Massive earthquake kills thousands; a YouTube star was killed by her dad to protect the family "honor" and AFP spending against Trump
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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 6, 2023

It's Monday and International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Did you know that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM??

What You Need to Know

  • A devastating major earthquake hit southern Turkey early in the morning (their time). The first registered at 7.8 and could be the largest quake ever registered on that geologic area where the Arabia and Anatolian plates come together. Thousands of buildings have collapsed, more than 1900 confirmed dead, but that toll will rise, as the search for survivors continues in bitterly cold winter conditions. There are more than 2.5 million people living within 31 miles of the epicenter, which was about 20 miles from Gaziantep. The quakes were felt in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus and as far away as Denmark and Greenland

  • On Utah's Capitol Hill today, HB320 amends the definition of "raw milk product;" HB228 clarifies that "verbal or written" therapy does not fall within the definition of "conversion therapy," SB166 defines "home-based education entity" and "micro-education entity" and would prevent government from telling home schools and micro-education entities what to do while giving them the same rights as private and charter schools.

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

20 days down, 25 days to go!  


8:00 am: Appropriations subcommittees: 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

12:15 pm: Senate Rules 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; Economic Development & Workforce Services

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


8:00 am: Appropriations subcommittees: Business, Economic Development and Labor; Infrastructure and General Government 

9:00 am: Public Education

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 & Taxation

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • 2023 Legislative Session Week 3 with host Jason Perry and guests Maura Carabello, Lindsay Aerts and Glen Mills (Hinckley Report)
  • Legislative wrap: A summary of Utah’s 3rd week in the legislative session: Water bills didn’t move, but bills regulating social media companies and lemonade stands did (Deseret News)
  • Utah lawmakers’ ‘water week’ was more about small tweaks than groundbreaking policy (KUER)
  • Utah House passes bill to require legislative ‘performance’ audit every other year (Deseret News)
  • A Utah lawmaker and her sister at odds: Should rape victims need to contact police before getting an abortion? Rep. Kera Birkeland says her bill focuses on rape victim services and holding rapists accountable. But her sister, a rape survivor, says it strips away choices (Deseret News)
  • Who’s responsible for damages when a train hits a cow? Utah lawmakers considering bill requiring railroads to report collisions with livestock, maintain fencing (Deseret News)
  • Karen Mayne, who left the Utah Senate for health reasons, returns for namesake scholarship bill (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Bill would narrow animal activists’ legal options when charged with theft for removing injured or sick livestock. The bill sponsor says a jury got the verdict wrong when it found two activists not guilty when they took two sick pigs from a farm. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah House committee opts not to advance bill eliminating ranked-choice voting (KUTV)
  • Utah lawmaker's social media bill no longer includes ban on users under 16 (KUTV)
  • The Inside Utah Politics Panel on vaccine passports, ending emergency declarations and the 2024 field (ABC4)
  • The Salt Lake Chamber top legislative priorities (ABC4)
  • Advocates share grisly sexual assault stats while calling for prevention in Utah (ABC4)
  • Utah House bill pushes for increased transparency in parole process. Aaron Lowe's mother voices support, citing murder suspect's criminal history (Fox13)
  • Unsheltered Utahns lobby lawmakers for homelessness, housing bills (Fox13)
  • Utah lawmaker Ken Ivory introduces another resolution calling for constitutional convention (Cache Valley Daily)
  • Should Utah and federal government pool resources to boost outdoor recreation? Some lawmakers say yes (St. George News)
  • Utah tribes urge lawmakers to pass bill ensuring protections for native kids (UPR)

Other political news

  • Governor removes teacher training video, plans 'full content review' of state agencies (KUTV)
  • Utah County agencies release annual progress reports (Daily Herald)
  • Utah immigrant task force proposes steps to better integrate 'New Americans' (Standard Examiner)

General Utah News

  • Museum on wheels stops in Orem to tell Black history stories (Fox13)
  • Utah homicides drop in 2022, but guns and domestic violence still dominate (KSL)
  • Colorado State apologizes for offensive chant directed at Utah State's Max Shulga (KSL)
  • Utah state prisons on lockdown after three assaults against officers (KSL TV)
  • AmeriCorps research shows Utahns lead the country in volunteer efforts (UPR)


  • Parents irked as Alpine School District cancels 3rd grade gifted program (Daily Herald)
  • A place to call home in St. George, Utah Tech’s Center for Inclusion and Belonging updates name, expands (St. George News)


  • Research compares breathing Utah air for a day to smoking up to five cigarettes. Utah cities made up seven of the top 10 cities with the worst air quality in the US on Saturday (Deseret News)


  • Gen Z, millennial women have different ideas of the ‘perfect’ mom but want to be one (Deseret News)


  • No end in sight for much-needed ADHD medication shortage (Fox13)
  • Family caregivers of people with long COVID bear an extra burden (NPR)

National Headlines


  • Mount Washington experiences record-setting wind chill: -108° F (AP)
  • Yellen: 'You don't have a recession' when U.S. unemployment at 53-year low (Reuters)
  • Dell to cut 5% of workforce. Computer maker’s co-operating chief says market conditions continue to erode (Wall Street Journal)
  • Months after debut of ‘Sesame Street,’ Mississippi banned it for showing Black and White kids playing together (Washington Post)


  • Santos took office one month ago and his New York district says he's got to go. Congressman George Santos' constituents are furious and don't think he's doing the work to represent them. A recent poll finds most GOP voters want the scandal plagued Republican to resign. (NPR)
  • House GOP embraces mainstream media after years of bashing ‘fake news’ (Washington Post)
  • Chinese balloons flew over US three times during Trump administration (The Hill)
  • Biden admin offers to brief Trump officials on past Chinese spy balloon incursions (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Norway looks to donate $7.3 billion in aid to Ukraine (AP)
  • Ukraine warns Russia is planning major offensive as Kyiv shakes up military leadership (Wall Street Journal)
  • US support for Ukraine reclaiming territory stable at 65 percent one year into war: Gallup (The Hill)

News Releases

Utah’s Consumer Sentiment rises in January

Utah’s consumer sentiment increased from 68.7 in December 2022 to 75.6 in January 2023, according to the Kem C. Gardner Institute’s Survey of Utah Consumers. A similar survey by the University of Michigan also found sentiment rose from December (59.7) to January (64.9) among Americans as a whole.

“For the second month in a row Utah consumers are feeling better about the economy,” said Phil Dean, Chief Economist at the Gardner Institute. “Subdued inflation, lower fuel prices, and rising incomes are positively impacting Utahns sense of economic well-being.” (Read More)

Senate passes S.B. 128 and honors former Sen. Karen Mayne

S.B. 128 Public Safety Officer Scholarship Program, sponsored by Sen. Don Ipson, provides scholarships to high school students entering law enforcement careers. Former Sen. Karen Mayne had been working on the bill before her retirement from the Senate in January 2023. To honor Sen. Mayne’s legacy, the scholarship will be named the Karen Mayne Public Safety Officer Scholarship Program. (Read More)

Senate passes bill to make Diwali a state commemorative period

Sen. Lincoln Fillmore is sponsoring proposed legislation to make the celebration of Diwali a state commemorative period. The idea for this bill came from a constituent in Herriman who reached out to Sen. Fillmore. Today, the Senate passed S.B 46 State Holiday Modifications on the 2nd readingwhich designates Diwali to be celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hindu lunisolar month of Kartik, which is typically between late October to early November. (Read More)

Gov. Cox issues executive order to raise the Great Salt Lake Causeway Berm

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has issued Executive Order 2023-02 directing the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands to raise the Great Salt Lake causeway berm. 

“The Great Salt Lake is crucial to our environment, ecology and economy, and we must do everything we can to protect it,” said Gov. Cox. “We’ve been blessed with significant snowpack so far this winter, and this executive order will allow the state to move quickly to increase the lake level in the South Arm by capturing spring runoff. We don’t want to miss this opportunity to safeguard the lake.” (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Feb. 6, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-02-06 at 7.37.28 AM



  • State of the Union — Feb. 7, 7:00 pm MST
  • Great Salt Lake Strike Team with Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Newsmaker Breakfast — Feb. 8, 8:00a am - 9:30 am, RSVP to
  • Ditch Your Debt and Transform Your Net Worth with the Utah Women and Leadership Project — Feb. 28, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Virtual, Register Here
  • Legislative session ends — Mar. 3,
  • Teaching Your Child Consent with the Utah Women and Leadership Project — Mar. 16, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm, Virtual, Register Here

On This Day In History

  • 1820 - First organized emigration of U.S. Blacks back to Africa, from New York to Sierra Leone.
  • 1867 - Peabody Fund is established to promote Black education in the South.
  • 1887 - Florence Luscomb is born. She became an architect and reformer and was the first woman to graduate from MIT as an architectural graduate. In 1909, she gave 222 speeches for woman suffrage in 14 weeks,
  • 1911 - Ronald Reagan is born.
  • 1952 - Elizabeth becomes the Queen of England when her father, King George VI dies.
  • 1985 - The “Reagan Doctrine” is announced during the State of the Union and was President Reagan’s approach to foreign policy. “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God’s children,” he began his speech.
  • 1988 - The Alaskan legislature establishes the Elizabeth Peratrovich Day due to her “courageous, unceasing efforts to eliminate discrimination and bring about equal rights in Alaska.” Peratrovich was the president of the Alaska Native Sisterhood and testified repeatedly about the unfair treatment indigenous peoples received across the state.
  • 1993 - Arthur Ashe dies of AIDS he contracted receiving blood after heart surgery. He was the first Black tennis player to win at Wimbledon.
  • 2022 - Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking seventy years on the throne
  • 2023 - 7.9 earthquake hits southern Turkey

Heard on the Hill

“Sen. Mayne has left a lasting influence, not only in our body but on the state of Utah as a whole. She has devoted her time and attention to making Utah a better place for all."

—Senator Don Ipson

On the Punny Side

A weasel walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Wow, I've never served a weasel before. What can I get for you?"

"Pop," goes the weasel.


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