National Spaghetti Day; St. George teen w/ learner's permit arrested for going nearly 140 mph on Daddy's motorcycle
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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. 4, 2023

It's Wednesday already and National Spaghetti Day. 🍝  

A big congrats to everyone who was sworn into office yesterday and a sorry to members of the US House who were not because they have no Speaker.

And, Happy Birthday, Utah!! 🎂 🥳 🎉 

Be in the Know

  • Kevin McCarthy could not summon enough votes to become Speaker of the House on three rounds of balloting yesterday. It was the first time since 1823 that there has been more than one round of voting in the Speaker's race. All four members of the Utah delegation voted for McCarthy. A fourth round of voting is expected to begin today at noon, EST. 

Rapid Roundup

  •  Jazz fall to the Kings after Markkanen's buzzer-beater didn't actually beat the buzzer; a St. George teen with a learner's permit was arrested for going nearly 140 mph on Daddy's motorcycle; Damar Hamlin still in critical condition, had to be resuscitated twice, says uncle; Jeremy Renner run over by 7-ton snowplow helping a neighbor.


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


  • What this former USU basketball player says saved his life after cardiac arrest (Deseret News)
  • Top Nu Skin distributor killed in plane crash at Provo Airport (KSL)
  • Grad student accused of Idaho murders agrees to be extradited (Deseret News)
  • Layton man who shot ex-girlfriend's date says 'she's been my only problem' (KSL)
  • A man in a wheelchair was forced to ride in the road Tuesday morning because the sidewalks were not cleared of snow. (KUTV)
  • David Dalton, music professor who turned BYU into ‘the epicenter of all things viola,’ dies at 89 (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Salt Lake City mulls major change to electric vehicle infrastructure policy (KSL)
  • Salt Lake City Council votes to shake up leadership roles in 2023 (KSL)
  • For the first time, the Salt Lake County Council is a majority of women (Fox13)
  • BYU study finds hundreds of sexual assaults linked to dating apps. Can Utah lawmakers make online dating safer? (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • How does Utah’s current snowpack compare with previous New Year’s Day totals? (KSL)
  • Dave Marston: The ‘energy gap’ that nobody wants to tussle with. Renewables are providing more of our power, but not all of it. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • How old is that water underground? Why the answer matters in the thirsty West (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Love her or hate her, Michelle Obama is speaking truth on marriage (Deseret News)


  • Can sipping more water slow aging and even death? A new study says it can (Deseret News)
  • FDA wants transparency on LASIK risk, from vision problems to depression (Deseret News)

National Headlines


  • Elon Musk cuts Twitter expenses by falling behind on bills (AP)
  • Salesforce to lay off 10% of workforce, reduce offices (Wall Street Journal)


  • Holly Richardson: Without the Afghan Adjustment Act, tens of thousands of lives are in limbo (Deseret News)
  • Mitch McConnell becomes longest-serving party leader in Senate history (Deseret News)
  • Rep.-elect Santos quiet as speaker vote delays swearing-in (AP)
  • Murray becomes first female president pro tempore in Senate (AP)
  • This was supposed to be Kevin McCarthy's moment. Instead, GOP chaos reigns (NPR)
  • All but two McCarthy defectors in House are election deniers (Washington Post)
  • George Santos had an awkward first day at the office (Washington Post)
  • Gaetz sends letter to Architect of the Capitol asking why McCarthy is occupying Speaker’s office (The Hill)
  • Trump attacks McConnell, wife over GOP ‘turmoil’ after McCarthy fails to win Speakership (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦 

  • Ukraine says Russia plans new mobilization (Reuters)
  • Russia acknowledges higher death toll in Donetsk attack and blames its soldiers (New York Times)
  • Ukrainian prosecutors identify a Russian torture site, adding to a list of more than 50. (New York Times)

News Release

Sen. Lee delivers message to Utahns

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered a message to Utahns as he was sworn in as a member of the 118th Congress by Vice President Kamala Harris on the floor of the US Senate, beginning his third term. Many members of Lee’s family attended the ceremony, including his wife, Sharon, and two of their children. Lee family friends were also in attendance. (Read/Watch More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 4, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screen Shot 2023-01-04 at 8.00.30 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

  • 1809 - Louis Braille is born

  • 1847 - Samuel Colt sells his first revolvers to the U.S. government.

  • 1892 - Helen Hull is born. She was the director of Henry Street Settlement House, and then appointed by FDR to the Committee on Economic Security which created the Social Security Act of 1935 and Unemployment Compensation

  • 1896 - Utah becomes the 45th state admitted to the Union. 

  • 1905 - Sterling Holloway, the voice of Winnie the Pooh and the Cheshire cat, is born.

  • 1911 - Charlotte E. Ray, the first female Black law school graduate, died.

  • 1943 - Doris Kearns Goodwin, historian, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Lincoln, also wrote The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson.

  • 1965 - L.B.J. envisions a Great Society in his State of the Union address.

  • 1974 - President Nixon refused to hand over tapes.

  • 1995 - GOP wins control of Congress for first time in 40 years.

  • 2001 - Michael Jordan scores his 30,000th career point.

  • 2007 - Nancy Pelosi is elected the first female Speaker of the U.S. House.

Wise Words

"Russia mobilizes those whom it wants to throw to their deaths, we mobilize the civilized world"

Volodymyr Zeelenskyy

On the Punny Side

A wizard asked me to proof read one of his scrolls last week.

Actually, it was more of a Spell Check


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