Zombie bill! HB451 was "killed" in committee yesterday but was resurrected and put back on the agenda for 2 pm. It prohibits DEI statements.
View in browser

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 editor@utahpolicy.com.


Situational Analysis | February 28, 2023

It's Tuesday and Rare Disease Day in Utah and around the nation. A rare disease, by US definition, is one that affects fewer than 1 in 200,000 people. Nearly 95% have no treatment.

Happy birthday to the University of Utah! It opened on Feb. 28, 1850. 

What You Need to Know

  • Zombie bill alert! HB451 was killed in committee yesterday but was resurrected and put back on the agenda for 2 pm. This bill would prevent universities from asking for statements of diversity, equity and inclusion, anti-racism and/or implicit bias. 
  • Senator John Johnson's bill, SB283, Prohibiting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education will be studied in the interim. If you click on the bill link and then "Hearings/Debate," you can follow along with the arguments being made. 
  • The full-day kindergarten bill passed out of the Senate committee and is headed to the Senate floor. After years of trying, 2023 looks like it will be the year that optional full-day kindergarten will become reality.
  • The bill that would prohibit social media companies from banning users or deprioritizing content passed out of committee in the morning and then failed on the House floor in the afternoon.

Rapid Roundup


This is the race: Join us July 24

Don’t give up on your New Year’s resolutions!
Sign up for the Deseret News Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K.
Register now for the 4th oldest marathon west of the continental divide.


2023 Legislative Session

41 days down, 4 days to go! Last day of committee meetings



  • 9:00-12:00 pm: House floor time
  • 9:00-11:50 am: Senate floor time
  • 2:00 pm - as late as needed: House floor time
  • 2:00 pm - as late as needed: Senate floor time

Utah Headlines

General Legislative News

  • Utah senator declares 'anti-racism is racism' before lawmakers kill bill (KUTV)
  • ‘Unprecedented’ Utah bill would allow developers to create own districts. Supporters say bill could help lower costs for housing, but detractors worry new entity would lack elected officials (Deseret News)
  • Full-day kindergarten bill heads to Senate (Deseret News)
  • Utah House passes resolution encouraging Pledge of Allegiance in schools (Deseret News)
  • Utah lawmakers clap back after group criticizes them on water measures (KUTV)
  • Great Salt Lake bill advances — but it’s watered down (Fox13)
  • Economic developer Shawn Milne: Pending legislation may incentivize moderate income housing (Herald Journal)
  • Jay Evensen: It’s time to finally end Utah’s tax on food (Deseret News)
  • President Adams says ending exception for child abuse reporting forces clergy to choose between faith, jail (KSL)
  • Utah Legislature hasn’t debated bills that would require clergy to report sex abuse. Senate President Stuart Adams told reporters religious organizations “do a great job” in handling abuse confessions. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Proposed constitutional amendment would raise the bar for some citizen initiatives (KSL)
  • Animal advocates speak against bill that would prohibit feeding feral cats (KSL Newsradio)
  • Derek Miller: Priority legislation paves the way for next Utah victories
    Bills help create a business-friendly climate in Utah. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • New bill addresses racism and sexism in Utah schools by not allowing teachers to talk about it (ABC4)
  • Utah lawmakers are revisiting the ‘sensitive materials’ in schools debate (KUER)
  • Senator trying to change law that leaves Utahns with dead spouse’s medical debt (KSL TV)
  • House resolution will ramp up protection for public transit operators (KSL TV)
  • State might require more places in Utah to help the homeless. Bill would ensure camping bans are enforced and prompt more counties to prepare plans for assisting the unsheltered in winter. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Other political news

  • Could Romney’s bill save Social Security and Medicare from running out of money? (KSL Newsradio)
  • How moms became a political force (Deseret News)
  • Lynn G. Robbins: The lost art of civic virtue. (Deseret News)

General Utah news

  • The professor of happiness: Arthur Brooks on the secret of contentment (Deseret News)
  • Deseret News statement on ‘Dilbert’ comic strip (Deseret News)
  • Construction worker killed after garage collapse in Providence (Cache Valley Daily)
  • Park City hotel room rates hit peak levels (KPCW)
  • As Utah works to recruit international workers, an immigration law may be getting in the way. H-1B visas are meant to foster hiring of educated workers — but some say the process is cumbersome and pricy. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • School buses trapped in snow after Logan school district decides against snow day (KUTV)


  • Cox asks EPA to include Utah magnesium plant in Wasatch ozone nonattainment area (KSL)
  • Brian Moench: Mining bill would be a nightmare for Utah’s future. Gravel pit plans would turn the eastern gateway to our Capitol City into Mordor. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Utah Jazz part owner Dwyane Wade on being father of a transgender daughter: ‘All I’ve wanted to do was get it right’ (Deseret News)
  • BYU study details importance of family history for young adults (Daily Herald)
  • Extra food help in SNAP program about to end (Deseret News)


  • Cooking can boost your mental health — here’s how (Deseret News)
  • The man who walked backward. Parkinson's disease, now perhaps more than once thought, is a disease that often hides in plain sight, and KSL's Peter Rosen knows that better than anyone (KSL)
  • Is social media Utah’s scapegoat for poor teen mental health? (KUER)
  • Say it isn't so! The popular artificial sweetener erythritol has been linked to higher risk of heart attack, stroke and death (Washington Post)


  • Big ideas in affordable housing will compete for $300K in nonprofit’s annual contest. Year 5 of Ivory Innovations’ competition spotlights solutions in home construction, finance and public policy. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • S.L. County home sales slide to a 12-year low even as prices fall — but not everywhere (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Why newspapers across the country are dropping the popular ‘Dilbert’ cartoon (Deseret News)
  • Amazon employees will be able to use stock as collateral for home loans (Wall Street Journal)
  • Jobless claims edged lower last week (Wall Street Journal)


  • For the first time, Congress' powerful Appropriations Committees are led by four women. But one of them, Rep. Kay Granger, has the toughest job of all: keeping the GOP in line on spending (Politico)
  • Supreme Court weighs Biden student loan plan worth billions (AP)
  • The fight over two freedoms: Will a Supreme Court ruling on a web designer who opposes same-sex marriage reshape the First Amendment? (Deseret News)
  • White House: No more TikTok on gov’t devices within 30 days (AP)
  • Rupert Murdoch says Fox stars 'endorsed' lies about 2020. He chose not to stop them (NPR)
  • Latino Republicans push back on party’s immigration agenda (AP)
  • How the US adopted a new intelligence playbook to expose Russian plans (New York Times)
  • DeSantis appoints political backers to new Disney oversight board. The most prominent name DeSantis appointed is Bridget Ziegler, a conservative education activist who was a major backer of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (Politico)
  • One House Republican's unique anti-Santos pitch: Block him from profiting off his lies (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Ukraine’s forces endure increasingly dire conditions in Bakhmut, officials say (Wall Street Journal)
  • Scrounging for tanks in Ukraine, Europe's armies come up short (New York Times)
  • Separated by war, a Ukrainian family balances safety, duty and love (Washington Post)


  • Standing up for women: An Afghan exile laments her country’s lost freedoms (Deseret News)
  • TikTok banned on all Canadian government mobile devices (AP)
  • China moves to erase the vestiges of ‘Zero Covid’ to deter dissent. The government is waging an ambitious propaganda campaign to rewrite the public’s memory of its tough pandemic restrictions. (New York Times)

News Releases

Sen Romney & Speaker Wilson discuss efforts to save the Great Salt Lake

This past weekend,U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Utah Speaker of the House Brad Wilson joined CBS Sunday Morning to discuss efforts to save the Great Salt Lake. The interview highlights Senator Romney’s Great Salt Lake Recovery Act—signed into law by President Biden—which builds on Utah’s efforts to address the historic drought conditions of the Lake. The interview also highlights the State’s recent conservation efforts spearheaded by Speaker Wilson. (Read More)

House and Senate Democrats statement on diversity, equity and inclusion

We respectfully urge our legislative colleagues to reconsider bills that try to remove efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion. Rather, strive for a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all. It is important that our communities of color feel safe, supported, and valued. Everyone deserves an opportunity to thrive regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity or background. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential components of a healthy society, and we must work together to ensure that they are at the forefront of our efforts.

We stand in solidarity with people of color in Utah and across the nation, and we will continue to work toward a future where everyone can thrive. Let us join forces to promote diversity, inclusivity and equity, and create a brighter future for all.


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Feb. 28, 2023


Tweet of the DScreenshot 2023-02-28 at 7.27.11 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, le.utah.gov
  • 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
  • Mount Liberty College Spring Youth Seminar on The Virginian — May 6, 9 am - 7 pm, Register Here

On This Day In History 

  • 1525 - Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec Emperor, is tortured and killed by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés
  • 1708 - A slave revolt in Long Island results in seven White deaths. Two Black male slaves and an Indian slave were hanged and a Black woman was burned alive.
  • 1850 - The University of Utah opens in Salt Lake City.
  • 1859 - The Arkansas legislature requires free Blacks to choose between exile and enslavement.
  • 1909 - First National Women’s Day is observed in the United States.
  • 1935 - Dr. Wallace Carothers develops the synthetic polymer nylon.
  • 1953 - James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin discover the double-helix structure of DNA. Watson and Crick get the credit and win a Nobel prize.
  • 1983 - The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, concluding an 11 season run. A whopping 77% of the television-viewing audience tuned in. I know I did. Did you?
  • 1987 - Gorbachev calls for nuclear weapons treaty.
  • 1989 - Philip Emeagwali, a Nigerian-American computer scientist, is awarded the Gordon Bell Prize (computing's Nobel Prize) for solving one of the most difficult problems in the computing field.
  • 1993 - ATF raids the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
  • 2009 - Paul Harvey dies at age 90. And that’s the rest of the story.
  • 2012 - Discovery of the largest prehistoric penguin, Kairuku grebneffi, at nearly 5ft tall.
  • 2013 - Pope Benedict resigns.

Heard on the Hill

"Anti-racism is racism."

—Senator John Johnson

On the Punny Side

Wanna hear a joke?


I know, I don’t get it either.


– Advertise With Us –

Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.