National Keto Day; still no House Speaker; US labor market remains tight; horrible tragedy in Enoch with 8 family members dead
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. 5, 2023

It's Thursday and National Keto Day. Smart to make this day during the first week in January when most people are still trying to keep their New Year's resolutions.

Be in the Know

  • Utah Senator Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City) tendered a letter of resignation yesterday due to health problems. "Since the election in November of 2022, my health has taken an unexpected turn, and the constituents of District 12 deserve full-time representation at the beginning of the legislative session on Jan. 17," Mayne said in her letter. She has served in the Senate since 2008, following the death of her husband, Sen. Ed Mayne.  

  • There was no movement in electing Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House yesterday after an additional three rounds of voting. Twenty members coalesced around Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida and one voted “present.” McCarthy offered even more concessions, including promises to place "Freedom Caucus" members on the Rules committee and to stay out of certain primaries, but it is unknown whether these late-hour concessions will be enough for him to win. Voting will resume today at noon. Rep. John Curtis calls Republicans' inability to elect speaker ‘embarrassing.' Both Jay Evensen and Suzanne Bates, in separate pieces for the Deseret News, argue that this is a great opportunity to see democracy in action, messy though it might be.

  • The U.S. labor market remains incredibly tight as job openings in the United States remained essentially unchanged month-over-month in November. Unemployment claims dropped to a three-month low last week. 

Rapid Roundup


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


  • U-2 spy plane joins Hill Air Force Base museum (Fox13)
  • Susan Madsen: We need to address the problem of bathroom equity (Deseret News)
  • Editorial Board: The plague of shoplifting is not harmless. The National Retail Foundation says stores lost $94.5 billion in revenue to theft in 2021. Experts say much of this was to fund larger crimes by selling products online. (Deseret News)


  • Is Mesa’s Latter-day Saint mayor leaving the Republican Party — or leading it? (Deseret News)
  • New bill would place certain minors on the Utah sex offender registry (KSL)
  • Abortion could be banned again in Utah if this GOP lawmaker’s bill passes. In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Utah lawmakers from both parties are proposing new abortion bills during the state’s 2023 general legislative session. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • 27 states will raise minimum wage this year, but Utah is not among them (Deseret News)
  • Amazon CEO says company will lay off more than 18,000 workers (NPR)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond shares plunge as it explores bankruptcy (Wall Street Journal)


  • Asbestos found inside Sandy middle school forces students to remote learning (KUTV)
  • Salt Lake City School Board elects new president over objections of NAACP (KUTV)


  • Great Salt Lake set to vanish in 5 years, experts warn Utah lawmakers. Utah has months to reverse the lake’s decline before it’s too late, according to a dire report. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Opinion: Utah should be leading, not following, in the 21st century energy economy (Deseret News)


  • Members of the military will now get 12 weeks of parental leave (NPR)
  • Does routinely checking social media change teen brain development? (Deseret News)


  • Scientists accidentally recorded a brain dying. Here is what they found (Deseret News)
  • What is commotio cordis and is it why Damar Hamlin collapsed? Health experts say the rare ‘concussion of the heart’ is the most likely explanation for the Buffalo Bills safety’s collapse (Deseret News)
  • John J. Ryan: The best precaution for cardiac arrest is to know CPR (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Why a new version of COVID-19’s ‘stunning increase’ has health officials concerned (Deseret News)

National Headlines


  • Idaho killings suspect got new license plate days after murders. Records show the suspect’s Hyundai Elantra got a new registration in Washington State shortly after four students at the University of Idaho were murdered. (New York Times)
  • Good news about cheese — it’s much healthier than you thought (Washington Post)


  • The House hard-liners blocking McCarthy aren’t listening to Trump. In another sign of the former president’s waning influence, his efforts to bolster McCarthy’s bid as House speaker have not persuaded 20 Republicans to drop their opposition (Washington Post)
  • Arizona lawmaker Rusty Bowers to receive Presidential Citizens Medal. On the 2-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, Rusty Bowers — who resisted Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Arizona — will receive the nation’s second-highest civilian award (Deseret News)
  • New congressman to be sworn-in on the Constitution—alongside a Superman comic (Deseret News)

Ukraine 🇺🇦 

  • Between battles, Ukraine’s soldiers have a place to recover (AP)
  • ‘Fear still remains’: Ukraine finds sexual crimes where Russian troops ruled (New York Times)


  • Faithful mourn Benedict XVI at funeral presided over by pope (AP)
  • Beds run out at Beijing hospital as COVID-19 spreads (AP)

News Releases

President Adams and Sen. Escamilla issue statements about Sen. Mayne’s resignation

President Adams:

With grace and tact, Sen. Mayne has navigated difficult circumstances and been a true champion for her district and the state of Utah. I am lucky to call her a dear friend and will miss her wisdom and fortitude in the Senate.

Sen. Mayne has been a strong force for bipartisan camaraderie, which has strengthened our state. Throughout her 15 years in the Legislature, she has passionately advocated for impactful change, including workforce safety, economic opportunity and family support. Sen. Mayne’s list of accomplishments on behalf of her constituents and state is long and revered. She is one of the most effective legislators and consistently passes the most bills during sessions. This is a testament to her tenacity, hard work and resilience. Utah has been blessed because of her service.

Sen. Escamilla:

Sen. Mayne is the epitome of what true public service and representation is all about. Her dedication to her district and to the people of Utah has been thoughtful, genuine, and kind-hearted every step of the way. She has consistently championed legislation to support the health, well-being, and security of working families throughout the state of Utah. Her extensive legacy is a guiding light for public policy to embrace more compassion, more care, and more attention to the people of Utah. (Read More)

Utah Democratic Party statement on the resignation of Sen. Karen Mayne

Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis released the following statement: 

“Senator Mayne has long been a powerhouse in the State Senate and in the Utah Democratic Party. She has served the people of her district with integrity and passion for many years, and she has accomplished significant things during her time on Capitol Hill, fighting for the working families of our state every step of the way. For years before serving in the Senate, she and her husband Ed were champions for the dignity of Utah workers, and she has continued that fight. The loss of Senator Mayne’s leadership in the Senate will be felt deeply, but her legacy of public service will not be forgotten. We are sending our well-wishes to her and her family, and we sincerely thank her for her dedication and service to our state.”

Democratic state delegates from Senate District 12 will vote in a special election to fill the seat, the details of which will be announced shortly.


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 5, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screen Shot 2023-01-05 at 8.44.27 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

  • 1531 - Pope Clement VII forbids King Henry VIII from remarrying. We all know the rest of the story….

  • 1643 - The first divorce was granted in the American colonies.

  • 1781 - Benedict Arnold captures and destroys Richmond, Virginia. 

  • 1893 - Sigrid Schultz is born. A war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, she interviewed Hitler, reported on German-Russian non-aggression pact, and wrote articles on German concentration camps.

  • 1895 – Rebecca Lancefield is born. The pioneering microbiologist, published effects of streptococcal infections.

  • 1914 - Ford Motor Company establishes an eight-hour workday and sets a daily minimum wage of $5.

  • 1920 - New York Yankees acquire Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $125,000.

  • 1925 - Nellie Tayloe Ross is inaugurated as Wyoming's 14th governor and the first woman Governor in U.S. history. Wyoming has not elected another woman governor since. 

  • 1933 - Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge

  • 1943 - George Washington Carver dies at the Tuskegee Institute. 

  • 1949 - President Truman delivers his Fair Deal speech.

  • 1972 - President Nixon launches the space shuttle program.

  • 1976 - Time magazine awards “Person of the Year” to American women, collectively.

  • 1998 - Sonny Bono is killed in a skiing accident in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Wise Words

"Beware of monotony; it's the mother of all the deadly sins."

—Edith Wharton

On the Punny Side

An invisible man married an invisible woman.

The kids were nothing to look at either.


– Advertise With Us –

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