It's Friday!

Utahns divided on gas tax hike passed by lawmakers in 2015. Herbert says GOP bigwigs may step into the fight over SB 54. Jowers is stepping down from the Hinckley Institute.

Countdown:

  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections - 116
  • Days to the 2015 election - 200
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) - 277
  • Days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature - 284
  • Days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary - 285
  • Days to the 2016 Utah presidential primary - 439
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election - 572

Friday's top-10 headlines:

  1. A new survey finds Utahns are split on whether they favor or oppose the gas tax hike passed by the legislature during the 2015 session [Utah Policy].
  2. Gov. Gary Herbert expects the Republican Party bigwigs to step into the fight over SB 54 [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  3. State Sen. Curt Bramble is fighting efforts by the Utah GOP to have him testify in court as part of the lawsuit against SB 54 [Fox 13].
  4. Herbert says he expects to start meeting with the Obama administration to continue negotiations on Medicaid expansion within the next two weeks [Deseret News].
  5. Herbert also says meeting behind closed doors to find a compromise on Medicaid expansion do not violate state open meetings law [ABC 4].
  6. Herbert is worried the depleted uranium EnergySolutions plans to store in its facility near Clive, Utah is far more radioactive than we've been led to believe [Deseret News, Tribune].
  7. A study shows Utah would see more tax revenue if President Obama's executive orders on immigration move forward [Tribune].
  8. Kirk Jowers announces he is stepping down from the Hinckley Institute of Politics to take a job in the private sector [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  9. Sen. Harry Reid threatens to force a vote on the stalled nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General [Politico].
  10. Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he will sue the Obama administration over what he calls "coercive tactics" to force the state to accept Medicaid expansion [The Hill].

On this day in history:

  • 1790 - American statesman Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia at the age of 84.
  • 1961 - A force of CIA trained, anti-Castro rebels began the Bay of Pigs attempt to overthrow Cuba's new communist government.
  • 1970 - Apollo 13, which suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, returned safely to Earth.
  • 2001 - By a 2-1 margin, Mississippi voters decided to keep their state flag which includes the Confederate battle cross in the upper left corner.