Content in our “News” posts come from local & national news sources.

10 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

61 days to the Utah State Republican Party Organizing Convention (5/4/2019)

91 days until the municipal election filing period opens (6/3/2019)

95 days until the municipal election filing period ends (6/7/2019)

110 days to the Utah State Democratic Party Organizing Convention (6/22/2019)

162 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

246 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

329 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

337 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

605 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

On this day in 1789 – In New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the Constitution into effect. The Bill of Rights is written and proposed to Congress.  

Final Writ of Certiorari Denied in legal case over SB54

View the UTGOP Chairman’s Message here: Certiorari Denied

Supreme Court rejects appeal over SB54, meaning Utah’s law allowing candidates to gather signatures stands. . . for now
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
The legal fight over SB54 – the Utah law allowing candidates to gather signatures to get on the ballot – is over. On Monday, the Supreme Court officially refused to hear the Utah Republican party’s appeal of a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year, meaning the law stands.
That also means the arch-conservative wing of the Utah GOP who was pushing the high court to hear the issue has lost once again. Read more…

Local News

Utah’s unemployment rate remained below national average in January
By Press release
Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for January 2019 grew by an estimated 3.2 percent, adding 47,600 jobs to the economy since January 2018. Utah’s current employment level registers 1,526,600. December’s job growth rate was revised downward three-tenths to 2.8 percent. …  

Zions Bank economic snapshot: Interest rate trend is down
At the end of 2018, the Federal Reserve received strong criticism, both from investors and the president, for raising interest rates too quickly. While there has been considerable debate surrounding the Fed’s actions, what is clear, is that despite hiking interest rates nine…  

2019 General Session

A bill that would impose a robust tax overhaul on Utah businesses passed committee after a lengthy public comment period during which a number of Utah business owners testified against it. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews] [ABC4]   

Budget negotiations underway on Capitol Hill
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Legislative leadership will continue negotiations this week to set next year’s budget. But, as with every year’s spending blueprint, legislators will figure out the big spending items first, then fit everything else around them….  

The Utah House passed a bill aimed at increasing free speech on college campuses in the state by prohibiting institutions of higher learning from punishing students for any form of speech unless it falls under the supreme court definition of harassment. [Trib]  

After passing the House, a bill to increase the age of legal tobacco purchase in Utah from 19 to 21 is on its way to the Senate. [Trib] [DNews]  

Our Congressional Delegation

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told Utah legislators that while he believes a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico southern border exists, he does not believe any president should have the power to sidestep congressional funding. [Trib] [DNews]

Sen. Lee says it may be time to change federal rules for marijuana
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee suggested on Friday afternoon that it may be time for the federal government to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 drug in order to reflect America’s changing landscape when it comes to the controlled substance..  

Romney: America can’t accept North Korea’s word 
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday morning he was critical of President Donald Trump’s defense of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s role in the death of American Otto Warmbier…  

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart says on CCN that it is “extraordinarily unlikely” that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not know about the treatment of American Otto Warmbier that lead to his death, directly disputing President Donald Trump’s statements last week. [UtahPolicy]

In an op-ed published for USA Today Utah Rep Ben McAdams makes an argument for a moderate approach to politics that favors pragmatic lawmaking in a split government. [USATODAY

CSPAN profiles Rep. Ben McAdams
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Ben McAdams makes an appearance on CSPAN’s series profiling freshmen members of Congress…  

National News

Congress wants to avoid a fight over the debt ceiling. Congressional leaders are negotiating to find a bi-partisan solution to raising the nation’s debt ceiling. The government has until sometime this summer to raise the cap on how much the federal government can owe creditors – http://bit.ly/2IRwaxg

U.S. and China near trade deal. The Trump administration is closing in on a trade deal with China to roll back tariffs on both sides. The pact will require China to purchase American agricultural and energy goods – https://nyti.ms/2TqKaCp

2020 Presidential Election

Trump Just Might Have Won the 2020 Election Saturday (Reason)

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joins the 2020 Democratic field. Hickenlooper is the 14th Democrat so far to announce a run for the party’s presidential nomination – [https://wapo.st/2TubxLM[TheHill]

Bernie Launches Campaign with Vow of ‘Winning Not Just an Election, But Transforming Our Country’ (PJ Media)

Some presidential candidates, or those likely to join, favor legalizing sex workers, drugs and sports betting. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill last week to legalize marijuana nationally. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., favors legalizing sex workers, complaining that current law ends up hurting women more than customers and pimps. And Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is among those pushing for legal sports betting. So CNN says, “The 2020 election is shaping up to be a new chapter in the end of vice.”[CNN]