Black History Month begins today; Tyre Nichols' funeral; cell phone prohibition in classrooms; changes in clothing for athletes
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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 | February 1, 2023

Good Wednesday morning to you. It's February and that means it's Black History Month. The true message of Black History Month, writes Rev. Theresa Dear, is that hope never dies

What You Need to Know

  • Today is "Native American Caucus Day" on the Hill and yesterday, tribal leaders urged passage of HB40, the bill codifying ICWA (the Indian Child Welfare Act) into Utah code. The bill was held in committee last week. 

  • House bills being heard today include HB283, Unemployment Insurance Amendments which would disqualify a person from receiving unemployment benefits if they do not accept a "suitable" job offer within two days, HB163, which would allow student athletes to wear certain clothing to "protect their religious and moral beliefs," HB270, which would prohibit cell phones and smart watches in classrooms, and HB244, which would create a Utah Victim Services Commission. On the Senate side, Sen. Wayne Harper is presenting SB127, which would create a "Utah Cyber Center," and strengthen Utah's cybersecurity practices, and Sen. David Hinkins is presenting SB144, a bill that would make changes related to the delivery of water to reservoirs. 

  • Yesterday, HB111, Inmate Treatment Amendments and HB259, Suicide Prevention in Correctional Facilities passed out of committee, as did SB152, Social Media Regulation Amendments and SB137, Medical Cannabis Amendments.

Rapid Roundup


30 Women to Watch: Submit Your Nomination Now

Utah Business magazine is honoring women who are on their way to truly amazing things. These are our state’s next legislators, CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors and arrivistes — and they’re all congregating in Spring 2023. Nominations close February 10. Submit your nomination now.


2023 Legislative Session

15 days down, 30 days to go!  That means we are 1/3 done. 


8:00 am: Sub-appropriations: Business, Economic Development and LaborInfrastructure and General GovernmentPublic EducationSocial Services

11:00 am-11:50: Senate Floor Time

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

12:15 pm: Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee

2:00-3:30 pm: Senate floor time

2:00-3:30 pm: House floor time

3:40-6:00 pm: House committees: Business & Labor; Education; Health & Human Services

3:40-6:00 pm: Senate committees: Judicial, Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice; Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment; Transportation, Public Utilities & Technology


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

2:00-3:30 pm: Senate floor time

2:00-3:30 pm: House floor time

3:40-6:00 pm: House Committees - Public Utilities, Energy & Technology; Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice; Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment; Transportation

3:40-6:00 pm: Senate Committees - Economic Development & Workforce Services; Government Operations & Political Subdivisions; Revenue & Taxation

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • Senator has tough words for tech as committee approves new social media rules for kids (KUTV)
  • Utah officials, tribal representatives urge passage of Utah Indian Child Welfare Act (KUTV, KSL, Fox13, KUER)
  • Utah tribal leaders call it ‘injustice’ to hold up bill meant to protect Native kids. Utah’s eight sovereign tribes push for support on HB40, a bill that would codify the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, or ICWA, into Utah law. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Is Utah overusing the Amber Alert system? Rep. Ryan Wilcox thinks so (KSL)
  • Watered-down version of curriculum transparency bill unveiled at Utah Legislature (KUTV)
  • Utah's alcohol managers seek at least $85M to expand warehouse operations (KSL
  • Non-public-school students could more easily play sports under a new bill (KSL TV)
  • Bill would undermine Utah’s jury system. Just because a prosecutor loses a case doesn’t mean the law should be changed. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah Rep. Ken Ivory pushes for term limits on members of Congress (ABC4)
  • The fate of Utah’s abortion law could rest on lawmakers changing the rules on injunctions (KUER)
  • Lawmakers want to audit Utah’s elections but won’t examine whether the results are accurate (Salt Lake Tribune)

Other political news

  • Editorial Board: ‘I find myself at a loss for words’: Next steps for the nation after Tyre Nichols’ death (Deseret News
  • Mia Love’s ‘Qualified’ — an open look at her life. Former congresswoman Love does not shy away from her own insecurities and the messiness of sausage-making in this memoir (Deseret News)
  • Sen. Mike Lee on debt ceiling, spending, classified documents, fight to free Lt. Alkonis (KUTV)

General Utah News

  • Correctional officer assaulted at Utah State Correctional Facility (KSL Newsradio)


  • How the online booking industry makes millions of extra dollars off your reservation (Deseret News)


  • How much learning did kids lose due to the COVID-19 pandemic? The equivalent of one-third of a school year. (Deseret News)
  • Alleged fraud committed by top leaders at Layton Christian Academy, possibly involving millions of dollars (KSL TV)


  • The Great Salt Lake is shrinking, but habitat work means more birds (Deseret News)
  • Piping ocean water to save the Great Salt Lake is an expensive, polluting idea. It would also bring only a fraction of the water the ailing lake needs. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • First-time mothers are older than ever, CDC says (Deseret News)



National Headlines


  • Stocks end higher; Nasdaq posts best January since 2001 (Wall Street Journal)
  • Missing Dallas Zoo monkeys found inside closet at Texas home, police say (Washington Post)
  • New College of Florida’s president fired amid shake-up. Earlier in the day, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he sought to defund diversity programs in Florida’s higher-education system (Wall Street Journal)
  • From overhead, a SkyCop camera watched, and recorded, as Tyre Nichols was beaten (New York Times)
  • A Black woman invented the home security system, then fell into obscurity (Washington Post)
  • America's fever of workaholism is finally breaking (The Atlantic)
  • Oregon kidnapping suspect dies of self-inflicted gunshot (AP)


  • Santos steps down from House panels amid ethics issues (AP)
  • Donald Trump's 2024 campaign fundraising starts slowly (Wall Street Journal)
  • DeSantis snaps back at Trump: "I got reelected" (Politico)
  • Nikki Haley plans to announce presidential run, as GOP race starts slowly (Washington Post)
  • GOP moves to stop unelectable Senate candidates (The Hill)
  • House Democrats cry foul over elimination of civil rights panel (Roll Call)
  • As Santos passes up his panels, GOP prepares to boot Omar from hers (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Ukraine pushes for Western fighter jets after tank deals (AP)
  • U.S. readies $2 billion-plus Ukraine aid package with longer-range weapons -sources (Reuters)
  • Kyiv berates Croatian president for saying Crimea won't return to Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Heavier Russian attacks suggest opening moves of new offensive, Ukraine says (New York Times)
  • War’s longest battle exacts high price in ‘heart of Ukraine’ (AP)


  • In Haiti, gangs take control as democracy withers (AP)
  • Missing radioactive capsule, 5/16 of an inch long, found in Australian outback (Wall Street Journal)
  • US accuses Russia of not complying with key nuclear arms treaty (Washington Post)

News Releases

Owens named Chairman of Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee

Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) was named Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development. (Read More)

Diverse-Owned Business Accelerator application deadline Monday

The Salt Lake Chamber and the Women’s Business Center of Utah (WBCUtah) are accepting final applications for its Diverse-Owned Business Accelerator this Friday, February 3, 2023. The seven-week cohort program, sponsored by Bank of America, is designed for diverse small business owners to enhance skills, direction or strategy for their businesses. (Read More)

Romney discusses debt ceiling, TRUST Act & priorities for 118th Congress

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined KUTV for a wide-ranging interview on the debt ceiling, his TRUST Act, and his priorities for the 118th Congress. Excerpts of his interview can be found below the video. (Read/Watch More)

Utah Valley University celebrates 2023 Homecoming Week

This year, Utah Valley University’s (UVU) Homecoming Week is themed “Forever a Place for You,” embodying UVU’s commitment to students and alumni alike. Celebrations are open to everyone and run from Feb. 6-11,2023. The earlier-than-usual commemoration coincides with basketball season. (Read More)

Utah Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics statement on SB16

Today, the Utah Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics released the following statement regarding the passage of S.B. 16 into law, which will severely restrict the abilities of families from accessing evidence-based care:

“By signing S.B. 16 into law, Governor Cox and our state legislature have endangered the health of young Utahns across the state. As pediatricians, we are obligated to follow evidence-based medicine – not politics. By interfering directly with the physician-family relationship, our state’s elected leaders have diminished pediatricians’ ability to do so and care for already vulnerable young people. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Feb. 1, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-02-01 at 7.26.19 AM



  • Ukraine: One Year Later with the Hinckley Institute of Politics — Feb. 1, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Livestream
  • Great Salt Lake Strike Team with Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Newsmaker Breakfast — Feb. 8, 8:00a am - 9:30 am, RSVP to
  • Legislative session ends — Mar. 3,

On This Day In History

  • 1790 - First session of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • 1865 - Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins his march through South Carolina.
  • 1865 - John S. Rock becomes the first Black lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1871 - Jefferson Franklin Long becomes the first Black member to speak on the floor of the US House of Representatives. He only spoke on the floor one-time, opposing a bill that would remove voting restrictions on ex-Confederate political leaders. The bill passed.
  • 1884 - First Oxford dictionary debuts
  • 1902 - China's empress Tzu-hsi forbids binding woman's feet
  • 1926 - Negro History Week begins. It became a month-long commemoration 50 years later, in 1976.
  • 1948 - “Cry the Beloved Country” by author and anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton is published in the U.S. 
  • 1960 - Black college students stage sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.
  • 1965 - More than 700 demonstrators are arrested in Selma.
  • 1968 - Richard Nixon announces his candidacy for president.
  • 1972 - The 1st scientific, hand-held calculator (HP-35) is introduced, with a price tag of $395 (equal to $2,469.70 in 2020).
  • 1978 - Harriet Tubman becomes the first Black woman honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
  • 1990 - Ida B. Wells postage stamp issued.
  • 1991 - South African president, F.W. de Klerk says he will repeal all apartheid laws.
  • 1998 - Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first Black woman to become a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
  • 2002 - Journalist Daniel Pearl is brutally murdered. 
  • 2003 - The space shuttle Columbia breaks up while entering the atmosphere over Texas, killing all seven crew members.
  • 2013 - “House of Cards,” Netflix’s first original series, starts streaming.
  • 2021 - Military coup in Myanmar, putting Aung San Sui Kyi under house arrest. Still in effect two years later. 

Heard on the Hill

“Let us give [children] the right to exercise their inherent right to learn their language, their culture, and their traditions.” 

—Manuel Hart, chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

“I know what a bar [of] soap tastes like. I also know … the bruises on my hands from a wooden ruler to keep me from speaking my Diné language.”

—Rickie Nez, Navajo Nation Council Delegate

On the Punny Side

Why shouldn't you trust a pastry chef on Valentine's Day?

Because he'll dessert you.


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