State of the Union tonight; death toll in Turkey & Syria passes 5000; more than 30 countries sending help
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Situational Analysis | February 7, 2023

It's Tuesday and National Fettuccine Alfredo Day. Great dinner food for watching the State of the Union address tonight, as well as the GOP response, given by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

What You Need to Know

  • The death toll in the earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria has passed 5000 and is still rising. More than 8000 have been pulled from the debris in Turkey and hundreds of thousands are now homeless. Teams from nearly 30 countries are on their way to help. 

  • Today on Utah's Capitol Hill, HB202, the bill to change signature thresholds for getting on the ballot, will be heard in the Senate Gov't Ops committee; a resolution to promote kindness in Utah will be heard in the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee; and SB117, the domestic violence bill requiring lethality assessments and creating a database, will be heard in the House Law Enforcement Committee. 

Rapid Roundup


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2023 Legislative Session

21 days down, 24 days to go!  


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: Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment; Transportation

2:20 pm: Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

2:00-5:00 pm: Senate Committees: Economic Development & Workforce Services; Government Operations & Political Subdivisions

Tomorrow - last day of appropriations subcommittees

8:00 am: Appropriations subcommittees: Executive Offices & Criminal Justice; Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environmental Quality

10:00 am: Appropriations subcommittee: Higher Education

11:00 am-11:50: Senate Floor Time

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

12:00 pm: Administrative Rules Review and General Oversight

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

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

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • Utah lawmaker, LGBTQ advocates reach compromise on conversion therapy bill (Deseret News)
  • Rep. Jeff Stenquist: It solves traffic, pollution and avalanche concerns. It’s time to move forward on a gondola (Deseret News)
  • Utah social media bill with parental consent requirement advances despite privacy concerns (KSL)
  • Board of Pardons and Parole would have to prioritize public safety under new bill (KUTV)
  • After World Cup trips, elected officials could have to disclose foreign travel (Fox13)
  • Utah Senate passes bill offering more money to get rid of lawns (Fox13)
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous People bill passes; hope is ‘people are taken seriously when reporting’ (St. George News)
  • After last week’s bad inversion, here are Utah lawmakers’ air quality proposals (KUER)

Other political news

  • Boyd Matheson: My annual State of the Union address. I am calling on Congress and every citizen to make kindness our specialty as a nation (Deseret News)
  • Did US House speaker election drama change Utahns’ view of GOP? Not really. (Deseret News)
  • Sen. Mike Lee: Inside the fight against the left’s plan to pack the Supreme Court and destroy American liberty (Deseret News)
  • Don Gale: For better government, Utah should elect more women (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Rep. Katy Hall says she’s delivering on vow to be ‘common-sense conservative’ (Standard-Examiner)

General Utah News

  • 'It's devastating': Utahn born in Turkey expresses her concerns after 7.8 earthquake (KSL)
  • As gas prices jump at the pump, Gov. Spencer Cox says he’s feeling your pain (Deseret News)
  • After all these years, the Bread Lady, and her porch, still going strong. Shauna Devenport, aka the Bread Lady, has been handing out sustenance to the needy and homeless for decades (Deseret News)
  • Steal. Sell. Repeat. Wave of construction thefts leaves Utah buyers stuck paying the price (KSL)
  • Ryan Smith, Utah Jazz honor Lauri Markkanen for NBA All-Star selection (KSL TV)
  • Huge amounts of meth, heroin found in Utah drug trafficking bust (ABC4)
  • Utah nonprofit makes outdoor sports affordable and accessible (Fox13)


  • Falling inflation, falling unemployment is the stuff of ‘economics fiction’ (Deseret News)
  • A rumor no longer – Target coming to Provo Towne Centre (Daily Herald)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond strikes investor deal for over $1 billion to avoid bankruptcy (Wall Street Journal)
  • Housing market shows signs of thawing as mortgage rates decline (Wall Street Journal)


  • Libraries offer so much more than books (Deseret News)
  • Studies show friendships for middle-aged men are dwindling (Deseret News)
  • New UWLP study reports positive impact on women who served missions (ABC4)


  • Advocates push for $25 million in funding for homeless teen centers across Utah (KUTV)
  • A tested solution for helping teens who are homeless, or living on the brink. Advocates are asking Utah lawmakers to appropriate millions of dollars to help fund teen centers across the state. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Brian Steed & William Anderegg: The Great Salt Lake can be saved. This is how we do it. (Deseret News)
  • As stakeholders gather to save the Great Salt Lake, why aren’t Indigenous tribes invited to the table? (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah reaches annual snowpack normal 2 months early. What happens next? (KSL)
  • Several factors still needed to increase Beehive State's snowpack, spring runoff (KUTV)
  • Feds announce changes at southern Utah recreation site amid spike in popularity (KSL)


  • What’s driving the child care shortage and how are families impacted? (Deseret News)
  • Prioritizing money over marriage, today’s parents are making a big mistake. All the money in the world won’t make up for the absence of family later in life (Deseret News)
  • Perspective: Parents, it’s time to talk to your kids about marriage (Deseret News)


  • What’s on the menu? USDA proposes change to school lunch. Limiting added sugars and salt is the goal of proposal to make lunches healthier starting in 2024 (Deseret News)

National Headlines


  • Over 400 products recalled by FDA due to possible Listeria contamination (Deseret News)
  • The Translator: America’s equal opportunity offender on the power of protest (Deseret News)
  • Is the American Dream still alive and well today? Scott Winship, senior fellow and director of poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said barriers to upward mobility hold many citizens down. (KSL Newsradio)
  • Florida teen pleads guilty to fatally stabbing classmate 114 times (AP)


  • Biden aims to deliver reassurance in State of Union address (AP)
  • Biden faces hostile lawmakers, skeptical voters in State of the Union speech (Reuters)
  • Biden’s State of the Union prep: tricks to conquer a stutter (New York Times)
  • The rise of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (Deseret News)
  • 4 in 10 Americans say they are worse off financially since Biden took office. ‘Half of American workers making over $100,000 are worse off this year,’ Asesh Sarkar, CEO of Salary Finance, said (Deseret News)
  • A new bill in Florida would give the governor control of Disney's governing district (NPR)
  • Breach at Air Force One base under investigation (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russian forces keep up pressure as Ukraine anniversary nears (AP)
  • Ukraine said the last 24 hours were the deadliest of the war so far for Russian troops, as Moscow hurls tens of thousands of freshly mobilised soldiers and mercenaries into relentless winter assaults in the east. (Reuters)
  • Ukrainian soldiers benefit from U.S. prosthetics expertise but their war is different (NPR)


  • A Turkish castle that withstood centuries of invasions is damaged in the earthquake (NPR)
  • Earthquakes deepen suffering of Syrians displaced by war, poverty (Wall Street Journal)
  • Turkey quakes were a worst-case scenario: strong, shallow, sideways nd under a heavily populated area with non-earthquake-proof construction (Wall Street Journal)
  • Injured soccer player Christian Atsu is pulled from rubble (Washington Post)
  • UN chief fears world is heading toward a wider war (AP)
  • Nigerian politician in UK court over organ-harvesting claims (AP)
  • Taiwan to speed drone development, take lessons from Ukraine war (Reuters)

News Releases

Gov. Cox issues statement on gas prices, resources for low-income and larger families

Gov. Spencer Cox issued the following statement on rising gas prices:

“Over the last week, Utahns have seen gasoline prices increase again. Prices were just beginning to normalize when a Utah refinery closed for annual maintenance, which is taking longer than expected. A Colorado refinery also shut down in December due to malfunctioning equipment, which has placed additional strain on supply in the Rocky Mountain region. It is expected to be online in March...

“The HEAT program provides energy assistance to those with incomes at or below 150% of the poverty level. We also have great partnerships with Dominion Energy and Rocky Mountain Power that provide additional credits for low-income households.” (Read More)

Rep. Curtis discusses path forward on climate

Representative John Curtis (UT-03), chair of the Conservative Climate Caucus, breaks down climate issues in Congress and the bipartisan path forward on solutions. (Read/Watch More)

Utah Democrats commend DNC primary calendar changes

On Saturday, members of the Democratic National Committee voted overwhelmingly to change the Democratic presidential primary calendar for 2024. This change would put South Carolina first on February 3, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the 6th, Georgia on the 13th and Michigan on the 27th. 

“I was proud to stand with the rest of the Utah delegation and the vast majority of DNC members to support this new primary calendar last Saturday in Philadelphia. This history-making change will ensure that our party’s nominating process reflects the diversity of our country,” said Chair Diane Lewis. (Read More)

Sen. Lee announces guest for State of the Union

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) announced Utah Gov. Spencer Cox as his guest for President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 7. Gov. Cox is a sixth-generation Utahn hailing from Fairview, Utah. He was elected to his hometown’s City Council in 2004 and elected Mayor the following year. In 2008, he served as a Sanpete County commissioner before being elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2012. In 2013, Governor Gary Herbert selected Cox to replace Greg Bell as Lieutenant Governor. He was sworn in as Utah’s 18th Governor on January 4, 2021.  (Read More)

Goldman Sachs: Small business owners give federal government failing grade

On the eve of President Biden’s State of the Union address, small business owners delivered their own message to the 118th Congress: government programs designed to help small business are failing them, and Congress must take bi-partisan action to reauthorize the U.S. Small Business Administration. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Screenshot 2023-02-07 at 7.21.33 AM


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-02-07 at 7.13.53 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

  • 1812 - A series of earthquakes causes a “fluvial tsunami” in the Mississippi River, causing the river to run backwards.
  • 1867 - Laura Ingalls Wilder is born.
  • 1872 - Amy Brown Lyman is born in the tiny farming community now known as Pleasant Grove, Utah. She brought social work to Utah and worked to reduce maternal and child mortality.
  • 1918 - Ruth Sager is born. A scientist, she worked on corn genetic research in plants, studied cancer research after 1975 and became professor of cellular genetics and chief of the Cancer Genetics Division at Harvard Medical School.
  • 1945 - President Truman appointed Irwin C. Mollison judge of the US Customs Court, making him the first Black federal judge in the U.S.
  • 1961 - Allen West is born. A retired Lt. Colonel, he became the first Black Republican to represent Florida in Congress since Reconstruction.
  • 1962 - Full US-Cuba embargo announced by JFK.
  • 1964 - The Beatles arrive in New York
  • 1979 - Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death,” dies of a stroke in Brazil. His death was not verified until 1985. 
  • 1984 - Navy Captain Bruce McCandless II becomes the first human being to perform an untethered space walk.
  • 1992 - European Union treaty signed. 
  • 2001 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author, aviator and bereaved mother, dies at 94
  • 2002 - President George W. Bush announces plan for faith-based initiatives
  • 2020 - Dr. Li Wenliang, Ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital in China died from COVID after warning the world of a mysterious pneumonia in late December 2019.

Heard on the Hill

"While reaffirming the fact that conversion therapy is illegal in the state of Utah, we are protecting our kids and more than that, most importantly, the Legislature is sending a message to LGBTQ kids throughout the state of Utah that they are not broken. That they are seen. That they're understood. And that they do not need to be repaired, fixed, converted or restored in any way."

—Mike Ostermiller, speaking to HB228

On the Punny Side

What do you call a Valentine's Day gift that didn't arrive time?



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