Restricting sex offenders from HOA-controlled parks and pools; creating a medical director for DCFS; pregnant drivers and the HOV lane
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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 | January 23, 2023

It's Monday and National Pie Day (not to be confused with National Pi Day on March 14.)

Mea culpa: When I included a round-up of news outlets that covered the governor's State of the State, I neglected to include PBS Utah, which also included ASL interpretations, Spanish interpretations and 30 minutes of live analysis following the broadcast. You can catch it here

What You Need to Know

  • There was another mass shooting over the weekend as a 72-year-old man of Asian descent opened fire on people celebrating the Lunar New Year in a dance studio in Monterey Park, California. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said it appeared that all of the victims were over age 50. The gunman later killed himself after he was surrounded by police.

  • 2 candidates have filed (so far) to fill the vacant House seat left when Karen Kwan was elected to fill Senator Karen Mayne's seat. Those candidates are Brett Garner and Verona Mauga. Filing remains open until tomorrow, Jan. 24, at 5:00 pm. 

Rapid Roundup

  • Becky Edwards is joining the Tribune Editorial Board; Salt Lake City dropped its lawsuit over the inland port; State School Board meeting this morning on HB215.

Together, We Can Better Support Women in Business

Whether you’re a woman starting a business or looking to elevate your career, Inspire In Utah is dedicated to providing you with the resources to help on your journey. Find funding, training, and even inspirational stories in our dedicated resource center.


2023 Legislative Session

6 days down, 39 days to go!  

Here are a few of the new bills introduced at the end of last week: HB212 would allow clergy to report suspected child abuse or neglect; HB256 would let a pregnant woman drive in the HOV lane; HB269 would require yet another legislative audit of Utah's elections; HB270 would prohibit cellphones and smart watches in classrooms; SB116 would remove the authority of local health departments to isolate and quarantine an individual; and SB 117 requires lethality assessments in cases of domestic violence and creates a database of lethality assessment data. 

Today, HB215, the teacher pay + educational savings account bill will be heard in the Senate Education Committee, after passing off of the House floor on Friday. HB146, a bill that would close a 'gaping hole' in Utah law and restrict sex offenders from entering private parks, will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee. SB109 would create a position for a medical director within DCFS and will be heard in Senate Health and Human Services.


8:00 am: Sub-appropriations: Executive Offices and Criminal Justice, Higher Education, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality, Social Services

11:00 am-11:50: Senate Floor Time

11:00 am-12:00 pm: House Floor Time

12:00 pmAdministrative Rules Review and General Oversight Committee

2:00-5:00 pm: House committees: Government Operations, Judiciary, Political Subdivisions

2:00-5:00 pm: Senate committees: Business and Labor, Education, Health and Human Services


8:00 am: Sub-appropriations: Business, Economic Development and Labor, Infrastructure and General Government, Public Education, Social Services

2:00-5:00 pm: Senate Committees - Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment, Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology

2:00-5:00 pm: House Committees - Business and Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Economic Development and Workforce Services

5:15-6:30 pmExecutive Appropriations

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • Utah State Board of Education calls for special vote on school choice bill (KSL)
  • Adjustment policies can bury chronically ill patients under skyrocketing bills. Can this lawmaker change that for Utahns? (Deseret News)
  • The water bills to watch (so far) at the Utah Legislature (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Legislative session begins, with host Jason Perry and guests Michelle Quist, Ben Winslow and Saige Miller (Hinckley Report)
  • Bill creating school choice scholarship, funds for teacher salary bump passes House (Deseret News)
  • Utah Senate approves ban on transgender surgeries, cross-sex hormones for kids (Deseret News)
  • Should retired first responders’ spouses get free mental health resources? Utah lawmaker proposes to extend benefits to spouses of police officers, emergency service workers (Deseret News)
  • Rep. Stewart on bill to keep teens off social media (ABC4)
  • IUP panel: Legislative session, classified documents (ABC4)
  • Online dating safety bill advances through Utah House of Representatives committee (Fox13)
  • Drones and air taxis and geofences, oh my. The sky is going to get more crowded. Legislation would create regulations for “advanced air mobility” in Utah. (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah News

  • Derek Miller: Utah is facing a lot of shortages. Good policy could fix them. Water shortage, worker shortage, housing shortage. A unified Utah can solve these problems (Deseret News)
  • Road rage incident closes I-15, Bangerter Highway offramp (KSL TV)
  • Sundance documentary filmed half a world away brings Utah residents to tears. “20 Days in Mariupol” shows Ukrainian journalists photos and video footage from the port city during war with Russia. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Ogden community donates to shelter in need of food (Fox13)


  • Farming in the future: Utah State University lab develops nanotech fertilizer (KSL)


  • Lakebed tours of mirabilite mounds ending as Great Salt Lake slowly rises (Fox13)
  • Four Utah refineries now produce cleaner Tier 3 fuels, and the fifth says it will soon (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • This winter’s rain and snow won’t be enough to pull the West out of drought (KUER)


  • How to be an adult — when you don’t feel like an adult (Deseret News)
  • Why tradition matters, and how to start your own (Deseret News)
  • Resolve to be bad at something this year (Deseret News)


  • Record demand for 988 suicide prevention, mental health hotline (Deseret News)
  • What the longest study on human happiness found is the key to a good life (The Atlantic)


  • Salt Lake City woman creates candle stoves to keep homeless population warm (KSL TV)
  • Amid housing crisis, SLC tries — again — to make it easier to build add-on dwellings (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah agency seeking volunteers to assist in yearly homeless tally (Standard Examiner)

National Headlines


  • Why we need civics. We’re failing to teach what it means to be American. (The Atlantic)
  • Huge waves bring Hawaii surf contest The Eddie after hiatus (AP)
  • The FBI searched Biden's home and found more classified documents (NPR)
  • Feds sets course for milder interest-rate rise in February. Officials could begin weighing whether and when to pause rate increases this spring (Wall Street Journal)
  • Families struggle as pandemic program offering free school meals ends (New York Times)


  • Should it be illegal for children under 16 to be on social media? (Deseret News)
  • Trump’s MAGA forces threaten to upend vote for RNC chair (AP)
  • Biden is getting a new chief of staff. Jeff Zients will replace Ron Klain (NPR)
  • Early rift over immigration exposes House GOP’s tough path to consensus (Washington Post)
  • Santos’s financial woes pile up, threatening his political career (The Hill)
  • Borrow the opposition playbook? House GOP weighs the ultimate 'tit for tat'. Democrats pushed the boundaries of congressional power in their drives to investigate Donald Trump. Now Republicans who blasted that behavior are openly wondering whether to emulate it. (Politico)
  • Texas AG says he’d defend sodomy law if Supreme Court revisits ruling (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Poland signals intent to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Minister: Germany won’t block Poland giving Ukraine tanks (AP)


  • Russia, Estonia expel ambassadors amid ‘destroyed’ relations (AP)
  • China wants more babies. Women want the right to say no. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The women of Iran are not backing down (Politico)

News Releases

Romney welcomes investment from bipartisan infrastructure bill to strengthen Utah’s wildfire resilience

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today applauded an announcement from the USDA Forest Service regarding expanded efforts to reduce wildfire risk in Utah and across the West. The Uinta-Wasatch–Cache National Forest in Northern Utah and the Pine Valley area of the Dixie National Forest near St. George will receive increased funding to build critical infrastructure and strengthen wildfire resilience to protect from catastrophic wildfire—made possible because of Senator Romney’s involvement during Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act negotiations to ensure Utah had a seat at the table. (Read More)

Sen. Lee praises those attending March for Life

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) praised those attending this year’s 2023 March for Life and expressed gratitude to all those fighting to protect the lives of the unborn.

Each year, the March for Life hosts thousands of people from all walks of life to peacefully advocate for the protection of the unborn and to celebrate the sanctity of life. The March for Life is the largest pro-life event in the world, and Sen. Lee is proud to stand with those participating in this year’s march. (Read More)

Utah Democrats: Republicans spend first week of session focused on harmful overreach

At the conclusion of the first week of the 2023 legislative session, Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis released the following statement:

“This week, we’ve seen Republican extremism in action at the legislature, and the supermajority is once again prioritizing culture war crusades over meaningful action for Utahns. In the last four days, Republicans have moved forward bills to attack marginalized youth and undermine parental rights, to send your tax dollars to private institutions rather than investing in our public schools, and to put themselves in the middle of the judicial process in order to restrict medical freedoms. (Read More)

Utah Senate Democrats’ statement on supporting all children in the State of Utah

Today, the Senate passed S.B. 16S.B. 93, and S.B. 100. The Utah Senate Democrats issue the following statement in support of all children in Utah:

“We are deeply troubled by the Senate’s passage of S.B. 16, S.B. 93, and S.B. 100. As Democrats, we stand in firm opposition to any legislation that restricts access to life-saving health care for our most vulnerable youth. Additionally, we believe everyone should have the ability to amend their birth certificates to accurately display their name and identity without excessive barriers and intrusion from government. All children—including our transgender children—deserve equal opportunity and equal protection in their pursuit happiness. As stated by many elected officials in our state, our children deserve the pursuit of happiness. Like the many parents who courageously came to the Capitol this week to fight against these harmful polices, we will continue to advocate for the dignity and care of all our children.”


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 23, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-01-23 at 7.14.57 AM



  • State of the County with Mayor Jenny Wilson — Jan 23, 6-7 pm
  • Special Election, HD 31 — Jan 27, 6 pm 
  • Legislative session ends — Mar. 3,

On This Day In History

  • 1556 - Deadliest earthquake in history rocks China, killing an estimated 830,000.
  • 1737 - John Hancock’s birthday
  • 1849 - Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female in U.S. history to be officially recognized as a physician, earning her medical degree from Geneva College in New York.
  • 1855 - Gun designer John Browning is born in Ogden, Utah.
  • 1859 - Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii begins an eruption that lasts 300 days.
  • 1870 - Soldiers massacre sleeping camp of peaceful Blackfeet in northern Montana.
  • 1907 - Kansas elects the first Native American senator, Charles Curtis. During his career as a politician, Curtis would serve as the Senate Majority Leader, support the 19th Amendment and become the first Native American Vice President when Herbert Hoover won the election in 1928.
  • 1916 - Temperature falls from 44°F to -56°F the night of 23-24 in Browning, MT
  • 1918 - Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and drug researcher who developed groundbreaking leukemia and herpes drug treatments (Nobel Prize, 1988), is born.
  • 1997 - Madeline Albright becomes the first female secretary of state after unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
  • 2002 - Reporter Daniel Pearl kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan.
  • 2005 - Johnny Carson dies at age 79.
  • 2016 - Category 5 blizzard delivers record 3ft of snow to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US, killing 55 and incurring an estimated $500m - $3bn in economic losses.
  • 2018 - Twelve camels disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel beauty contest, Saudi Arabia after their owners used botox on their lips.
  • 2021 - Larry King died.

Heard on the Hill

“I’m a firm believer that this bill has some good things, but I also feel like public money should stay in public schools.”

—Rep. Carl Albrecht, speaking on HB215

On the Punny Side

Why haven’t aliens visited our solar system yet?

They looked at the reviews…

Only 1 star.


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