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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 30, 2023

It's Thursday and National Doctors Day. Our thanks for all you do. It's also World Bipolar Day, a disorder affecting over 60 million people worldwide. 

What You Need to Know

  • Hoax school shooting calls came into 13 schools across Utah. All calls came from the same IP address outside of the United States. Families and teachers were traumatized by the thought that there was an active shooter in their school. 

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

  • The number of Americans who favor democracy is shrinking. Where’s the breakdown? (Deseret News)
  • Online marriage licensing in Utah County gets the attention all over the world (KSL Newsradio)
  • Sens. Lee, Romney vote differently on repeal of Iraq military authorizations (Deseret News)
  • Lee and Romney back using the Congressional Review Act to halt student loan forgiveness (KUER)
  • Mitt Romney backs Starbucks CEO in his fight with Democrats over unions (Deseret News)

General Utah news

  • A week at Paltrow's rental during trial costs more than a year of tuition at college (KUTV)
  • Salt Lake City officers held man accused of jaywalking at gunpoint before tackling, shocking him, bodycam shows (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah’s Vietnam veterans honored 50 years after end of war (KSL TV)
  • A new AI film festival is debuting in Utah, and its timing couldn’t be better (Deseret News)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision trial spawns memes, intrigue (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • How the West was reinvented. The Intermountain West is booming. Here’s a demographic view of what the change looks like. (Deseret News)


  • Work-from-home era ends for millions of Americans. Share of businesses with workers on-site most of the time neared prepandemic levels in 2022, Labor Department finds (Wall Street Journal)
  • Disney lays off Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter (Reuters)
  • Sodalicious found to violate child labor laws by U.S. Department of Labor (Fox13)
  • U.S. labor force gap mostly due to pre-pandemic trends, study finds (Reuters)


  • Editorial Board: Patriotism, religion, raising children. Are Americans really losing their core values? (Deseret News)


  •  University of Utah Police respond to “Listen” documentary about Lauren McCluskey’s murder (ABC4)


  • The Biden administration sells oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico (NPR)
  • Rock climbing was born in wilderness, but does its hardware belong there? Utah Rep. John Curtis’s bill seeks to resolve issue of fixed anchors in wilderness areas once and for all. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Uinta Basin Railway project chugs forward despite controversy (Deseret News)
  • Federal judge tosses out Utah wildfire lawsuit (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah family recognized for generations of weather observations for National Weather Service (ABC4)


  • Report details why Utah's foster care system ranks No. 1 in the nation (KSL)


  • Study shows mental health hospitalizations for children increased 25% in 10 years (Deseret News)
  • Ex-FDA official says baby formula industry remains vulnerable to problems (Wall Street Journal)


  •  What life in the blue bus says about the challenge to help the homeless. The Nomad Alliance bus started helping people in the midst of the winter’s lowest temperatures and heavy snowfall. The goal is to help people who resist going to traditional shelters, but the model faces many challenges (Deseret News)

National Headlines


  • DeSantis’ board says Disney stripped them of power (AP)
  •  As a monstrous tornado neared Mississippi town, residents say sirens were silent (Washington Post)
  • How ‘swatting’ calls spread as schools face real threats (AP)
  • 74 people have been killed or injured by guns at American schools this year (NPR)
  • A different March Madness: Online hate for the athletes (AP)


  • Trump turning to video messages to bypass traditional media (AP)
  • Permit to buy handgun no longer required in North Carolina (AP)
  • Kentucky lawmakers pass major anti-trans law, overriding governor’s veto (Washington Post)
  • West Virginia governor signs ban on gender-affirming care (Politico)
  • West Virginia bans some child marriages in compromise law (KSL TV)
  • Lawmakers get in shouting match outside House floor over gun control (The Hill)
  • Harris finds footing and a jubilant audience, halfway around the world from Washington (Politico)
  • Poll: Dangers for both parties on the economy, crime and transgender rights (NPR)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  •  UN official warns of soldiers massing near Ukrainian nuclear plant (New York Times)
  • Ukraine by rail: Inside Zelenskyy's efforts to buoy a nation (AP)
  • Ukraine's Zelenskyy is 'ready' for Chinese leader to visit (AP)
  • Russia arrests Wall Street Journal reporter on spying charge (Wall Street Journal)
  • The biggest battle in Ukraine. Why Russia and Ukraine are fighting for a city with little strategic value. (New York Times)


  • Some in dry Somalia break Ramadan fast with little but water (AP)
  • Turkey’s Parliament is expected to approve Finland’s bid to join NATO today (New York Times)
  • North Korea executes people for South Korean videos, drugs - report (Reuters)
  • Tokyo Olympics scandal fouls hopes for a Sapporo Winter Games (New York Times)

News Release

Owens supports legislation to boost domestic energy production

Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) co-sponsored the Lower Energy Costs Act, legislation to boost domestic energy production by cutting red-tape regulations and investing in American energy infrastructure. The House of Representatives will vote on the Lower Energy Costs Act later this week—if it is signed into law, the legislation would immediately boost our energy independence and lower prices across the board for American families. (Read More)

Romney applauds Senate passage of resolution overturning Biden WOTUS Rule

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today released the following statement after the Senate passed a formal challenge to the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval. In February, Romney joined all 48 of his Republican colleagues, led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, in introducing the resolution.

“States and local communities—not the federal government—know best how to manage their lands and waters, and we should keep it that way,” Senator Romney said. “The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule will impose harmful and burdensome regulations on Utah’s farmers, ranchers, and landowners. I’m proud that my colleagues came together to oppose this blatant federal power grab of our nation’s waters.” (Read More)

Romney calls out Dems’ hypocrisy at Starbucks hearing

At a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing today on labor relations at Starbucks, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) called out the hypocrisy of Washington Democrats like Senator Bernie Sanders—having never created a single job—who think they know better than business leaders what is best for their employees, their businesses, and how to best grow the American economy. Senator Romney also pointed out that it is purely in Democrats’ own self-interest to pursue every available avenue to extend unions, even if unionizing is against the interests of a company’s employees. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Mar 30, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-03-30 at 7.03.38 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 

  • 1839 - Mary Elizabeth Bowser is born. A former slave, Bowser served as an undercover agent for Ulysses S. Grant by working as a servant in the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. With the racial prejudice of the day, the assumption that slaves were illiterate and not intelligent, and the way slave servants were trained to seem invisible, Mary was able to glean considerable military intelligence by simply doing her job. 
  • 1855 - Violence disrupts first Kansas election
  • 1867 - US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 ($109 million in 2018), roughly 2 cents an acre. The deal was ridiculed in Congress.
  • 1870 - The 15th Amendment to the US Constitution is adopted, guaranteeing men the right to vote regardless of race.
  • 1965 - Bomb explodes outside US Embassy in Saigon, killing 22, and injuring 183.
  • 1980 - 123 oil workers drown in North Sea when their floating apartment collapses
  • 1981 - Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley.
  • 2002 - Elizabeth the Queen Mother dies at 101.
  • 2017 - North Carolina repeals its controversial bathroom law that restricted transgender use
  • 2022 - Bruce Willis announces he is stepping away from acting after a diagnosis of aphasia

Quote of the Day

"Nobody is boring. If you find someone or something a bore, the fault lies in you."

—Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

On the Punny Side

Finally my winter fat has gone...

Now, I have spring rolls.


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