575 bills passed, $28 billion spent. Gov. now has 3 weeks to sign, veto or let pass into law w/out signature all 575.
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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 editor@utahpolicy.com.


Situational Analysis | March 6, 2023

It's Monday and Purim begins tonight. Chag Purim Sameach!

What You Need to Know

  • .The legislative session ended a couple of hours early on Friday, after a record-setting session. 575 bills - a new record - were passed, out of almost 1400 bill requests and 933 filed. Utah also spent a record-breaking $29 billion. 

Rapid Roundup


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Utah Headlines

Legislative wrap-up

  • What the 2023 Utah legislature did to your life (Fox13)
  • Utah passed 575 bills during legislative session with ‘historic’ levels of funding for state priorities (St. George News)
  • Passes & fails: Here’s what happened during Utah’s 2023 legislative session (KUER)
  • Wrapping up the 2023 Utah Legislative Session (RadioWest)
  • Utah Legislature finalizes record $29B budget. Here’s how it’s spending your money (Deseret News)
  • The 2023 Utah Legislature has wrapped. Here’s what you need to know (Deseret News)
  • Utah lawmakers pass license plate reform bill — but you can still get personalized plates (KSL)
  • Utah lawmakers agree to create halogen emissions ‘reduction plan’ for Wasatch Front (KSL)
  • Utah voters to decide whether to open income tax revenue to uses other than education (Deseret News)
  • Utah bill to close abortion clinics passes Legislature (KSL)
  • Legislative wrap: Under-the-radar bills you may have missed on the last day of the session (KSL)
  • Sunday Edition with Doug Wright: 2023 Legislative Session Wrap-up (KSL TV)
  • What does it take to pull off shortest legislative session in the country? (Inside Sources)
  • Ending clergy exemption for reporting child abuse seemed like done deal, Editorial Board writes, until it wasn’t (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Here’s what the Legislature did to help arid Utah better manage its water (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Here’s how the Legislature changed Utahns’ lives this year. From banning gender-affirming health care for transgender minors to passing a new school vouchers law, Beehive State lawmakers have changed how Utahns will live their lives for years to come. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah Legislature adjourns early! Here are the changes lawmakers made to your life (KUTV)
  • Take 2 Podcast: Special edition with Daniel Woodruff on 2023 Legislative Session (KUTV)
  • Abortion, education, transgender rights and other bills from the Utah legislature’s controversial 2023 session (ABC4)
  • Governor Cox on the 2023 legislative session (ABC4)
  • Unique strategy used for 2023’s legislative session (ABC4)
  • New bill brings worries over open season on hunting Utah cougars (Fox13)
  • 2023 legislative session week 7 with Sen. Dan McCay, Lindsay Aerts and Frank Pignanelli (Hinckley Report)
  • On 2023 Utah Legislature, local officials agree: land use authority under threat (KPCW)
  • Legislators vote to fix Utah law that made it hard for some sexual assault survivors to sue (Salt Lake Tribune)

Other political news

  • Mitt Romney: ‘Expect Russia to wage war again’ if Ukraine is left unsupported (Deseret News)
  • Scott Anderson: Romney has a plan that is pro-business and pro-climate (Deseret News)
  • Japanese official denies Lee statement on commitment to expedite release of Lt. Ridge Alkonis. In response, Lee affirmed his version of events (Deseret News)
  • How Donald Trump lost Don Peay’s support (Deseret News)

General Utah news

  • Gabby Petito’s family files amended lawsuit against Moab police (KSL)
  • Two weeks before an Enoch father killed his family, DCFS was in his home investigating allegations of threats and abuse (Deseret News)
  • The Pony Express, explained (Deseret News)
  • Suspect charged with murder 9 months after Utah 19-year-old's disappearance (Fox13)
  • ‘A big step forward': Utah mobile licenses now accepted at some TSA PreCheck lines (KSL)
  • Spiritual leader in Azerbaijan gets a new view of America with Utah visit (Deseret News)
  • Officer names fentanyl as ‘leading cause of overdose deaths’ following Southern Utah arrest (St. George News)
  • The Beehive State economy is No. 1, but we’re only 32nd when it comes to hardest-working (Deseret News)


  • Nebo students offer computer repairs with Advanced Learning Center (Daily Herald)


  • Provo River diverted as restoration project reaches ‘major milestone’ (KSL)
  • More than 60 million people are under severe weather warnings — and number will grow (Deseret News)
  • 58 feet of snow? Try that on for a wet mountain range in California (Deseret News)
  • What were Utah's 10 most-visited and 10 least-visited state parks in 2022? (KSL)
  • Legislators breathe a little life into coal power plant due to be retired. HB425 passes, now calling for study into keeping coal-fired IPP operating after scheduled retirement in 2025. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah wants to disable the law that led to the creation of four of its magnificent national parks (New York Times)


  • ‘Shadows define the light’: Photographer Me Ra Koh talks about the pain and the joy of family at RootsTech (Deseret News)
  • 'Alive in us': Lord of the Rings actor shares how family history changed him (KSL)
  • Challenging stereotypes: Utah lowrider community a source of culture, family (KSL)
  • ‘Goonies’ star Sean Astin, LDS apostle Gerrit W. Gong highlight SLC’s RootsTech 2023 genealogy conference (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Lehi-based nonprofit celebrates Down Syndrome Day early, encourages adoption of special ability children (ABC4)


  • Perspective: How we can move beyond the depressing story about depression (Deseret News)
  • Will half the world be overweight by 2035 — and what will that mean for health and its cost? (Deseret News)
  • The impact of social media on children (ABC4)
  • New diabetes drugs like Ozempic are changing how patients are treated (Wall Street Journal)
  • How artificial intelligence is being used to detect breast cancer that doctors miss (New York Times)
  • A surprising remedy for teens in mental health crises (Washington Post)


  • Salt Lake City group hoping to welcome new neighbors (ABC4)

National Headlines


  • Gen Z is flocking to major US cities while older generations leave in droves (Deseret News)
  • How common is transgender treatment regret, detransitioning? (AP)
  • A U.S. federal agency is suing Exxon after 5 nooses were found at a Louisiana complex (NPR)
  • Companies disclose CEO's actual pay for the first time (Wall Street Journal)


  • Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has agreed to pay $3.15 million to settle a civil case filed by the Justice Department (AP)
  • Trump’s legacy: Republicans torn by infighting, revolts as 2024 looms (Reuters)
  • In Selma, Biden says voting rights are still 'under assault' (New York Times)
  • Trump spends days workshopping nicknames for DeSantis (The Hill)
  • Former GOP chair Michael Steele on Marjorie Taylor Greene: ‘Just shut the he** up’ (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russian shelling hits Ukrainian town; Bakhmut battle rages (AP)
  • Meet the volunteers bringing relief to the residents of embattled Bakhmut, Ukraine (NPR)
  • Russia's foreign minister gets laughed at over Ukraine remarks at a global conference (NPR)
  • Wagner chief says Russian position at Bakhmut at risk without promised ammunition (Reuters)
  • This is what trench warfare on the front line is like (New York Times)
  • Zelensky calls fight for east ‘painful’ as options dwindle in Bakhmut (Washington Post)
  • 2 Ukrainian pilots are in U.S. to determine fighter jet skills (Politico)


  • Crisis over suspected Iran schoolgirl poisonings escalates (AP)
  • Countries agree historic oceans treaty to protect the high seas (KSL TV)
  • Fire at Rohingya camp in Bangladesh leaves refugees homeless (AP)
  • A generation of Venezuelan children know only struggles (AP)
  • Egypt sentences human rights activists to prison on terrorism charges (NPR)
  • Divorced and remarried, these Afghan women are outlaws under Taliban rule. Taliban law has voided thousands of divorces, experts say, and many remarried women are now considered adulterers (Washington Post)

News Releases

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson hires Joe Pyrah, former advisor to Becky Lockhart, as chief of staff

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced Joe Pyrah as her chief of staff. He starts on Monday.

“Joe is a trusted associate and well-respected voice in Utah politics,” Lt. Gov. Henderson said. “His expertise and commitment to fight for everyday Utahns make him an excellent fit for the Cox-Henderson administration. I am grateful for Joe’s willingness to lead my office and confident he will serve the state well.” From 2011-2014, Pyrah served as chief of staff to Becky Lockhart, the first and only woman to hold the speaker’s gavel in the Utah House of Representatives. (Read More)

House Minority Caucus statement on HB54 & SJR10

The Utah House Democrats want to make clear the reasons that we voted against H.B. 54, Tax Revisions and S.J.R. 10, Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Income Tax. We cannot support these measures to remove the constitutional earmark on public education funding because education funding is essential to our state’s future and should never be used as a bargaining chip. In the bill’s present form, we call on the voters to reject the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in 2024. (Read More)

Curtis introduces bipartisan bill to boost cybersecurity efforts in the communications technology sector

Congressman Curtis and Congresswoman Wild (D-PA) introduced the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act to streamline the development of cybersecurity policy at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) through the establishment of an Office for Policy Development and Cybersecurity. (Read More)

Romney applauds Provo River Delta Restoration Project milestone

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) applauded the major milestone reached in the Provo River Delta Restoration Project. The Provo River is now being diverted into channels and ponds—constructed over the past few years—connecting the River with a restored delta and Utah Lake. During negotiations of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Senator Romney secured $50 million for the Central Utah Project Completion Act. Of that funding, $10 million was allocated to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission specifically for the Provo River Delta Restoration Project. (Read More)

Romney joins colleagues in effort to end taxpayer funded abortion

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined his colleagues, led by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), in reintroducing legislation to prevent Title X family planning funds from going to entities that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood. (Read More)

Sen. Lee “Cancels the Coin”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Cancel the Coin Act to prohibit the Treasury Secretary from minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin. Federal law does not currently limit the quantity or the individual face value of platinum coins the Treasury could mint and issue. Some view this as permission for the Treasury to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin, or an unspecified number of platinum coins capped at $200, to issue debt to finance government debt obligations and operations. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 6, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-06 at 6.56.44 AM



  • 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
  • Advancing Women Through “Developmental Relationships”: A Dialogue with Global Experts with the Utah Women and Leadership Project — April 4, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm, 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 

  • 1475 - Michelangelo is born in Italy.
  • 1521 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan discovers Guam.
  • 1776 - New York demands the Sandy Hook lighthouse be dismantled.
  • 1791 - Anna Claypoole Peale is born. This American artist excelled at painting portrait miniatures and she and her sister were the first women elected to the Pennsylvania Academy..
  • 1836 - The Battle of the Alamo comes to a gruesome end.
  • 1857 - The US Supreme Court rules in the Dred Scott case. Black Americans cannot be US citizen.
  • 1888 - Louisa May Alcott dies of a stroke at age 55.
  • 1899 - Bayer patents aspirin, aka acetylsalicylic acid, originally found in the bark of willow trees. .
  • 1937 - Valentina Tereshkova, Soviet cosmonaut and 1st woman in space (Vostok 6), born in Maslennikovo, Russia.
  • 1945 - George Nissen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, receives a patent for the first modern trampoline.
  • 1951 - The trial of Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel Rosenberg, accused Soviet spies, begins
  • 1957 - Ghana declares its independence from Great Britain, the first sub-Saharan nation to do so
  • 1978 - Hustler publisher Larry Flynt shot & crippled by a sniper in Georgia.
  • 1981 - Walter Cronkite signs off as the anchorman of CBS Evening News.
  • 2006 - Dana Reeve (wife of Christopher Reeve) dies of lung cancer at age 44.
  • 2016 - Nancy Reagan dies at age 94.

Heard on the Hill

“For many people, they’ll want to talk about a $28 billion budget and how we spent that. But for me, that was a highlight because she just showed the need for us to talk about this (diversity, equity, and inclusion) more."

—Rep. Angela Romero

On the Punny Side

Tesla founder Elon Musk is originally from South Africa, which is strange.

You'd think he was from Mad-at-gas-car.



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