US House Speaker's race in question; Donovan Mitchell makes history; Ken Block dies in snowmobile accident, crash at Provo airport kills 1
View in browser

The Utah Policy newsletter is your one-stop source for political and policy-minded news. We scour the news so you don't have to! Send news tips or feedback to Holly Richardson at


Situational Analysis | Jan. 3, 2023

Good snowy morning to ya. It's National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day - does anyone really like those? I haven't met them yet.

Be safe out there - the morning commute is messy. 

Be in the Know

  • The NFL postponed Monday night’s game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals after 24-year-old Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed following a blow to his chest. Hamlin was given nearly ten minutes of CPR on the field before being transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition. The holiday fundraiser he was hosting, hoping to garner $2500 in donations for a toy drive, has topped $3.5 million so far. 

  • The new Congress is convening today, but whether Kevin McCarthy will become Speaker is uncertain. There are at least five "Never Kevin" Republicans who say that, in spite of many concessions from McCarthy, it's not enough and that could be enough to torpedo his chances. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of McCarthy’s most ardent backers after being promised a spot on the Oversight Committee, criticized the holdouts. “If my friends in the Freedom Caucus, Matt Gaetz and others, will not take the win when they have it, they’re proving to the country that they don’t care about doing the right thing for America,” she said Monday. “They’re just destructionist.” The vote for Speaker hasn't gone to multiple rounds in 100 years. 

Rapid Roundup

  • Donovan Mitchell made NBA history — and scored 71 points along the way; Utah falls to Penn State in the Rose Bowl; pro rally driver Ken Block dies in Utah snowmobile accident; four snowmobilers were rescued after several hours of being buried in snow; one person was killed and another critically injured in a crash at the Provo airport; a Park City ski area employee died when a tree hit a chair lift line and upended the chair they were in; and a 4-year-old is hospitalized after nearly drowning in Little America Hotel pool. Hug your loved ones - life can change in an instant. 


The health of the Colorado River affects the livelihood of all Utahns.

The Colorado River is in crisis. Deadlines for decisions regarding its future are rapidly approaching. Learn more about the river’s past, present and future and how it affects us all.


Utah Headlines


  • Utah cracks women’s AP top 10 for 1st time (AP)
  • Pandemic forced remote court hearings, but they are now here to stay in Utah (KSL)
  • Crash totals from Utah Highway patrol are in the hundreds (KSL Newsradio)


  • Women have always been trailblazers in the West. Why are some states like Utah falling behind? (Deseret News)
  • A doctor, a banker. A pickleballer, a builder. A Coke drinker, a lefty. Meet S.L. County’s two new council members. Democrat Suzanne Harrison and Republican Sheldon Stewart share why they ran, what needs to change and what they hope to accomplish. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah senator backs bill to legalize tests that detect fentanyl. Opponents say it would send the message that it's ok to use drugs (KSL Newsradio)


  •  January is often a big month for layoffs. Here's what to do in a worst case scenario (NPR)


  • Is it time to start your own "treasonous" friendship? Has the ice-bucket challenge lost its excitement for you — and are you ready for something even more daring in the new year? Let the Clinton and Bush families be your example (Deseret News)
  • History of the Governor’s Mansion, aka Kearns Mansion (Deseret News)
  • The Natural History Museum of Utah is seeking out the stories behind its collection. “Regardless of how these things were collected, oftentimes they were collected without the deep cultural knowledge that comes with an object,” said the museum’s curator of ethnography, Alexandra Greenwald. (KUER)


  • The health goal you need for the new year is not what you think. ‘How to lose weight’ is one of Google’s top 10 most searched questions. Here’s why it shouldn’t be your resolution (Deseret News)
  • "Forest bathing" can improve mental and physical health (UPR)


  • The great housing market ‘reset’ of 2022: The year the Fed had no mercy (Deseret News)

National Headlines


  •  2022's extraordinary cosmic revelations and moments in space exploration (KSL)
  • Jeremy Renner remains in critical condition after surgery following snowplow accident. ‘Avengers’ star suffered chest trauma, orthopedic injuries, representative says (Wall Street Journal)
  • White contractors wouldn’t remove Confederate statues. So a Black man did it. (Washington Post)
  • National park closed following arrival of 300 migrants (The Hill)


  • Will GOP leader Kevin McCarthy win Tuesday’s vote for Speaker? It’s not certain. (Deseret News)
  • Here are the House Republicans to watch if McCarthy’s bid for Speaker falters (New York Times)
  • Club for Growth urges no vote on McCarthy for Speaker unless rules demands are met (The Hill)
  • George Santos comes to Washington. It could be awkward. (New York Times)
  • Brazilian authorities will revive fraud case against George Santos. A 2008 court case had been suspended because Brazilian law enforcement officials could not find Mr. Santos. (New York Times)
  • Ben Sasse: America’s true divide: Pluralists vs. zealots. Stop making politics about partisan identities and tribalism and get back to persuasion and policy. (Wall Street Journal)

Ukraine 🇺🇦 

  • Russian fury grows over strike that killed dozens  - some say hundreds - of troops in eastern Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Ukraine has digitized its fighting forces on a shoestring. Ukraine has achieved a cut-price version of what the Pentagon has spent decades and billions of dollars striving to accomplish: digitally networked fighters, intelligence and weapons (Wall Street Journal)

World News

  •  Right-wing Israeli minister challenges own government with visit to Temple Mount (Washington Post)

News Release

Romney highlights progress on top priorities in 2022 Year in Review report

As 2023 begins, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) released a report detailing the policy and constituent services highlights from the past year. Major legislative highlights included enactment of Romney bills that amplify the work being done by the State of Utah to save the Great Salt Lake, equip the U.S. to better counter the rise of China, and allow for the completion of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The Senator also continued efforts to address the drought and water issues plaguing communities across Utah. The Romney team assisted with more than 1,600 constituent casework claims, responded to more than 81,000 pieces of constituent mail, and met with hundreds of Utahns and businesses throughout the state. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 3, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screen Shot 2023-01-03 at 7.28.34 AM


  • Utah Economic Outlook and Public Policy Summit with the Salt Lake Chamber — Jan. 12, 2023, Salt Lake City Marriott, 8 am - noon, Register here
  • Legislative session begins, Jan. 17, 2023,

On This Day In History

  • 1431 - Joan of Arc transferred to the custody of English bishop, Pierre Cauchon to begin trial.

  • 1521 - Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Catholic church

  • 1793 - Lucretia Mott, women’s right pioneer, is born

  • 1841 - Herman Melville sails for the South Seas

  • 1879 - Grace Anna Goodhue is born. She was teaching at the Clarke School for the Deaf when she met and married Calvin Coolidge in 1904. She later became the nation’s 32nd First Lady.

  • 1892 - J.R.R. Tolkien is born.

  • 1924 - King Tut’s tomb discovered.

  • 1925 - Benito Mussolini declares himself dictator of Italy.

  • 1938 - Franklin D. Roosevelt founds the March of Dimes.

  • 1949 - Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) starts her tenure in the Senate, where she stays until 1973. She became the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate, having served in the House from 1940-1949.

  • 1953 - Mother and son serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress, Frances P. Bolton and Oliver Bolton.

  • 1993 - In Moscow, the Start II arms reduction treaty is signed by George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin

Wise Words

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

—Maya Angelou

On the Punny Side

I was going to quit all my bad habits for the new year…

But then I remembered that nobody likes a quitter.


– Advertise With Us –

Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.