Mike Bird withdraws from Utah GOP chair race; Sundance avalanche captured on video; Florida wants to ban discussion of periods before 6th grade
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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 28, 2023

Happy Tuesday - it's National Black Forest Cake Day. Super easy recipe: bake a chocolate cake, top with whipped topping and cherry pie filling. Voilà!

If you need to drive south on I-15 in Davis County this morning, you may want to wait to drive in: a rollover crash has traffic backed up nearly 8 miles. 

What You Need to Know

  • A school shooter at a Christian private school in Nashville killed 3 students and 3 adults before police killed the shooter. The shooter had a detailed map, a manifesto and had conducted surveillance of the building and was a former student who was transitioning from female to male. The head of the school and the daughter of the church’s pastor are among the dead. Governor Cox has ordered all US and Utah flags to be lowered to half-staff.

  • Mike Bird has withdrawn from the race for GOP chair, leaving Rob Axson as the sole candidate and the presumptive new chair after the state convention. 

  • In 1935, a young teen killed herself after getting her first period. Chad Varah, who officiated her burial and later became a priest, vowed that no one would be left in the dark about menstruation. In 1953, he launched the Samaritans, one of the world's first suicide hotlines. Now, 88 years later, a bill being proposed in Florida would ban girls from learning - or even talking about - their menstrual cycles before 6th grade. Average age of menarche, or the onset of one's period is 8-16. Eight-year-olds are typically in third grade. 

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.
This message is brought to you from Central Utah, Jordan Valley, Washington County, and Weber Basin Water Conservancy Districts.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • VA employees, nationally and in Utah, are asking Congress for a wage bump (KUER)
  • Election laws and 2024 rumors with Saige Miller, Rod Arquette, Scott Howell and host Jason Perry (Hinckley Report)
  • ‘I would absolutely support a ban on TikTok,’ Utah governor says (Deseret News)
  • Utah flag question petitioners lack signatures, but say they're coming (Standard-Examiner)
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to headline Utah GOP convention (KSL)
  • The Deseret News interviewed Utah GOP county chairs ... and a majority want DeSantis over Trump. Speaking anonymously, the chairs expressed their doubts about Trump’s ability to win (Deseret News)
  • Democrats and Republicans need to silence the extremists in their parties (KSL Newsradio)

General Utah news

  • Utah man says he went 'flying' after Gwyneth Paltrow ski crash (KSL)
  • 3 dead in I-15 crash involving multiple semi-trucks and cars (ABC4)
  • Solitude extends ski season to May 21, longest in resort history (Fox13)


  • Derek Miller: What women can add to the workforce — if we remove these obstacles. If we can tackle the gender pay gap, get women into leadership positions and solve child care needs, Utah women will thrive (Deseret News)
  • Some foreign workers say they won’t be back after tough season of high rents, low hours (KPCW)


  • 'Overwhelming': Utahns get a chance to walk through a day in the life of a refugee (KSL)
  • Dacher Keltner on the Science of Awe (RadioWest)
  • America pulls back from values that once defined it, WSJ-NORC poll finds. Patriotism, religion and hard work hold less importance (Wall Street Journal)


  • Utah steps up reputation as a national leader in wildlife crossings (Deseret News)
  • Provo prepares for spring runoff and flooding (KSL TV)
  • ‘Running out of time’: Nonprofit sues to protect 2 threatened Great Basin fish species in Utah (St. George News)


  • Program gives mental health help to Utah farmers, ranchers (Fox13)
  • Prosthetic breakthrough allows individuals to regain a sense of touch (Deseret News)
  • Why bipolar episodes tend to rise in the spring (KSL TV)


  • NIMBY attitudes hold in Washington County despite affordable housing crunch (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • A tale of two housing markets: Prices fall in the West while the East booms (Wall Street Journal)

National Headlines


  • A Native grandma smuggled her grandkids out of their abusive boarding school. She hid them in the mountains. (NPR)
  • Satellite images show devastation from tornado in Rolling Fork, Mississippi (NPR)
  • Standing up for women. An Afghan exile laments her country’s lost freedoms (Deseret News)


  • Supreme Court rejects case of Oklahoma teen killed by police (AP)
  • Immigration fraud case brings tough First Amendment questions to the Supreme Court (NPR)
  • Christie: GOP needs someone who can quickly take down Trump (AP)
  • North Carolina expands Medicaid after Republicans abandon their opposition (New York Times)
  • ‘We’re going away’: A state’s choice to forgo Medicaid funds Is killing hospitals. Mississippi is one of 10 states, all with Republican-led legislatures, that continue to reject federal funding to expand health insurance for the poor, intensifying financial pressure on hospitals. (New York Times)
  • Rand Paul staffer stabbed in D.C. with ‘life-threatening injuries’ (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Why does Russia want tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus? (AP)
  • Ukraine is changing the math for countries caught between the U.S. and China (Politico)
  • Ukraine allies see a way war can end but lack plan to achieve it. A spring counteroffensive against Russian forces is designed to tilt the balance, but picture after is unclear (Wall Street Journal)
  • Torture and turmoil at Ukrainian nuclear plant: An insider's account (New York Times)
  • Trump says he would ‘solve’ war in Ukraine in 24 hours if reelected (The Hill)


  • Netanyahu delays judicial overhaul after mass protests (AP)
  • After doling out huge loans, China is now bailing out countries. Beijing is emerging as a new heavyweight in providing emergency funds to debt-ridden countries, catching up to the I.M.F. as a lender of last resort. (New York Times)
  • Scotland’s new party leader, Humza Yousaf, is pro-independence and Muslim (Washington Post)

News Release

Romney joins Cassidy, colleagues in introducing measure to overturn Biden’s reckless student loan schemes

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined 36 of his Republican colleagues, led by Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn President Biden’s student loan cancelation scheme, which would transfer up to $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower onto taxpayers, costing an estimated $400 billion. The CRA would also end the pause on student loan payments, which costs taxpayers $5 billion a month and has been extended six times under the Biden Administration, far beyond the original pandemic justification. The pause will have cost Americans a total of $195 billion by the time the most recent Biden extension is set to expire in August of 2023. On March 17th, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced that President Biden’s student loan policy is classified as a rule and is eligible to be overturned under the CRA. (Read More)

Sen. Lee fights central bank digital currency

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) reintroduced legislation to prevent the Federal Reserve from reshaping the U.S. financial sector and having the ability to monitor consumer transactions. The Fed, with encouragement from the Biden Administration, has begun to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC), a digital asset, minted, issued, and controlled by them, that would alter the ability of financial institutions to function as lenders, while giving the federal government knowledge of every purchase that uses a CBDC. Financial institutions could no longer offer loans – or at the very least would be significantly restricted in doing so – since they would bear no risk for a deposit; they would function merely as wallets, holders of a CBDC – and as such, could not extend deposits to prospective borrowers in the form of loans. Lastly, the Federal Reserve would have knowledge of every transaction involving a CBDC; if it maintains the technology to create and operate a CBDC, it will know how it is used. (Read More)

Sen. Lee introduces bills to improve U.S. aviation industry

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced three bills to improve and encourage innovation in the U.S. aviation industry: the Aviation Empowerment Act, the Screening Partnership Reform Act, and the Air Traffic Control Safe Operations and Readiness Act. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 28, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-28 at 7.26.29 AM



  • Honoring Women’s History, Investing In Our Future with Zions Bank — March 30, 12:00-1:00 pm via Zoom. Register here
  • YWCA Utah Legislative Recap — Mar 31, 5:00-7:00 pm, 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
  • Teen Girls Experiencing Increased Sadness and Violence with Utah Women and Leadership Project — April 25, 12:00-1:15 pm via Zoom, Register here
  • United Utah Party State Convention — April 29, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Lehi High School with keynote speakers Teri McCabe and Jay Mcfarland
  • Mount Liberty College Spring Youth Seminar on The Virginian — May 6, 9 am-7 pm, Register Here

On This Day In History 

  • 1774 - British Parliament adopts the Coercive Acts in response to the Boston Tea Party
  • 1834 - President Andrew Jackson is censured by Congress for refusing to turn over documents. Jackson was the first president to suffer this formal disapproval from Congress.
  • 1885 - US Salvation Army officially organized
  • 1886 - Clara Lemlich is born. A Jewish immigrant from the Ukraine, labor activist, suffragist, and consumer advocate, she was a leader of the “Uprising of 20,000,” a labor strike of shirtwaist workers in New York’s garment industry in 1909.
  • 1895 - Spencer W. Kimball, 12th president of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, is born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1899 - Harold B. Lee, 11th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is born in Clifton, Idaho
  • 1930 - Turkish cities Constantinople and Angora change their names to Istanbul and Ankara
  • 1949 - British mathematician and astronomer, Fred Hoyle, coined the term “big bang” in an attempt to dispute the theory that all matter was created from one giant explosion.
  • 1969 - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th US President (R, 1953-61) and WWII general, dies of congestive heart failure at 78.
  • 1972 - Senator Barbara Jordan becomes the first Black woman to preside over a US legislature when she was elected president pro tem of the Texas Senate
  • 1979 - America’s worst nuclear accident occurs at Three Mile Island when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor fails to close. On April 1, President Jimmy Carter arrived at Three Mile Island to inspect the plant. Carter, a trained nuclear engineer, had helped dismantle a damaged Canadian nuclear reactor while serving in the U.S. Navy. His visit achieved its aim of calming local residents and the nation.
  • 1990 - US President George H. W. Bush posthumously awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal
  • 2020 - US President Donald Trump makes projection that 240,000 American could die from COVID-19, even with restrictions in place

Quote of the Day

"Not every day is good, but there is something good in every day."

—Alice Morse Earl

On the Punny Side

Why do coffee cups avoid the city?

They're afraid to get mugged.


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