Several school districts on 2-hour delay in the winter that won't end; China finds a friend in Utah and a million forgotten refugees
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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 27, 2023

Hello and welcome to the 98th day of January. Schools in Ogden, Weber, Davis and Morgan school districts are on a two-hour delay due to weather. 

What You Need to Know

  • Governor Cox was on "Meet the Press" on Sunday talking about the social media bills now signed into law. Utah is the first state to limit access to social media by minors, although several other states are considering similar legislation. 

Rapid Roundup


Waterwise is Always in Style

Epic winter snow has created a big summer opportunity, and keeping our outdoor water use low is more important than ever. Everything we don’t put on our yards helps repair the Great Salt Lake and builds our statewide water storage. Click here for resources to help be waterwise.
A message from Central Utah, Jordan Valley, Washington County, and Weber Basin Water Conservancy Districts.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Amid strained US ties, China finds unlikely friend in Utah (AP)
  • Key takeaways from AP’s report on China’s influence in Utah (AP)
  • Opinion: A young woman’s place is in the House and in the Senate (Deseret News)
  • Utah enacts law to let nurse practitioners work independently. What it means for health care (KSL)
  • Editorial Board: Ethics Commission should make it easier for Utahns to complain (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • UPD 2.0? Here’s what could lie ahead for a police force in turmoil. Three mayors say there is nothing in recently passed legislation that requires the Unified Police Department to dissolve. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Constitutionality questions are already dogging Utah’s new social media law (KUER)
  • Hinckley Institute’s Jason Perry on the 2024 election cycle (ABC4)
  • The IUP Panel on the new state flag, ESG and social media (ABC4)

General Utah news

  • Utah State wide receiver Josh Davis upgraded to fair condition from critical after cardiac arrest (Deseret News)
  • Hundreds of volunteers make a human chain to move books to new Spanish Fork library (KSL)
  • West side man mentors youth, inspires community in spite of deadly disease (KSL)
  • SLC Airport suggests arriving early ahead of Spring Break travel (KSL Newsradio)
  • A Salt Lake City woman begged officers not to kill her. Their actions may have violated department policy. Megan Mohn died on Jan. 30, 2022 — 19 days after she became unresponsive during her arrest. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Fortune’s notable Brainstorm Tech conference exits Aspen and is headed for Park City (Deseret News)
  • ESG is a popular political punching bag right now, even in biz-friendly Utah (KUER)
  • Jersey Mike’s to donate 100% of proceeds on Wednesday to charity (Standard-Examiner)


  • Holly Richardson: Ramadan has become personal for this Christian mom. When our daughter married a Muslim man, we were lucky to learn about the traditions of Islam, including fasting during Ramadan (Deseret News)
  • Andrew Teal: What Lent is really about. Like water flowing from a rock, the austerity of Lent can lead us to our own promised land (Deseret News)
  • 'It's just been fun sharing our culture': Utah restaurant owner serves up Korean lessons too (KSL)
  • Utah group flies the flags for Transgender Day of Visibility (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • An epic year for snow, and for snow lovers. During a record-breaking winter for snowfall, avalanche forecaster Dave Kelly is living in a little slice of powder heaven (Deseret News)
  • The snow will be deep this spring, but don’t expect to keep skiing it. Utah resorts will begin closing next weekend despite record snowfall. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah breaks record for state's largest snowpack ever (Fox13)


  • Perspective: How teen boys can bridge a gap in elder care (Deseret News)


  • Autism increases for all children in US, especially among children of color. The autism rate is now higher among Black, Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander children than white children (Deseret News)
  • Perspective: How religious faith and a sense of agency corresponds with mental health (Deseret News)
  • Teen overdose deaths have doubled in three years. Blame fentanyl. (The Hill)


  • Renter says she was forced to pay a legal bill to get federal rent assistance. Utah says checks from the Emergency Rental Assistance fund are better off going to landlords rather than renters directly. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Unsheltered Utahns suffering in historically wet and cold winter (Fox13)

National Headlines


  • Department of State advises travelers to plan ahead amid passport processing delays (Deseret News)
  • Pope Francis updates sex abuse decree and makes it permanent (Deseret News)
  • All 7 bodies recovered from Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion, officials say (KUTV)
  • Jonathan Majors arrested on domestic violence assault charge in New York (AP)
  • Deputies accused of shoving guns in mouths of 2 Black men in Mississippi (AP)
  • Mississippi and Alabama face a painful recovery after storms and a tornado killed 26 (NPR)
  • ‘Everything is gone’: Loss and destruction in a small Mississippi town (Washington Post)
  • First Citizens to acquire Silicon Valley Bank (New York Times)


  • Idaho Republicans call free tampons in schools too "woke" and "liberal" and kill bill that would have allowed them (Huffington Post)
  • Harris visits Ghana’s president, promises aid, investments (AP)
  • Trump, facing potential indictment, holds defiant Waco rally (AP)
  • Trump lawyer: Former president’s attack on Bragg was ‘ill-advised’ (The Hill)
  • Elizabeth Warren announces Senate reelection bid (The Hill)
  • A renewed look at police reform: Trust, training and accountability (Orrin Hatch Foundation)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Orlando Bloom, UNICEF ambassador and actor, visits children's centre in Kyiv (Reuters)
  • Russia’s game of nuclear chess is worrisome, American officials say (Politico)
  • Kyiv and Berlin slam Putin’s plan to station nuclear weapons in Belarus. German Federal Foreign Office said Russia’s announcement on Saturday was akin to ‘nuclear intimidation.’ (Politico)
  • Stolen Valor: The U.S. Volunteers in Ukraine Who Lie, Waste and Bicker
    People who would not be allowed anywhere near the battlefield in a U.S.-led war are active on the Ukrainian front, with ready access to American weapons. (New York Times)


  • Israel rocked by protests as president urges Netanyahu to halt judicial overhaul (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israel faces airport closure, strikes as rage mounts over courts overhaul (Washington Post)
  • France bans TikTok, Twitter from government staff phones (AP)

News Release

Utah remains stable in growth and consumer confidence

The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Prosperity Coalition, in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, has updated the Economic Dashboard for February to help business leaders see where Utah’s economy stands. This tool provides data on the state’s economic outlook and actionable context for decision-makers.

“While discussions around bank stress and a looming economic recession continue, Utah remains a safe haven for business and opportunity,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “We have broken the downward trend of job contraction and started adding jobs this winter with the majority of industry sectors expanding. In addition, home prices are returning to sustainable levels. Overall, the state’s economy has many shining examples of what prudent fiscal policy and collaborative governance can achieve.” (Read More)

Lee introduces bill to protect communities from drone threats

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Stopping Harmful Incidents to Enforce Lawful Drone Use (SHIELD-U) Act to equip state and local law enforcement with the authority needed to protect their citizens and communities from drone threats. (Read More)

Sen. Lee introduces Drone Integration and Zoning Act

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Drone Integration and Zoning Act (DIZA), a bill to establish a regulatory framework for drones based on the principles of local governance and cooperative federalism. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 27, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 7.39.43 AM



  • Honoring Women’s History, Investing In Our Future with Zions Bank — March 30, 12:00 - 1:00 pm via Zoom. 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
  • UVU Conference on Domestic Violence — April 14, 9:00 am - 4:00 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 

  • 1866 - US President Andrew Johnson vetoes civil rights bill; it later becomes the 14th amendment.
  • 1868 - Patty Hill is born. The American educator composed songs for children with her sister Mildred Hill. They would publish Song Stories for Kindergarten. The melody for one composition, “Good Morning to All” gained worldwide fame. We know it by the name “Happy Birthday to You.”
  • 1884 - Branch managers of the American Bell Telephone Company in Boston, MA made the first long-distance telephone call when they called the branch managers in New York.
  • 1897 - Effa Manley is born. She became part-owner of the Negro League team the Brooklyn Eagles and grew it into a successful business. Effa was also known for her fierce stance on equal rights, often hosting Anti-lynching Days at games. Later known as the Newark Eagles they would win the 1946 Negro League World Series.
  • 1905 - Elsie MacGill is born. She became the world’s first female aeronautical engineer. Her pioneering work to help perfect the Hurricane Hawker, a fighter plane that helped ensure the Allies’ air dominance during WWII earned her the title “Queen of the Hurricanes.” 
  • 1912 - Japanese cherry trees are planted along the Potomac in Washington, D.C.
  • 1944 - The Coca-Cola Company officially submits Coke as a registered trademark.
  • 1980 - Mount St. Helens erupts.
  • 2014 - UN General Assembly condemns Russia's “annexation” of Crimea
  • 2020 - $2.2 trillion stimulus package, largest in US history, signed into law by President Donald Trump

Quote of the Day

"We are now trying for liberty that requires no blood - that women shall have their rights - not rights from you. Give them what belongs t them; they ask it kindly too."

—Sojourner Truth

On the Punny Side

I was the best man for my brother's wedding in Paris. At the reception, I raised my Champagne glass and said "Eggs, Cinnamon, Bread, and Maple Syrup."

It was a French Toast


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