International Holocaust Remembrance Day; HB215 heads to the governor's desk; ICWA bill held in committee
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Situational Analysis | January 27, 2023

It's Friday and International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Did you know that half of the 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust lived in Poland? It's one reason Poland has been so supportive of Ukraine. They really mean it when they say "Never Forget" and "Never Again." 

What You Need to Know

  • As expected, HB215 passed the Senate easily (20-8) and is headed to the governor's desk for his signature. This is the first "universal choice" legislation to pass since the voucher bill in 2007 that was repealed by 62% of the voters later that fall. This bill passed by at least two-thirds in both the House and Senate, making it both veto-proof and referendum-proof.
  • SB16, Transgender Medical Treatments and Procedures Amendments, passed the House yesterday after being substantially amended. The new bill language changes the 4-year moratorium on puberty blockers to a permanent ban, allows consent for treatment to be revoked retroactively so physicians can be sued and changes the implementation date to immediately upon the governor's signature. The bill now goes back to the Senate, which will vote on whether to accept the new version of the bill or not. 
  • Despite broad support from all 8 of Utah's tribal nations, the Attorney General's office, Utah Committee on Juvenile Justice, Voices for Utah Children and other key stakeholders, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold HB40, Indian Child Welfare Amendments
  • Finally, in national news, Capitol Police officials are beefing up security on the Hill amid heightened concerns over Friday’s expected release of reportedly brutal police footage from a traffic stop that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis. Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis gave an address Wednesday evening and called Nichols’ death "heinous, reckless and inhumane," cautioning people not to react violently after seeing the footage. "This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual," Davis said, saying the five officers and others who were involved in his death "failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family. That is beyond regrettable."

Rapid Roundup


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2023 Legislative Session

10 days down, 35 days to go!  

On the schedule today: SB16 is on the concurrence calendar in the Senate, Floor time starts at 11 am. A bill to change mental health licensing requirements will be heard in House Business and Labor; a resolution recognizing public school teachers for their "extraordinary efforts" will be heard in the House Education committee; and Sen. Plumb's bill modifying the drug paraphernalia act will be heard in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee. 

Today: Last day to request bills or appropriations without floor approval. 

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

11:00 am-11:50: Senate Floor Time

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

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

2:00-5:00 pm: Senate Committees - Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment


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: House committees: Public Utilities, Energy & Technology; Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice; Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment; Transportation

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

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • Utah House votes to ban transgender surgeries and puberty blockers for kids (Deseret News)
  • Blocking gender-affirming health care in Utah could be found unconstitutional, a legal review found (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Senate gives final passage to school choice scholarships, teacher raises (Deseret News)
  • Controversial Utah voucher bill passes final vote. What’s next? (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah Inland Port Authority has moved away from 'sketchy crap,' new director says (KSL)
  • The Utah Bar Association took an uncommon stance against a Republican bill to retroactively change court rules and overturn a hold on Utah’s abortion ban. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Bill would ban abortions for rape victims after 18 weeks, but offer 'free emergency contraceptives' for 72 hours after the rape (KUTV)

Other political news

  • Hundreds turn the often overlooked Wasatch Front Regional Council meeting into anti-gondola protest (Deseret News)
  • Mitt Romney says US support of Ukraine is good for Americans (Deseret News)
  • Debt ceiling? Please! Both parties got us here. The national debt has jumped nearly sixfold this century, and it was fueled by Republicans and Democrats alike (Deseret News)
  • 'Purely a political act': Venezuelans criticize Utah's move to halt humanitarian parole program (KSL)

General Utah News

  • Body cam shows county commissioner pushing deputy to release son after lawful arrest (KUTV)
  • Suspects in custody, lockdown lifted after shots fired at Taylorsville High (KSL Newsradio
  • Utah man charged with homicide after allegedly causing multi-car wreck that killed 5 Arkansas students (ABC4)
  • Original planners of Daybreak looking to strike gold again with 2,200-acre development in South Jordan (ABC4)
  • Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol (KSL Newsradio)


  • Small Utah towns running out of water amid ongoing drought (Deseret News)
  • Study: US Magnesium contributes up to 25% of Wasatch Front pollution (Deseret News)
  • Chopping trees won’t save the Great Salt Lake — but it may cause larger problems (Deseret News)
  • Can AI detect wildfires more quickly? Colorado hopes to find out (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • As the Colorado River shrinks, states squabble over drops of water (New York Times)

National Headlines


  • Auschwitz anniversary marked as peace again shattered by war (AP)
  • Intel's 'historic collapse' triggers selloff in chip stocks (Reuters)
  • Jill Biden donates her inauguration dresses to the Smithsonian, a tradition set in 1912 (Deseret News)
  • Actress Octavia Spencer said since ‘The Help’ premiered 12 years ago, society has taken a ‘very, very, dangerous’ turn in regards to history. She doesn't think 'The Help' could be made now (Deseret News)
  • Mattel revealed a brand new Barbie and it’s aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman (Deseret News)
  • Colorado baker loses appeal over transgender birthday cake (AP)
  • 5 Memphis ex-police are charged with murder and jailed over the death of Tyre Nichols (NPR)
  • Second gentleman Emhoff visits Auschwitz, part of a push against antisemitism (NPR)


  • Adam Schiff announces run for Senate in California (Deseret News)
  • Kari Lake lost tens of thousands of Republican voters. It cost her the election. (Deseret News)
  • National Archives asks former US presidents, vice presidents to check for classified documents (Reuters)
  • House GOP seeks new restrictions on use of US oil stockpile (AP)
  • Former Sen. Gordon Smith: How I learned to stop worrying and love the filibuster (Newsweek)
  • Arizona Republicans exempt lawmakers from the state’s open-records law (Washington Post)
  • RNC chair seeks to quell revolt, divisions ahead of tense Friday election (Washington Post)
  • As Santos digs in, both parties ramp up campaign plans for his demise (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Ukraine says fighting fierce after tank pledges, seeks more arms (Reuters)


  • Israelis, Palestinians on edge even as risk of flare-up ebbs (AP)
  • Fatal shooting at Azerbaijan Embassy in Iran raises tensions (AP)
  • Africa is less democratic and safe than a decade ago, study says (Washington Post)

News Releases

Utah Senate Democrats’ statement on the passage of HB215

Today, the Senate passed H.B. 215, Funding for Teacher Salaries and Optional Education Opportunities. The Utah Senate Democrats issue the following statement in support of public education:

“As Democrats, we oppose all efforts to divert taxpayer dollars away from our public school system, our educators, and children. H.B. 215 fails to support students and weakens public education by redirecting public funds to private institutions without any safeguards, protections against discrimination, and transparency. In an attempt to mitigate these issues, Democrats proposed several commonsense solutions to H.B. 215. Additionally, we will always advocate for salary increases and respect for our teachers who work diligently to enrich and develop the minds of our children. We are extremely disappointed in the policy tactic to entangle teacher salaries with vouchers—two issues that deserve separate consideration and meaningful input from taxpayers, educators, and parents. We will continue to fight for a strong public education system to support all Utahns.”

Utah House Democrats’ statement on passage of SB16

We are disappointed to see the passage of S.B.16. As House Democrats, we stand with transgender youth, their families, and their doctors as they navigate the passage of this bill and work to get the medical care that they need. The Legislature should not be making a person’s medical decisions for them. This bill is a misguided step by our legislature and a violation of parents’ rights. (Read More)

Lee reintroduces bill to empower parents of K-12 students

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) reintroduced the Children Have Opportunities in Classrooms Everywhere (CHOICE) Act to afford low-income families with K-12 students the choice to use federal education funds to pursue the best educational options for their child(ren). Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) cosponsored the legislation.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was designed to create opportunities for low-income students by providing funding to increase “quality and equality” in education. ESEA is the primary source of federal aid for K-12 education. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Jan 27, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-01-27 at 7.29.56 AM



  • Special Election, HD 31 — Jan 27, 6 pm 
  • Legislative session ends — Mar. 3,

On This Day In History

  • 1302 - Dante Alighieri is exiled from Florence. 
  • 1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born.
  • 1820 - Antartica is discovered by a Russian expedition
  • 1825 - Congress approves Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for the forced relocation of the Eastern Indian tribes via the "Trail of Tears"
  • 1880 - Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp.
  • 1888 - National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.
  • 1898 - Georgia Neese Clark is born. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman nominated her to head the United States Treasury. She was the first woman to hold the position.
  • 1924 - Lenin placed in the Mausoleum in Red Square.
  • 1944 - Siege of Leningrad lifted by the Soviets after 880 days and more than 2 million Russians killed.
  • 1945 - Auschwitz liberated by the Russian army.
  • 1967 - 3 astronauts die in launch pad fire.
  • 1973 - Paris Peace Accords are signed, ending the war in Vietnam. 
  • 1993 - Andre the Giant dies of congestive heart failure at age 49.
  • 1996 - Monica Seles wins Grand Slam title after returning from a stabbing attack in April 1993.
  • 2008 - Gordon B. Hinckley dies
  • 2017 - Donald Trump issues executive order banning travel to the US from 7 mostly Muslim countries and suspending admission for refugees. 

Heard on the Hill

“I think we focus on the transgender part and not the fact that they’re kids. These are our nieces and nephews. These are the kids next door. This is your best friend’s teenager."

—Rep. Saraha Hayes

On the Punny Side

I asked a librarian if she had a book about Pavlov's dog and Schrödinger's cat.

She said it rang a bell, but she wasn't sure if it was there or not!


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