It's Ash Wednesday; winter storm delivers; Gov. Cox supports immigration sponsorship by states; Biden gives a strong speech in Poland
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Situational Analysis | February 21, 2023

It's the day after Mardi Gras and that means it's Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent.

The big storm delivered and many school districts have moved to online learning, or delayed their start times. Salt Lake City School District, Murray School District, Granite School District, Tooele County School District, Jordan School District, Alpine School District and Canyons School District, have moved to online learning. Provo, Davis, Box Elder, Weber, Nebo, North Summit, USU's Tooele campus, North Star Academy, Pacific Heritage Academy, Canyon Rim Academy, Lehi Ascent Academy and the Layton and Ogden campuses of Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering and Science will have a two-hour delay.

The Utah legislature has also delayed its start this morning. 

What You Need to Know

  • Gov. Spencer Cox and Gov. Eric Holcomb, from Indiana, penned an op-ed for the Washington Post saying that allowing states to sponsor immigrants would solve our national immigration crisis. "The standstill on immigration hobbles both parties and, more seriously, endangers America’s long-term well-being," they write. They are supporters of "immigration sponsorship by the states," an approach that "would give states a dynamic means to attract new residents, both from a pool of new applicants from abroad and from the ranks of current asylum seekers."

  • President Biden gave a strong speech in Poland after his visit to Ukraine. “One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well, I’ve just come from a visit to Kyiv and I can report Kyiv stands strong. Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall and most important, it stands free,” Biden said. "President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail.  And the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail," he continued. He called Putin a "war criminal," a "pure thug" and accused Russia of ‘crimes against humanity,’ without "shame or compunction." "The defense of freedom is not the work of a day or of a year.  It’s always difficult.  It’s always important."

  • Today on the Hill: Medical 'magic mushrooms' will be heard in Senate Health and Human Services today; the religious school uniform bill will be heard on the Senate floor and a bill to ban schools from participating in sports if the athletic association does not collect and review athletes birth certificates will be heard in the House Judiciary committee. 

Rapid Roundup

  • Yes, please! Samwise Gamgee (Ok, Sean Astin) will be speaking at RootsTech

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

35 days down, 10 days to go!  Morning committee times are delayed one hour. 



Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • New Utah revenue estimates ‘flat.’ Here’s what that means for the state budget (Deseret News)
  • 'Unabashedly conservative,' Jay Cobb, Jr, a new Utah lawmaker brings a respectful approach to legislating (KSL)
  • Utah lawmakers take first step toward removing food tax (KUTV)
  • Utah veterans with criminal records get second chance (Fox13)
  • Repealing state food tax would stir ‘hope’ among Utahns struggling to make ends meet (Deseret News)
  • Will Utah’s Legislature chip in to help overwhelmed domestic violence programs? (KSL TV)
  • Proposal would give first-time Utah homebuyers $20,000 (KSL Newsradio)
  • Utah Senate panel approves alcohol overservice bill prompted by 13-year-old's death (KUTV)
  • Utah’s sexual predators can expect less recreation, tougher penalties with the passing of these bills (St. George News)
  • Utah bill aiming to ban cities from regulating fractional ownership (KPCW)
  • Expanding homes underground may be easier under new bill (KPCW)
  • They alleged their Utah OB-GYN sexually assaulted them. Now, their case may change state law. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Bill would shield new quarries from county oversight (Salt Lake Tribune)

Other political news

  • Romney praises Biden for Ukraine trip, stays mum on re-election plans (KUTV)
  • ‘Loony right’: Mitt Romney calls Marjorie Taylor Greene’s call for national divorce ‘insanity’ (Deseret News)
  • Mitt Romney says Marjorie Taylor Greene’s call for a ‘national divorce’ is ‘insanity’ and attention seeking. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Are Jason Chaffetz or Robert O’Brien planning to run for office in Utah? Maybe. (Deseret News)
  • Supreme Court — again — rejects Utah brothers’ effort to reinstate Donald Trump as president. The suit sought to kick President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and nearly 400 members of Congress out of office and return Trump to the White House. (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah news

  • Church settles case with SEC over financial reporting. Ensign Peak Advisors, Church of Jesus Christ agree to pay penalty to settle investigation (Deseret News)
  • Jay Evensen: Shaq and Barkley think we’re boring. Who cares? Stereotypes about Utah are as immovable as the mountains, and yet the place keeps growing and prospering (Deseret News)


  • United Airlines announces new family seating policy. The airline will allow families with children under age 12 to sit together at no additional charge. (Deseret News)
  • Idaho, Utah workers led U.S. in quitting jobs, while New Yorkers largely stayed put. People were confident enough to voluntarily leave their jobs more than 4 million times a month last year, up 20% from 2019 (Wall Street Journal)


  • High schoolers form JustServe clubs and reap the blessings of service (Church News)

  • University of Utah to pay millions after the death of international student Zhifan Dong. The school has acknowledged its “shortcomings in its response to this complex situation.” The agreement will have to be approved by lawmakers. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Weber State professor showcases overlooked Latina art at Salt Lake City museum (Fox13)
  • Utah home-schoolers thrive with more resources than ever (KSL)


  • Our teenage girls are suffering. Utah can lead the way in helping them (Deseret News)


  • Baby formula shortage update: New recall, trio of investigations (Deseret News)


  • Utah ranks 45th in the country for affordable housing (KSL TV)

National Headlines


  • Malcolm X’s family to file $100M lawsuit alleging coverup of his assassination (The Hill)


  • Trump and DeSantis are holding fundraisers just a few miles apart (Deseret News)
  • Jury in Georgia Trump inquiry recommended several indictments, forewoman says (New York Times)
  • Will the Supreme Court undo the ‘rule that made the modern internet’. The U.S. Supreme Court hears two cases this week, both related to terrorist acts, that will look closely at protections that have underpinned the evolution of the internet (Deseret News)
  • For the first time, a Black woman will represent Virginia in Congress (NPR)
  • Biden administration proposes new limits on asylum seekers (Wall Street Journal)
  • Democrats protest after McCarthy grants Tucker Carlson access to Jan. 6 video (New York Times)
  • Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur, announces 2024 presidential run (Washington Post)
  • Older voters balk at Nikki Haley’s competency test. It’s one of her hallmark proposals since launching her campaign. It’s also not going over universally well with a key constituency. (Politico)
  • Poll: Biden's standing improves, while Trump slumps with Republican voters (NPR)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Biden accuses Putin of atrocities and urges world to rebuke him (New York Times)
  • Wagner owner blasts ‘treason’ of Russian military chiefs (AP)
  • House GOP meet with Zelenskyy as far right opposes more aid (AP)
  • A year in the trenches has hardened Ukraine’s president. Volodymyr Zelensky came into office thinking peace with Putin was possible. He now believes victory is the only answer. (Washington Post)


  • More deaths follow another earthquake in Turkey. More than 1 million people are now homeless (Deseret News)
  • A former World Cup player has died after going missing in the Turkey earthquakes (Deseret News)
  • A year later, China blames U.S. ‘hegemony’ — not Russia — for war in Ukraine (Washington Post)

News Releases

WSU professor curates exhibit featuring Latina artists

An art history professor at Weber State University is amplifying voices that are often forgotten within the art world. 

María del Mar González-González is curating “Beyond the Margins: An Exploration of Latina Art and Identity,” on display now through March 4 at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City. 

González-González and Nancy Rivera, a featured artist and WSU alum, will offer a guided tour and gallery discussion in Spanish on Feb. 25 from 1-2 p.m. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Feb. 22, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-02-22 at 8.11.30 AM



  • 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
  • The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership Through Soft Power with Daniel Runde & Bonnie Glick, Breakfast and Panel — Mar 2, 7:45-9:30 am, Register here
  • Legislative session ends — Mar. 3,
  • Provo Women's Day — Mar. 4, more information here.
  • Women in International Business Conference with World Trade Center Utah — Mar. 8, 8:30 am - 2:00 pm, Register Here
  • Teaching Your Child Consent with the Utah Women and Leadership Project — Mar. 16, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm, Virtual, Register Here
  • Sutherland Institute Annual Gala honoring Lowry Snow & Ian Rowe — Mar. 23, 7 pm, Hyatt Regency, More Information Here
  • MWEG Spring Conference with keynote speaker Becky Edwards — Mar. 25, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm at UVU or virtual, Register Here
  • Hatch Foundation Gala with special guest Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sec. Elaine Chao — April 14, 7:00 pm, Grand America, Register Here

On This Day In History 

  • 1732 - George Washington is born in Virginia.
  • 1819 - The U.S. acquires Spanish Florida.
  • 1876 - Zitkála-Šá is born. A writer and Sioux Indian activist, she spent much of her adult life in Utah. She was instrumental in lobbying for citizenship rights for Native Americans and founded the National Council of American Indians. She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 
  • 1980 - U.S. hockey team beats the Soviets in the “Miracle on Ice.”
  • 1997 - Dolly the Sheep is cloned.
  • 2014 - ‘El Chapo,’ the world’s most-wanted drug kingpin, is captured in Mexico.
  • 2021 - The US hits 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19.

Heard on the Hill


On the Punny Side

What do you get when James Bond takes a bath?

Bubble 07


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