Banning sex dolls that look like children; mental health services for spouses of 1st responders;injunction bill could limit child protection
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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 25, 2023

Today is Wednesday and Library Shelfie Day. Did you know the largest library in the world is the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.? It contains more than 2.9 million books and millions of recordings, sheet music, and photographs. My library is only in the thousands.

What You Need to Know

  • SB117 passed out of committee unanimously yesterday, after emotional testimony from the Lt. Governor and her aunt and uncle, speaking about the murder of Mandy Mayne who was killed by her ex-husband in August. The bill would require all police departments in the state to use a Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP). It's currently voluntary and about half of the state's police departments currently use it. The bill would also create data-sharing that would allow responding officers to access information on-scene, including prior instances of domestic violence. 
  •  The Hinckley Institute of Politics is hosting a virtual discussion on "Saving the climate is good for business" at noon on Zoom. Featured speakers will include Greg Bertelsen, CEO, Climate Leadership Council and Catrina Rorke, Executive Director, Center for Climate and Trade.

Rapid Roundup


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

8 days down, 37 days to go

Bills on tap today include HB108, Child Sex Doll Prohibition, HB59, First Responder Mental Health Amendments which would provide for mental health services for spouses of first responders, and SCR5, which would encourage Utah communities to celebrate Halloween 🎃 on the last Friday of October. (Even if it passes, you know kids would still be ringing the doorbell on the 31st.) 


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

1:00 pm: Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Confirmation Committee

2:00-5:00 pm: House committees: Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment; Transportation

2:00-5:00 pm: Senate committees: Economic Development and Workforce Services; Government Operations and Political Subdivisions; Revenue and Taxation

2:05 pm: House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice


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

11:00 am-11:50: Senate Floor Time

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

2:00-5:00 pm: Senate Committees - Business & Labor; Education; Health & Human Services

2:00-5:00 pm: House Committees - Judiciary; Government Operations; Political Subdivisions; Revenue & Taxation

5:15 pm: Senate Judiciary Confirmation Committee

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • Attorney says abortion-related bill could limit child protections. Rather than being able to apply for an emergency hearing, family attorneys would need to wait as long as six or eight weeks to seek temporary restraining orders or preliminary injunctions. (KSL)
  • The U.S. loses mothers at a much higher rate than any other industrialized nation. More than half of maternal mortalities occur between 1 week and 1 year postpartum. Utah is trying to expand postpartum coverage to fill in some gaps. (Deseret News)
  • Utah House committee strikes down hard(er)line ban against transgender surgeries, puberty blockers for kids — but Senate bill advances (Deseret News)
  • Senate Bill 16, transgender youth measure, moves forward but with changes (KUTV)
  • Hundreds gather in support of trans youth and to protest bills seeking to ban gender-affirming surgeries for minors at Utah State Capitol (ABC4)
  • Utah lieutenant governor supports lethality assessments for domestic violence reports (KSL)
  • How a domestic violence database could prevent more violence in Utah (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Family of murder-suicide victim urges support for domestic violence bill (Fox13)
  • Vaccine passport prohibition bill moves forward in its second year (KSL TV)
  • Salt Lake Chamber president talks about fixing shortages in housing, labor and water in Utah (KSL Newsradio)
  • Avremi Zippel: Utah SB 87 would harm the victims of crime (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah News

  • NBA, Utah Jazz spotlight Utah's efforts to automatically clear criminal records (KUTV)
  • NOAA satellites helped rescue 397 people last year. 17 of them were stranded in a southern Utah slot canyon (Deseret News)
  • Warrant: Neighbors, not law enforcement, discovered slain Enoch family (Deseret News)
  • 'No stopping us': Salt Lake mayor outlines bright future, unveils $100M Ballpark fund (KSL)
  • 17 people recovering after carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic (KSL TV)
  • Salt Lake area businesses, homes seized in ‘significant’ federal bath salts investigation. ("Bath salts" are synthetic drugs mimicking methamphetamines. One pound is worth about $200,000.) (Salt Lake Tribune)



  • Fulfilling but hard: What American parents say about parenting (Deseret News)
  • Would you walk down the aisle with someone who doesn’t share your politics? We spoke to BYU students about what it’s like to date in an era of political polarization (Deseret News)


  • Salt Lake City officials gave no notice before removing tents belonging to the homeless, advocates say (ABC4)
  • Provo emergency shelter program links homeless population to crucial services (Fox13)
  • Beaver County project hopes to fill a need for rural family homes ‘at a lower price’ (KUER)
  • New warming center founded to serve Logan's homeless community (UPR)

National Headlines


  • Judge to Arizona community: Water not required to flow from Scottsdale (Deseret News)
  • The AP Interview: Pope Francis: Homosexuality not a crime (AP)
  • ‘Happening way too often’: Report delves into mass attacks (AP)
  • Ukraine war moves ‘Doomsday Clock’ to 90 seconds to midnight (AP)
  • America, we have a problem. People aren't feeling engaged with their work (NPR)
  • Google says U.S. Justice Department complaint is 'without merit' (Reuters)


  • Are Taylor Swift fans masterminds? Mike Lee thinks ‘Swifties have figured something out’ (Deseret News)
  • Classified documents found at Pence's Indiana home (NPR, New York Times, Washington Post)
  • White House unveils new tenant protections amid soaring rental costs (Washington Post)
  • McCarthy blocks Democrats Schiff, Swalwell from intelligence committee (Washington Post)
  • Senators eye Social Security reforms as some in House GOP consider cuts (The Hill)
  • Here’s what you need to know about the GOP bill to abolish the tax code (The Hill)
  • Trump tries to intervene as Navarro faces trial for defying Jan. 6 committee (Politico)
  • Senate GOP to McCarthy: Debt fight is all yours (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • US poised to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine (Wall Street Journal)
  • After US offer, Germany unleashes Leopard tanks for Ukraine (AP)


  • The number of journalist deaths worldwide rose nearly 50% in 2022 from previous year (NPR)
  • Peace deal ending Ethiopia’s Tigray war yet to dispel fear of more atrocities (Washington Post)

News Releases

Utah Democratic Party announces official candidate list for House District 31 special election

Today at 5:00 pm, the candidate filing period for the House District 31 special election officially closed, and the Utah Democratic Party announced the official candidate list, as follows:

Brett Garner (

Verona Mauga (

Matt Swensen (no website provided)

These candidates will compete in the special election to replace now-Senator Karen Kwan in the Utah House of Representatives. The virtual meeting of delegates will take place on Friday, January 27th, beginning at 6:00 pm. The virtual meeting link can be found HERE. Each candidate will be given the opportunity to speak, after which ranked-choice electronic delegate voting will open, closing at 9:00 pm that evening. The results will be announced shortly after voting closes.

The full details of the election can be found at

Congressman Blake Moore elected to continue serving on the House Budget Committee

The House Steering Committee elected Congressman Blake Moore (UT-01) to continue serving on the House Budget Committee. Congressman Moore will leverage his role on this critical committee to protect America’s defense budget, which has been squeezed by mandatory spending, COVID-era programs, and the soaring national debt. (Read More)

US DOJ sues Google: Lee, Klobuchar, Cruz, & Blumenthal issue joint statement

The US Department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Google. The DOJ alleges that Google has, “engaged in a course of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct …” Following the revelation of the lawsuit, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the joint statement below:

As Senators concerned about the health of the online economy, we are encouraged by the Justice Department’s efforts to protect competition in online advertising. Digital ads are the economic lifeblood for much online content, and a necessity for small businesses to efficiently reach consumers.

Anticompetitive conduct in this market does enormous harm to the entire American economy. Because of this, we are committed to a legislative solution that goes beyond just one company to ensure that one monopolist isn’t replaced by another and that all consumers benefit from competition and transparency.” (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 25, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-01-25 at 7.32.06 AM



  • "Saving the climate is good for business" with the Hinckley Institute — Jan. 25, 12:00 pm, Zoom
  • Special Election, HD 31 — Jan 27, 6 pm 
  • Legislative session ends — Mar. 3,

On This Day In History 

  • 1554 - São Paulo, Brazil is founded.
  • 1858 - Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" first played, at the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia.
  • 1860 - Charles Curtis is born. In 1907, Curtis became the first Native American Senator (R-Kansas). During his career as a politician, Curtis would serve as the Senate Majority Leader and support the 19th Amendment. In 1928, Curtis was Herbert Hoover’s running-mate and became the first Native American Vice President.
  • 1890 - Nellie Bly, journalist, completed her around the world trip in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days
  • 1905 - World’s largest diamond is found in South Africa. It weighs 3,106 carats.
  • 1915 - Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in San Francisco
  • 1924 - The first Winter Olympics is held in Chamonix, France with 13 total events.
  • 1947 - Al Capone dies of neurosyphilis at age 48.
  • 1961 - JFK becomes the first president to hold a televised news conference. 
  • 1971 - Charles Manson and his followers convicted of murder. 
  • 1981 - Chairman Mao’s widow is sentenced to death for her counter-revolutionary crimes. 
  • 1983 - Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia.
  • 1999 - "The Blair Witch Project" premieres at the Sundance Film festival
  • 2017 - Mary Tyler Moore dies at age 80.
  • 2021 - Janet Yellen is confirmed as the first female treasury secretary by the US Senate.

Heard on the Hill

"There is a long history here of things that were caught, things that were not caught, dots that were not connected. The circle had not been closed."

—Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson, speaking in favor of SB117

On the Punny Side

What did one hat say to the other?

Stay here! I'm going on ahead.


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