A referendum to repeal the new state flag; Chocolate and Cheese Festival returns; Kevin Costner filming in Utah
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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 8, 2023

It's Wednesday and International Women's Day! 

What You Need to Know

  • This year's International Women's Day theme is "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality." Women in Utah hold only 21% of the STEM jobs, lower than the national average, and while access to the internet can literally be life-saving, it can also be a dangerous place for women. Did you know, for example, that female politicians are more than three times more likely than male politicians to receive online threats and attacks? Those attacks are also more likely to spread to a female target's family, including her children and one study of almost 1000 female journalists across multiple countries showed that 20% experience attacks in the "real world." 

  • One of the hot topics on the Hill during the session was Utah's new state flag. It still is. Chad Saunders and Fred Cox, a former lawmaker, have filed paperwork to begin a citizen's referendum to repeal SB31, the bill authorizing the new flag. If successful in gathering the 138,000 signatures, across 15 Senate districts by April 12, the issue would be on this year's ballot. 

Rapid Roundup


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.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Romney, other senators, look at power to ban ‘digital opium’ TikTok (Deseret News)
  • Was Utah’s 2023 legislative session a success? It depends on who you ask (KUER)
  • Utah lawmakers adopt election reforms suggested by recent audit (KSL)
  • After 1 term, Utah GOP Chair Carson Jorgensen says it’s time for a new party leader (KUER)
  • Will Utah's new state flag design head to a referendum first? (KSL)
  • Referendum filed to have Utahns vote on new state flag (Fox13)
  • Teachers group calls for Gov. Cox to veto bill over classroom instruction of race, gender, sexual orientation (KSL Newsradio)

General Utah news

  • 20 years after kidnapping, Elizabeth Smart’s focus is on helping others (KSL)
  • How this charity helping Ukraine shows donors the impact of their support (Deseret News)
  • Digital poverty - the new face of gender inequality (Deseret News)
  • ‘Clear and present danger’: Accused serial predator headed to prison (KSL TV)
  • New Utah prison ‘Turning a corner’ after bumpy start (KSL TV)
  • Utahn has ‘mixed feelings’ about being first black, woman judge in the state (ABC4)
  • Dozens of Utah cars stolen months into 2023 after keys left inside (Fox13)


  • US sues to block JetBlue from buying Spirit Airlines, citing consumer harm (KSL)
  • Utah title company accused of misusing funds, deceptive business practices against sellers (KUTV)
  • Women's return to the workforce piles momentum on a hot economy. ​After pandemic disruptions, women have now gained more jobs than men for four straight months. (Wall Street Journal)


  • The U is expanding cultural perspectives through partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (Deseret News)
  • Why a judge ruled that Utah Valley University didn’t have to help a sex assault victim. The claims against the Orem school, as well as the Utah System of Higher Education, are now dismissed. Marissa Root’s lawsuit will continue against the University of Utah. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • How this new law could be a ‘game changer’ for the Great Salt Lake (Deseret News)
  • Could Utah’s ‘diverse, crazy, cool’ mineral landscape ease U.S. dependence on foreign imports? (Deseret News)
  • Groups seek protections for this creature you can hold in your hand. World’s smallest rabbit in jeopardy in Utah, the West (Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Rockies’ snowy winter may not mean enough runoff to replenish the Colorado River (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Chronicle of an abandoned oil and gas well — one of millions. These nonproducing oil wells aren’t orphans. They have been abandoned. At great cost to taxpayers. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • RootsTech closes on high note celebrating families (Daily Herald)
  • Planned Parenthood seeks to build new facility near Utah-Nevada state line (KUTV)


  • Other Side Village will break ground on housing village to help homeless (KSL Newsradio)

National Headlines


  • Elon Musk apologizes after mocking disabled Twitter employee (AP)
  • Two of four Americans kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, found dead (Wall Street Journal)


  • Actor Ben Savage announces run for Congress (Deseret News)
  • How a civil war erupted at Fox News after the 2020 election (NPR)
  • House G.O.P. prepares to slash federal programs in coming budget showdown (New York Times)
  • This bill could make the four day workweek a reality nationwide (Washington Post)
  • Tucker Carlson said he hates Trump ‘passionately’: legal filings (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russian Wagner Group chief claims extended gains in Bakhmut (AP)
  • Ukraine's government says it wasn't involved in the attacks on Nord Stream pipelines (NPR)
  • Russians claim control over Bakhmut's east, Ukrainians defiant (Reuters)
  • How Russia lost dozens of tanks in a costly battle in eastern Ukraine (Wall Street Journal)


  • World marks International Women's Day but abuses, inequality still rampant (KUTV)
  • On International Women’s Day, hard-won progress toward gender equality is ‘vanishing before our eyes’ (Washington Post)
  • International Women’s Day events highlight gaps in gender equality (AP)
  • Women's Day rallies seek equality, focus on Iran, Afghanistan (Reuters)
  • Indians celebrate Holi, Hindu festival of color (AP)
  • Young Afghan women train as midwives for out-of-reach villages (Reuters)
  • Pope says equal opportunities for women are key to a better world (Reuters)
  • Loss piles on loss for Afghan women (New York Times)

News Releases

First Lady Abby Cox, Utah Jazz and community partners to host Special Olympics Utah Unified Sports state basketball championship

Tournament will bring 380 students from 32 high schools together at Weber State University for a day focused on inclusion, empathy and sport

Utah First Lady Abby Cox’s initiative, Show Up, is focused on supporting the growth of the Special Olympics Unified Sports program across Utah schools. In support of this mission, the First Lady is joining with the Utah Jazz, Entrata, Weber State University, the Utah High School Activities Association and Special Olympics Utah to host the state Unified Sports basketball championship tournament. The event is free and open to the public. Wednesday, March 8, 1:00 pm, Weber State University. (Read More)

Curtis, Neguse introduce climbing bill to safeguard responsible access to federal lands

Today, Representatives John Curtis (UT-03) and Joe Neguse (CO-02) introduced the Protect America’s Rock Climbing (PARC) Act. This legislation will ensure responsible access to rock climbing in designated wilderness, an activity dating back to its creation in the Wilderness Act of 1964. This is particularly relevant in the West where over 99% of federally managed lands are located. (Read More)

Romney, colleagues introduce bipartisan legislation to strengthen U.S.-ASEAN relations

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today joined Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in introducing the Providing Appropriate Recognition and Treatment Needed to Enhance Relations (PARTNER) with ASEAN Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen relations between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). By authorizing ASEAN’s formal designation as an international organization with diplomatic privileges and immunitiesthe PARTNER with ASEAN Act would afford ASEAN secretariat personnel the same treatment in the United States as diplomats associated with other multilateral missions, paving the way for the creation of a permanent ASEAN U.S. mission. (Read More)

Romney, colleagues unveil bill to tackle TikTok’s national security threat

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues, led by Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and John Thune (R-SD), Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, in introducing the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act. The legislation would comprehensively address the ongoing threat posed by technology from foreign adversaries by better empowering the Department of Commerce—in conjunction with intelligence, law enforcement, and financial officials—to review, prevent, and mitigate information communications and technology transactions that pose undue risk to our national security. (Read/Watch More)

Sen. Lee introduces bill to protect vulnerable immigrants

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Katie Britt (R-AL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the Stopping Border Surges Act to address loopholes in our immigration system that encourage vulnerable immigrant populations to take dangerous, illegal paths of entry into the United States. The Stopping Border Surges Act includes reforms that would reduce unsustainable surges of aliens; strengthen our asylum process; eliminate the incentive to send children to the border; and dampen the exploitative power of coyotes and cartels. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 8, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-08 at 7.12.09 AM



  • Women in International Business Conference with World Trade Center Utah — Mar. 8, 8:30 am - 2:00 pm, Register Here
  • Utah Women Making History with BetterDays — Mar. 8, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, Utah State Capitol Rotunda
  • 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 

  • 1884 - Susan B. Anthony addresses the U.S. House Judiciary Committee arguing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote.
  • 1915 - Selma Fraiberg is born. She pursued groundbreaking studies of infant psychiatry and normal child development, and wrote The Magic Years, a classic translated into 10 languages. 
  • 1917 - US Senate introduces the Cloture Rule, requiring a two-thirds majority to end debate, at the urging of Woodrow Wilson.
  • 1930 - William Howard Taft, 27th US President (Republican: 1909-13) and Chief Justice, dies at 72.
  • 1934 - Edwin Hubble photo shows as many galaxies as Milky Way has stars.
  • 1945 - Phyllis Mae Daley, the first of four Black nurses to serve active duty in WWII, receives her commission as an ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps.
  • 1945 - Lilia Ann Abron is born. An entrepreneur and chemical engineer, she was the country’s first Black woman to earn a PhD in chemical engineering.
  • 1950 - The iconic VW bus goes into production.
  • 1951 - Monica Helms is born. She became a transgender activist, author, veteran of the United States Navy and creator of the Trans Pride Flag.
  • 1957 - Egypt opens the Suez Canal.
  • 1958 - Author William Faulkner says US schools have degenerated and become babysitters. Imagine.
  • 1993 - MTV’s highest rated series premieres. It’s Beavis and Butt-Head.
  • 1999 - The US Supreme Court upholds the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh. 
  • 2014 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanishes with more than 200 people aboard. 
  • 2017 - Fearless Girl sculpture is revealed across from the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street. 

Quote of the Day

"If women could enjoy full equality of opportunity, they could contribute substantially to the necessary change towards a world of peace, inclusion, solidarity and integral sustainability."

—Pope Francis

On the Punny Side

The Indian restaurant I work for is so secretive I had to sign a legal agreement that I wouldn’t share the flatbread recipe

Just their standard naan disclosure agreement.


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