R-UT), member of the Western Caucus, advocated for his amendment to the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act on the House Floor. The Congressman's amendment would require a study of any land impacted by the legislation to determine if these areas contain geothermal resources or minerals needed for battery storage, renewable energy technology, or electric vehicles. The amendment passed with a 221-205 vote, 205 Republicans and 16 Democrats in support.
Sen. Lee statement on Syria airstrike
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration's airstrike in Syria last night: "The decision to launch an airstrike in Syria without authorization from Congress is concerning, but frankly not surprising. In recent history, presidents of both political parties have shown little restraint in using military force despite the Constitution's explicit delegation of the war-making power to Congress.
Rep. Owens statement opposing Democrats' relief bill
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) released the following statement outlining his opposition to Nancy Pelosi's $1.9 trillion payoff to progressives."The American Rescue Plan is a trillion-dollar wish list filled with special interest buyouts, progressive spending priorities, and misplaced assistance masquerading as pandemic relief. This bill showcases the worst of Washington funding special interest groups, incentivizing harmful lockdowns, and destroying quality jobs at the expense of American families. My constituents in the Fourth District deserve better "relief" than this."
State Auditor releases analysis of NCAA athletics revenue subsidization for Utah's degree-granting public colleges and universities
The Office of the State Auditor (Office) today released its Analysis Report on NCAA Athletics Revenue Subsidization for Utah's Degree-Granting Public Colleges and Universities. This report covers fiscal years ended June 30, 2012 through June 30, 2020.
On This Day In History
- 1565 - Rio de Janeiro is founded.
- 1642 - Georgeana (York) in Maine becomes the first incorporated American city.
- 1692 - Salem Witch Hunt begins
- 1780 - Pennsylvania becomes the first US state to abolish slavery (for newborns only).
- 1781 - Articles of Confederation are (finally!) ratified after nearly four years of wrangling.
- 1790 - First US census authorized.
- 1803 - Ohio becomes the 17th state in the Union
- 1845 - President John Tyler signs a resolution annexing the Republic of Texas.
- 1864 - Rebecca Lee becomes the first Black woman in the US to receive a medical degree.
- 1872 - Yellowstone Park established
- 1875 - A Civil Rights bill is enacted by Congress, giving Blacks the right to equal treatment in "inns, public conveyances, theaters and other places of public amusement." It is overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1883.
- 1879 - The telephone makes it to Utah.
- 1880 - Gillette Hayden, a pioneering dentist and periodontist, is born. She founded the American Academy of Periodontology and served as its president.
- 1896 - 80,000 Ethiopians destroy 20,000 Italians in Ethiopia, killing two generals and capturing General Matteo Albertone in the Battle of Adowa.
- 1910 - Two trains are swept into a canyon by an avalanche in Wellington, Washington, killing 96 people.
- 1924 - Harry Belafonte is born.
- 1932 - Lindbergh baby kidnapped.
- 1941 - Captain America created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby is first published by Timely Comics.
- 1954 - US explodes Castle Bravo, a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, which accidentally became the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the US.
- 1960 - San Antonio, Texas, becomes the first major Southern city to integrate lunch counters.
- 1961 - President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps with Executive Order #10924
- 1966 - Soviet probe crashes into Venus
- 1967 - U.S. House expels Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Civil rights leaders say Powell was ousted because of his race.
- 1971 - Bomb explodes in US Capitol building.
- 1973 - Pink Floyd release their album "Dark Side of the Moon", since sold over 45 million copies.
- 1987 - Congress passes a resolution designating March as Women's History Month.
- 2020 - Turkey launches major offensive against Syrian government in northern Syria after 36 Turkish soldiers killed in air and artillery strikes 3 days earlier
"Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women."
How excited was the gardener about spring?
So excited he wet his plants.
Does February like March?
No, but April May
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