Major domestic violence bill heads to the governor's desk; tax bill almost through; bill re: Medicaid and doulas dies in the House
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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 | March , 2023

It's Thursday and National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) to honor Theodore Geisel on his birthday. Oh, the thinks you can think.....

What You Need to Know

  • Yesterday, the Utah legislature passed a full-day kindergarten bill, a major domestic violence bill, bills regulating social media and a major tax bill took another step toward final passage. A bill that would have allowed Medicaid to cover doulas was killed in the House with little debate. Today, more floor debate continues on the tax bill and the bill closing abortion clinics in Utah is expected to be up in the Senate.

Rapid Roundup



Saluting exceptional leaders

Utah Business recognizes members of the C-suite who are changing the way we do business for the better.

Are you acquainted with a C-suite executive who makes the hard decisions that impact daily operations as well as the long-term vision of their company? Submit a nomination before March 10


2023 Legislative Session

43 days down, 2 days to go! All floor time, all the time


  • 8:00-12:00 pm: House floor time
  • 8:00-11:50 am: Senate floor time
  • 2:00 pm - as late as needed: House floor time
  • 2:00 pm - as late as needed: Senate floor time


  • 8:00-12:00 pm: House floor time
  • 8:00-11:50 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 recognizes Special Olympic athletes, urges inclusion. First lady Abby Cox recognized athletes for leadership, encouraged legislators to take inclusion pledge (Deseret News)
  • Push to require clergy to report abuse stalls in Utah (Daily Herald)
  • Utah Legislature passes bill expanding full-day kindergarten statewide (KUTV)
  • What are Utah lawmakers doing to address Utah’s housing market crisis? (Deseret News)
  • Legislature passes bill requiring police to perform lethality assessment for domestic violence calls (KSL, Fox13)
  • Legislature passes 'Sherry Black bill' to regulate genealogy search by law enforcement (KSL)
  • Utah Senate votes to remove state food sales tax, but it wouldn't go away until 2025 (KUTV)
  • Bill houses unsheltered in churches and rec centers when it’s too cold to survive the night (KSL Newsradio)
  • Bill would raise major barriers to sue for asbestos injuries in Utah. Experts say contractors and home renovators face most exposure risk (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah senator sees a way to ease the property tax burden on homeowners. Arming county assessors with information on commercial real estate sales might help them bring more fairness to the system. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Bills regulating social media companies advance in Utah Legislature (KUTV)
  • Utah Senate approves $5 million settlement in death of murdered U of U student (KUTV)
  • Lake advocates rally to demand more action for Great Salt Lake (Fox13)

Other political news

  • Sen. Mike Lee to Japan on failure to return imprisoned U.S. officer: ‘What goes around comes around’ (Deseret News)
  • Utah attorney general honors late disability rights lawyer Steve Mikita with tribute (ABC4)
  • Do we know yet how COVID-19 started? Some U.S. intelligence agencies now believe the virus leaked from a lab in China, while others believe it developed naturally in animals and then was transmitted to humans (Deseret News)

General Utah news

  • The origins of National Women’s History Month — plus 5 women to celebrate. The 2023 theme for National Women’s History Month is: ‘Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories’ (Deseret News)
  • As gender-based violence rises, these professors ask Utahns to advocate for change (KSL)
  • Hungry? Utah DWR suggests bullfrogs for dinner (ABC4)
  • UDOT exceeds annual $24M budget on snow removal, plowing (ABC4)
  • Why are eggs so expensive? The good news about egg prices (Deseret News)


  • Feds hardwire child care benefits to $39 billion in CHIPS Act funding. Commerce Department has requirements for companies that accept money to build U.S. microchip plants (Deseret News)
  • Will a U.S. COVID-19 vaccine maker be able to stay in business?
    Novavax plans cutbacks amid ‘significant uncertainty’ (Deseret News)
  • Workforce options have changed in rural areas since the pandemic (KSL Newsradio)
  • Utah's unemployment rate increases slightly to start 2023, employees add new skills to resumes (Fox13)
  • From wool to hemp, sustainable building materials are a growing business in the Mountain West (KUER)


  • SUU waiving tuition for Native American students (KSL)
  • Davis School District sued over access to in-school medical assistance (KUTV)


  • Treatments used near Utah Lake, Great Salt Lake reduce invasive plant species (KUTV)


  • Why Americans are choosing to live in multigenerational homes (Deseret News)
  • Tanya Nagahiro: Supported aging services highlight importance of aging in place (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Access to midwives and doulas could reduce the maternal mortality of Black women (KUER)

National Headlines


  • Department of Labor reports that child labor has increased by nearly 70% since 2018 (Deseret News)
  • Alone and exploited, migrant children work brutal jobs across the U.S. (New York Times)
  • SpaceX launches US, Russia, UAE astronauts to space station (AP)
  • 8 big revelations from the Alex Murdaugh murder trial (NPR)
  • They could lose the house — to Medicaid (NPR)


  • As Trump headlines CPAC, DeSantis attends a competing event (Deseret News)
  • Can the Romney wing and the Trump wing of the GOP come together to win in 2024? (Deseret News)
  • Biden administration releases new cybersecurity strategy (AP)
  • Blinken, Russian foreign minister meet at G-20 (Wall Street Journal)
  • Student loan case could redefine limits of presidential power (New York Times)
  • New GOP state bills aim to restrict transgender health care for adults (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russia claims Ukraine crossborder sabotage raid; Kyiv denies (AP)
  • In the Donbas, Russia's vast numbers of troops weigh heavily on Ukraine's defenders (NPR)


  • Harry, Meghan asked to leave UK home in further royal rift (AP)
  • China is building six times more new coal plants than other countries, report finds (NPR)
  • "I was unable to save them," mourns fisherman after Italian migrant shipwreck (Reuters)

News Releases

Smart devices under watch: US House passes Curtis bill on consumer protection

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act, introduced by Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Seth Moulton (D-MA). Following passage, Congressman Curtis made the following remarks:

“This common sense and bipartisan bill ensure consumers are aware of the recording capabilities of items they are putting in their homes, while also balancing flexibility for companies who are developing smart technologies,” said Representative Curtis. “I am grateful to my colleagues for helping pass this important legislation and look forward to its eventual passage in the Senate.” (Read More)

Reps. Moore, Garamendi, Turner, Castor to Co-Chair the House Air Force Caucus

Representatives Blake Moore (R-UT), John Garamendi (D-CA), Mike Turner (R-OH), and Kathy Castor (D-FL) have convened the House Air Force Caucus as co-chairs for the 118th Congress. This bipartisan group includes 78 members and oversees issues impacting the U.S. Air Force. The caucus collaborates directly with the Secretary of the Air Force on specialized briefings, installation visits, and outreach opportunities with Air Force stakeholders throughout the year. (Read More)

Sen. Lee introduces bill to protect Ag producers

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) led a bipartisan effort to reform agricultural checkoff programs. Joined by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the bill will make checkoff programs more accountable to contributors. Checkoffs are mandatory Department of Agriculture fees assessed on a per-unit basis that fund boards designed to promote the commodity as a whole. However, checkoff funds are frequently coopted against the interests of some or even a majority of contributors. Countless farmers, ranchers, and other producers have seen their checkoff dollars squandered or used against their interests. This bill would prohibit certain wasteful, anti-competitive, and deceptive behavior from checkoff boards. (Read More)

Utah continues to benefit from bipartisan infrastructure bill

Utah continues to benefit from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan infrastructure bill negotiated by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and his colleagues. Salt Lake City International Airport has been awarded a $29 million grant under the FY2023 Airport Terminal Program and the State of Utah has been awarded $12,226,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for water infrastructure upgrades throughout the state—both made possible because Senator Romney made sure Utah had a seat at the table during negotiations of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. (Read More)

Romney to help lead key panels on China and Homeland Security

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today announced that he will serve as Ranking Member of two Senate subcommittees for the 118th Congress. Senator Romney will serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations (SFRC) Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, which will be chaired by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). He will also serve as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, which will be chaired by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH). (Read More)

Japan misses deadline, Lee calls for SOFA renegotiation

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke on the Senate floor, calling for a renegotiation of the U.S.—Japan Status of Forces Agreement. On February 2, Sen. Lee demanded that Japanese Prime Minister Kishida transfer Navy Lt. Ridge Alkonis to United States custody no later than February 28 by 11:59 P.M. EST. Sen. Lee promised a public discussion about the U.S.—Japan Status of Forces Agreement should Japan fail to transfer Lt. Alkonis before the deadline. Japan failed to transfer Lt. Ridge Alkonis to U.S. custody in time. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 2, 2023-1


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-02 at 6.27.06 AM



  • 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
  • Mount Liberty College Spring Youth Seminar on The Virginian — May 6, 9 am - 7 pm, Register Here

On This Day In History 

  • 1778 - Nathanael Greene is appointed Quartermaster General of the Continental Army under George Washington.
  • 1807 - Congress abolishes the African slave trade within the jurisdiction of the United States. The widespread trade of enslaved people within the South was not prohibited, however, and children of enslaved people automatically became enslaved themselves.
  • 1865 - Freedman's Bureau founded for Black Education
  • 1877 - US Electoral Commission declares Rutherford B. Hayes (R) winner of the presidential election with an electoral vote of 185-184 against Samuel J. Tilden (D)
  • 1899 - Mt. Rainier National Park is created.
  • 1903 - The Martha Washington Hotel opens in New York City, the first exclusively for women.
  • 1904 - Theodore Giesel is born.
  • 1917 - Puerto Ricans become US citizens and are immediately recruited for the war effort.
  • 1923 - Hovenweep National Monument, located in Utah and Colorado, is established.
  • 1955 - Black teenager Claudette Colvin was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a public bus.
  • 1958 - 1st surface crossing of Antarctic continent is completed in 99 days.
  • 1965 - “The Sound of Music” is released. It goes on to become one of the most popular musical films of all time. 
  • 1974 - Grand jury concludes that President Richard Nixon is involved in the Watergate cover-up.
  • 1978 - Grave robbers steal Charlie Chaplin’s body.
  • 2016 - US astronauts Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko return to earth after nearly a year (340 days), setting an ISS record.

Heard on the Hill

"The Representative offers an alternative to make us feel better having done something but it will do nothing...(the substitute) provides 'outreach and assistance.' 'Outreach and assistance" are not the equivalent of care and coverage. It is the legislative equivalent of 'hopes and prayers' without any action."

—Cheryl Acton, speaking against a proposed substitute which would have gutted the bill to provide postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months instead of 60 days

On the Punny Side

Why are frogs so happy?

They eat whatever bugs them!


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