Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘️ It's officially the last weekend of winter! Statewide food drive being held tomorrow - please be generous. 
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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 17, 2023

It's Friday and St. Patrick's Day. Like many Americans, I have Irish ancestry - 14%. Do you? ☘️

Tomorrow is the statewide food drive. Leave donations outside your door or drop them off at Utah Food Bank locations, food pantries and any Macey's grocery store. Beef stew, chili, peanut butter, boxed meals, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables are among the items most needed.

What You Need to Know

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda announced Thursday Poland plans to become the first NATO member to answer Ukraine’s request for warplanes, providing Kyiv with about a dozen Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets—including four within the next few days. The White House said Poland notified the U.S. of its decision to provide MiGs before Duda announced the move. This morning, Slovakia approved a plan to give Ukraines its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets.

Rapid Roundup


Hatch Foundation to Host Gala Event with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Sec. Elaine Chao in SLC, April 14th

The Hatch Foundation will honor Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the Honorable Elaine Chao, the 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the 24th Secretary of Labor, with the Titan of Public Service Award at a gala event to be held on Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. For tickets, click here.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Governor's monthly news conference (PBS)
  • ‘They will lose in court,’ Gov. Cox says of potential legal challenge to social media bills (Deseret News)
  • Gov. Spencer Cox is running for reelection (KSL)
  • Cox says he'll sign bill despite concerns it will exclude undocumented students from sports (KSL)
  • Sen. Lee’s State Director Rob Axson to run for Chair of Utah Republican Party (KSL Newsradio)
  • Governor urges Utahns to prepare for flooding as historic snows begin to melt (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Steve Handy: Bill to demystify tax credits would have been a win for fiscal conservatism and clean energy (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • State legislature provides $10 million for affordable housing (Fox13)

General Utah news

  • Can the IOC find a ‘good alternative’ to Salt Lake for the 2030 Winter Games? (Deseret News)
  • Why Zion's popular Narrows hike could be closed for months (KSL)
  • Utahns cleared of DUI accusations are forced to pay to get their licenses back (KSL TV)
  • Suspected drug traffickers attempt to ship meth hidden inside of toys in Utah (KUTV)
  • Football teams and lawmakers make 35,000-pound donation to Utah Food Bank (ABC4)
  • Utahns continue to do all they can to help those suffering in Ukraine (Fox13)


  • Shamrock, Inc.: Why hundreds of top U.S. companies, and a slew from Utah, are finding success in Ireland. The prize at the end of the rainbow? Low taxes, a highly skilled workforce, economic and political stability, and access to European markets and consumers (Deseret News)
  • Utah's tech industry reacts to Silicon Valley Bank's failure, government help (KSL)
  • Utah women-owned small business experiences global growth with product to help wildlife (Fox13)
  • Utah’s gusto for entrepreneurs often overlooks women of color (KUER)


  • Perspective: The vanishing American man. From college to the workplace to romance, why are so many young men not in the picture? (Deseret News)


  • Pleasant Grove High School cleared after bomb threat (KSL TV)


  • Utah got its ‘A+' snowpack. Does that mean major flooding next? (KSL)
  • Great Salt Lake symposium evaluates future, impacts of shrinking lake (KSL TV)
  • Feds spend $2.4 million on cloud seeding for Colorado River (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Kevin T. Jones: Proposed tanker route threatens priceless artworks in Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon (Salt Lake Tribune)


  •  Seasonal allergies are starting earlier than normal this year (Deseret News)
  • Utah kids drinking more sugar than the national average (KSL Newsradio)
  • New mental health program focuses on Utah farmers (KSL Newsradio)
  • Southern Utah doctors offer free healthcare for uninsured at Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic in St. George (St. George News)
  • How to survive the winter blues before spring (UPR)
  • Seeking Alzheimer’s clues from few who escape genetic fate (AP)

National Headlines


  • Autopsy reveals environmental protester killed protesting ‘Cop City’ had hands raised in the air when shot (Deseret News)
  • Denver donates 35 bison to Native American tribes (NPR)
  • Parent of Silicon Valley Bank seeks bankruptcy protection (AP)
  • 'Back to one meal a day': SNAP benefits drop as food prices climb (NPR)


  • GOP Oversight Committee chair says Biden family collected over $1 million after China paid family business associate (Deseret News)
  • Could America soon have a 4-day workweek? The latest on federal law in Congress (Deseret News)
  • George Santos refuses to quit Congress, brazenly says ‘truth still matters’ (AP)
  • North Dakota Supreme Court blocks abortion ban, says Constitution protects procedure (New York Times)
  • Trump-commissioned report undercut his claims of dead and double voters (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • As dreams of peace wither, nightmares flourish in Ukraine’s sleep (New York Times)
  • Turkey expected to back Finland for NATO membership, snub Sweden (Washington Post)


  • Protests erupt in France over Macron’s retirement age push from age 62 to 64 (AP)
  • At least 22 people killed in suspected massacre at Myanmar monastery (Reuters)
  • In Myanmar, atrocities rise as Army comes under pressure (New York Times)
  • China’s leader sets state visit to Russia (New York Times)
  • Governments around world have moved to ban or restrict TikTok amid security fears (Washington Post)

News Release

Class action suit against Washington County Water Conservancy

Attorneys in a class action suit sent notices this week to some 2,470 residents and businesses that may be entitled to refunds of new-development impact fees paid to the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD).

According to the class administrator, Craig Call of Anderson Call & Wilkinson, the notices explain a class action lawsuit against the WCWCD over impact fees assessed by WCWCD and paid by anyone who received a homebuilding permit or residential subdivision approval beginning in August 2012 through December 2017. More details for potential class members and contact information can be found at https://impactfeeclassaction.com. (Read More)

Romney serves Utah’s own Freshie’s Lobster Co. at lunch with colleagues

U.S. Senator Romney (R-UT) served Freshie’s Lobster Co. from Park City, Utah, at a lunch he hosted today for his fellow Republican senators. The menu included a charcuterie board of local meats and cheeses, lobster rolls, BBQ chicken sandwiches, clam chowder, Maine-iac salad, and grilled asparagus which were accompanied by lemonade, iced tea, and Arnold Palmers. The senators also enjoyed a dessert of blueberry and apple pies. Lorin Macri, founder and owner Freshie’s, flew in from Utah to serve the lobster rolls to the group.

Romney, colleagues introduce resolution to stop Administration from enforcing anti-Second Amendment pistol brace rule

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and more than 40 Republican senators in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to prevent the Biden Administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from enforcing an anti-Second Amendment pistol brace rule.

The rule, titled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces, would reclassify pistols as short-barreled rifles if they have a stabilizing brace attachment, even though many disabled veterans and other Americans rely on these braces to use their firearms. Under this rule, otherwise lawful gun owners could face up to 10 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to register pistols with stabilizing braces with the ATF. If gun owners do not register their firearms, they would have to destroy the firearm, surrender their firearm to the ATF or remove the brace in such a way that it cannot be reattached. (Read More)

Gov. Cox issues executive order allowing state employees to use administrative leave for flood mitigation efforts

Gov. Spencer Cox has issued an executive order providing an optional eight hours of administrative leave for all state employees of executive branch agencies to support community flood responses.

Flood risks may persist throughout the upcoming months as snow melts and as Utah receives additional precipitation. In addition to the executive order, the Governor’s Office, Department of Public Safety and Division of Emergency Management have been working closely with city and county officials to make sure emergency plans are in place. (Read More)

Owens announces Casey Saxton as new District Director

Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) announced that Casey Saxton of Riverton, Utah, will serve as District Director starting March 27, 2023. Saxton joins Rep. Owens’ office after five years with the City of Riverton, where he served as Director of Communications and led the successful creation and implementation of public communications and community outreach programs. A graduate of Utah State University, Saxton holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and political science. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 17, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-17 at 6.09.19 AM



  • Family, Religion, Education & Entrepreneurship Forum with Sutherland Institute & AEI — March 23, 8:00 am - 2:00 pm, Hyatt Regency, 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 

  • 461 - Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies.
  • 1601 - The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in what is now St. Augustine, Florida.
  • 1842 - Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized
  • 1910 - Camp Fire Girls is established as the first interracial, non-sectarian American organization for girls.
  • 1917 - Loretta Perfectus Walsh became the first woman to join the navy and the first woman to officially join the military in a role other than a nurse
  • 1902 - Alice Greenough Orr is born. She carried mail at age 15, joined a Wild West show, became a professional rodeo rider in 1921 and earned about $12,000 yearly.
  • 1921 - Vladimir Lenin proclaims New Economic Politics
  • 1969 - Golda Meir elected as Israel’s first female prime minister. She is still the only woman to have held this post.
  • 1990 - Lithuania rejects Soviet demand to renounce its independence

Quote of the Day

"May you be poor in misfortune,

Rich in blessings,

Slow to make enemies,

And quick to make friends"

Irish blessing

On the Punny Side

What do you call a fake Irish stone?

A sham-rock.


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