Morning must reads for Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 2:00pm
Utah Policy

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning must reads for Friday, March 17, 2017



Good Friday morning and Happy St. Patrick's Day from Salt Lake City. Today is the 76th day of the year. There are 289 days remaining in 2017.

Trump's budget could hurt those who voted for him most. Tillerson says military action is an option to deal with North Korea. Utah's housing crisis is poised to get worse.

The clock:

  • 12 days until the last day Governor Gary Herbert can sign or veto bills (3/29/2017)
  • 64 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 92 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 235 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 311 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 356 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 600 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1327 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today's political TL;DR -

  • Understand what happened this week in Utah politics with our award-eligible week in review video [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says if Legislative Republicans move forward on repealing SB54 it could lead to a tidal wave of changes to the Utah Legislature they may not like [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Norm Thurston debunks some of the myths surrounding HB155, which lowers the DUI threshold to 0.05% [Utah Policy]. Gov. Gary Herbert says he has not yet made a decision on whether to sign or veto the legislation [KUTV].
  • Bulletin! Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says "all options are on the table," including military action when it comes to dealing with North Korea [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump's budget proposal is advocating deep cuts to many programs his base relies on [New York Times]. Trump's budget isn't likely to survive Congress intact [Wall Street Journal]. Here's how Trump's budget could affect Utah [Tribune].
  • Rep. Mia Love says she supports the GOP plan to replace Obamacare, but wants some changes made before it passes [Tribune].
  • Uh, oh! Fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was paid more than $50,000 by several Russian companies before he joined the Trump administration [Wall Street Journal]. 
  • Congress isn't buying Donald Trump's claims that he was wiretapped by former President Obama [Politico]. British intelligence officials say it's "utterly ridiculous" to think they assisted Obama in surveilling Trump during the presidential campaign [Guardian]. Watch Sean Spicer have a complete meltdown trying to defend Trump's bogus wiretapping claims during his daily press briefing [Washington Post].
  • The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says President Trump may have divulged classified information when he said the CIA was hacked during a television interview [Politico].
  • For some reason, a Russian spy ship is hanging out offshore on the East Coast of the United States near a Navy submarine base in Connecticut [ABC News].
  • Sen. Wayne Harper passed the most bills during the just completed legislative session while four lawmakers got zero bills through the process [Fox 13].
  • The State Records Committee orders that part of the agreement between Utah and to collect online taxes be made public. The state originally withheld the records to protect trade secrets. They haven't decided whether to appeal the ruling in court [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The state has been ordered to release to the public internal documents used to calculate water consumption [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Utah's housing crisis is set to worsen as the supply of available housing is falling way behind demand [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • According to tradition, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul. Some sources list the year as 461, others say 493.
  • 1776 - British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.
  • 1942 - Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater during World War II.
  • 1959 - The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in the wake of a failed uprising by Tibetans against Chinese rule.
  • 2003 - President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave his country. Iraq rejected the ultimatum.




Today At Utah Policy

Debunking the myths behind lowering the DUI level to 0.05
By Rep. Norm Thurston, House District 64
Recent letters to the editor and a petition circulated by representatives of the alcohol industry and Sen. Jim Dabakis contain significant factual errors that need to be addressed publicly.  ...

Bob Bernick's notebook: Repealing SB54 could lead to unintended consequences
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
As I’ve noted in a previous UtahPolicy analysis, Republicans in the Utah House are coming close – or are already there – in getting the 38 votes needed to repeal SB54....

'Got a lot farther by being a lot smarter' - Bernick and Schott on politics #321
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
It's been a fairly quiet week in Utah politics. Everyone must still be asleep following the end of the 2017 Legislature....

Podcast: Bernick and Schott on politics #321
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott run down the week in Utah politics....

Weekly survey: Should Hatch run again in 2018? Is Chaffetz in trouble?
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Orrin Hatch says he's planning on running for an 8th term in 2018. Should he? Rep. Jason Chaffetz is taking political fire for some controversial statements he's made in the press. Has he damaged his political future? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Policy News


Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoor Notes-- Tribune: International Sportsmen's Expo opens four-day Utah show -- Tribune: Want to catch and keep lots of fish? Consider a trip to Millsite Reservoir -- Tribune: Idaho's Shoshone Falls flowing higher than normal in time for spring break visits -- Tribune: A...

Under Congressional health care plan, Utah stands to lose millions, new estimates show
A new analysis shows the impact that the Republican health plan bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would have on Utah’s state budget....


Press release: Rep. Stewart to participate in congressional hearing investigating Russia hacking claims and more
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will be participating in the first public, non-classified House Intelligence Committee Hearing on the Russia Investigation on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 10:00am ET....


Press release: Sen. Lee praises Trump's budget
Senator Lee (R-UT) released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s budget:...

Local Headlines


Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Investing in Rio Grande shelter better than building new ones

Editorial: New Utah mine lease is the beginning of coal's last gasp

Where there's smoke, there's pollution: Protesters argue against cooking exemption for Utah burn ban

Protest against lower blood alcohol limit planned for St. Patrick's Day in Salt Lake

Utah leaders hailed voter turnout in election. Actually, we were among the worst in the nation

Records Committee orders public disclosure of Utah-Amazon contract on sales taxes

Utah records panel orders release of water data

Utah's Mia Love supports GOP health care plan, wants revisions

Gehrke: Team Trump is using a tragic Utah story to gut a law helping millions

Here's how President Trump's proposed budget hikes and spending cuts might affect Utah

Deseret News

Bears Ears designation upends proposed ATV trail in San Juan County

Clean air advocates urge veto of outdoor cooking bill

Records committee releases some details of Amazon tax deal

Records committee grants access to reports of Utah's water use

Utah housing shortage headed from bad to worse

'Tongue-in-cheek' ad thanks Utah for passing .05 DUI law

2017 Legislature 'almost a bipartisan love fest,' BYU professor says

National Headlines

Travel Ban Heads Toward Supreme Court in Transition (Wall Street Journal)

Tillerson says diplomacy with North Korea has 'failed'; Pyongyang warns of war (Washington Post)

Ryan Clings to Core of GOP Health Bill as Opposition Mounts (Bloomberg)

After trashing her on campaign trail, will Trump get along with Merkel? (McClatchy)

Republican health bill still alive despite renegade conservative votes (McClatchy)

Judge Gorsuch's Writings Signal He Would Be A Conservative On Social Issues (NPR)

Trump taps Boeing executive as deputy defense secretary (Washington Post)

Donald Trump Sees Himself in Andrew Jackson (Slate)

Trump calls for air traffic control spin-off in budget (The Hill)

Trump's 'hard power budget' increases defense spending, cuts to State Dept, EPA (CNN)

Trump, Easing Emissions Rule, Vows to Expand Auto Jobs (New York Times)

Wise Words

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." T. S. Eliot

Lighter Side

"Jon Huntsman's first job as ambassador will be to exchange gifts with his Russian counterpart. And that's tough, because what do you give somebody who already gave you the White House? You can't just hand over an edible arrangement." James Corden