The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to [email protected],.
Situational Analysis - April 2, 2021
Welcome to Friday. Today is Good Friday for most of the world's Christians and thus, Easter is on Sunday. The weather should be just about perfect.
5 things you need to know
- Two out of three Utahns favor universal background checks before being allowed to purchase a gun.
- In Utah, women lost twice the number of jobs as men as the pandemic shutdown unfolded.
- Preliminary CDC data shows that the number of suicides in the United States declined 5.6 percent from 2019 to 2020. It was the third consecutive year of decline.
- Arabic coins minted in 1693 showed up in Rhode Island, potentially solving a centuries-old mystery of murderous pirate Capt. Henry Every.
- Taiwan's worst train crash in decades kills 51, injures hundreds Friday morning.
12 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
22 days until the United Utah Party Organizing Convention (04/24/2021)
28 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
29 days until the in-person Utah GOP Organizing Convention (05/01/2021)
162 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyLt. Gov. Henderson announces her first initiative - a "Returnship" program
By Holly Richardson
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced her first initiative as Lt. Governor, a plan to expand Utah's returnship opportunities. Returnships are internships for adults looking to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence. They are designed as a back-to-work program that provides the experience, training, skills, and mentoring that an individual needs to return to the workforce without starting from the bottom of the career ladder. Returnships can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. While all are eligible, this program is likely to be a real boost to women who took a number of years off the educational or career track to raise their families.
Rural news round-up
By Holly Richardson
Today's stories from around the state include a rural budget crisis, an effort to increase diversity in school staff, a Pearl Harbor sailor's remains are finally identified and are coming home, Farmers feeding Utah were in Kanab, San Juan County expecting "hordes of visitors," Logan welcomes a new Encircle facility and the St. George City Council really likes the name 'Dixie'.
Commentary: Listen to the experts, but make policy based on all factors
By LaVarr Webb
Health experts appear to be fighting a losing battle to get politicians to enforce mask mandates and lockdowns to prevent a fourth COVID-19 surge.With virus cases and hospitalization rising in many states, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently issued an emotional and dire warning, saying she is scared and has a "recurring feeling . . . of impending doom."
Salt Lake Tribune
- "Returnship" program seeks to get adult women back in Utah's workforce (ABC4) - "The goal of a returnship program is to help experienced adults re-enter the workforce without starting at the bottom of the career ladder," said Lt. Governor Henderson.
- Candidates for Utah GOP chair include fmr. chair accused of mishandling harassment claims (KUTV) - The five candidates are Brad Baker, a Weber State University student; Tina Cannon, a former member of the Morgan County Council; Carson Jorgensen, a rancher and small business owner; Scott Miller, former Salt Lake County Republican Party chair; and Stewart Peay, an attorney and current chair of the Utah County Republican Party.
- Utah's sentencing for child pornography is so light, offenders are out in less than a year (KUTV) - Thousands of potential charges are reduced to save time. Then, defendants plead guilty to just a handful while the remainder are dismissed.
- Stress can be good for you, and here's why (KSL) - The researchers concluded that it wasn't stress that was killing people. It was the combination of stress and the belief that stress is harmful.
- Uintah Basin Narcotics Strike Force completes 2 drug busts, seizes $74K worth of narcotics (KSL) - The joint operation between Basin Narcotics and DEA agents began on Mar. 12 when a residence in Vernal was suspected as being a place of drug dealing. Police said the team discovered methamphetamine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and drug paraphernalia there.
- Cox says masks still necessary for students, but some parents planning protests (Deseret News) - According to the Utah Parents United Facebook page, some parents across Utah will be walking their children into their schools without masks and declare their child will not wear a mask "as a mass rejection of the K-12 mask mandate. The time is NOW to end our children's suffering!"
- COVID-19 vaccine side effects include ... dreams of space? (Deseret News) - CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said he's heard of a number of side effects to the vaccine that include weird dreams
- More than half a million Utahns are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (Salt Lake Tribune) - A whopping 46,011 Utahns received coronavirus vaccinations on Thursday, as the state blew past the half-million mark in those fully vaccinated. A total of more than 1.4 million doses have been administered.
- Davis County Health Department to open Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination clinic (ABC4) - The new clinic will be located inside the Davis Conference Center in Layton beginning Wednesday, April 7.
- Intermountain Healthcare doctors: Experience with COVID-19 in New York hospitals proved invaluable in Utah's fight against the virus (ABC4) - "We were able to sound the alarm and get people ready. So, we did not see anything like what they had experience in New York," Dr. Dixie Harris said. "So, we're very grateful."
- None of Utah is in a 'high risk' area for COVID-19 right now (Fox 13) - All counties are now in moderate or low transmission indices.
- FDA authorizes rapid, non-prescription COVID-19 tests (ABC News) - The move could benefit schools and businesses eyeing reopening
- Plant that ruined vaccine doses had prior FDA violations (Washington Post) - A federal investigator's report last year detailed problems he found at Emergent BioSolutions' Baltimore facility, including deficiencies in a measure intended to "prevent contamination or mix-ups."
- Police: California office attack that killed 4 wasn't random (AP) - A gunman who killed four people, including a 9-year-old boy, knew all the victims and his motive may have involved personal or business relationships, police said.
- Myanmar cuts wireless internet service amid coup protests (AP) - The military on Friday shut all access to mobile networks and all wireless - the less costly options used by most people in the developing country - was blocked.
- At 1st Cabinet meeting, Biden says team 'looks like America' (AP) - President Joe Biden's first Cabinet meeting looked and felt different from those of his predecessor.
- Analysis: Millennials and global consumers push U.S. companies to get political (Reuters) - A push to attract young and diverse talent and global consumers is behind some of corporate America's willingness to speak out on politically charged issues like Georgia's new voting law, executives and corporate governance experts said.
- No new gas taxes: White House rejects corporate ask on infrastructure funding (Reuters) - The US Chamber of commerce and some right-leaning think tanks, said taxes should instead be raised on motorists
- Panic Rooms, Birth Certificates and the Birth of GOP Paranoia (Politico) - How America's center-right party started to lose its mind, as told by the man who tried to keep it sane: John Boehner.
- McConnell rules out GOP support for Biden spending plan (Politico) - Senate Democrats are already signaling they may set up the infrastructure bill to pass along party lines
- Republicans don't think Biden really wants to work with them (The Hill) - Senate Republican aides say it's "highly unlikely" that any GOP senators will vote for Biden's plan.
- Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows (The Hill) - President Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan does not include any funds to protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, even as the threat grows against targets like the electric grid.
- The reason many Guatemalans are coming to the border? A profound hunger crisis. (Washington Post) - Chronic childhood malnutrition doubled in Guatemala in 2020. In areas from which migrants are coming, the rates are higher than anywhere in the world.
- Venezuelan military offensive sends thousands fleeing, recharging one of the world's worst refugee crises (Washington Post) - The sudden outflow is amplifying a renewed wave of Venezuelan refugees and migrants - the world's second-largest group of internationally displaced people - from the broken socialist state.
- The Pandemic Hit the Working Class Hard. The Colleges That Serve Them Are Hurting, Too. (New York Times) - The community colleges largely serving low-income, Black and Latino students are reeling, and experts worry that inequality in education will increase.
- Justice Dept. Inquiry Into Matt Gaetz Said to Be Focused on Cash Paid to Women (New York Times) - The congressman and a former official in Florida sent money to the women using cash apps, receipts showed.
- Gaetz showed nude photos of women he said he'd slept with to lawmakers, sources tell CNN (CNN) - Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress over his relationships with women and bragging about his sexual escapades to his colleagues. Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with, the sources, including two people directly shown the material.
Policy NewsCandidates for Utah GOP statewide leadership
The following individuals have filed to run for leadership positions within the Utah Republican Party. They are listed in alphabetical order. The election will be held at the UTGOP Organizing Convention on May 1, 2021.
Utah Democrats apologize to victims of sexual harassment within the party
Utah Democrats have decided to re-examine the manner in which the party handled allegations of sexual harassment several years ago, in light of the allegations made against members of the Salt Lake County Republican Party. After examination, it is the belief of the Utah Democratic Party that the several women who came forward years ago with allegations were not treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. The party did not give the women involved an opportunity to speak, and therefore failed to complete an investigation.
Sen. Lee, Rep. Buck question big tech CEOs on actions against Parler
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) on Wednesday sent a letter to the CEOs of Google, Apple, and Amazon questioning a series of actions their companies took against Parler.
Rep. Stewart's statement on President Biden's $2.3 trillion spending plan
Yesterday, President Biden outlined his $2.3 trillion spending plan. Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) released the following statement:
Better Utah publishes legislative progress report
Today, Alliance for a Better Utah published its annual Progress Report for the 2021 General Legislative Session. This year, lawmakers were graded for their votes on 66 important bills organized into four categories: Strong Communities, Equal Rights, Good Government, and Sustainable Future. All 104 legislators received overall grades, as well as grades in each of the four categories.
- Robust U.S. employment growth expected in March, jobs deficit remains large (Reuters) - The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday is also expected to show people, mostly women, wading back into the labor market.
- Wall Street Weekahead: High-flying market to take cues from infrastructure plans, upcoming earnings (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's massive infrastructure proposal and the upcoming corporate earnings season could offer investors fresh insight on the sustainability of a rally that has taken stocks to all-time highs.
- American Airlines rebukes Texas voting restrictions (The Hill) - "Earlier this morning, the Texas state Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access. To make American's stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it," the airline, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote in a statement on Thursday.
- Exclusive: Apple's Tim Cook says voting "ought to be easier than ever" (Axios) - Cook, an Alabama native with a lifelong interest in civil rights, joins condemnations of Georgia's new voting law. "The right to vote is fundamental in a democracy. American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens, and Black people, in particular, have had to march, struggle and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right."
- We moved our company culture online (and it worked!) (Utah Business) - Due to the stresses of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the employees at eLearning Brothers needed to feel connected and supported at work more than ever. They had to find alternatives - and they did!
- Surprise jump pushes weekly jobless claims back above 700,000 (Washington Post) - The Labor Department's weekly unemployment tally wasn't the dip economists expected
On This Day In History
- 1917 - Jeannette Pickering Rankin, the first woman ever elected to Congress, takes her seat in the U.S. Capitol as a representative from Montana.
- 1931 - 17-year-old Jackie Mitchell, the second woman to play baseball in the all-male minor leagues, pitches an exhibition game against the N.Y. Yankees and strikes out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The next day, the Baseball Commissioner voided her contract, claiming baseball was too strenuous for women. The ban was not overturned until 1992
- 2005 - Pope John Paul II dies
"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."
~Pope John Paul II
Why is Easter is the perfect day to get married?
You'll live hoppily ever after.
Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.
Advertise With Us