Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons closed this morning; national job openings down; and deputized ski patrols.
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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 | April 5, 2023

It's Wednesday and National Deep Dish Pizza Day. For all you Trekkies out there, it's also First Contact Day (or will be, in 2063). 

Finally, Chag Sameach to our Jewish friends as Passover begins this evening. 

What You Need to Know

  • Donald Trump pled not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says Trump concealed hush money payments to Stormy Daniels as part of a larger effort to skirt federal and state election law. The legal basis for the charges is "murky," says Richard Hasen, an expert in election law and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles law school.

  • The Labor Department reported Tuesday job openings fell from 10.6 million in January to 9.9 million in February, dropping below 10 million for the first time in two years in a sign demand for workers is easing despite a still-tight labor market.

  • In Wisconsin, Democrat Judge Janet Protasiewicz was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, garnering 55.5 percent of the vote to beat conservative Judge Daniel Kelly and flip the ideological balance of the state’s Supreme Court.

Rapid Roundup


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Gov. Cox reaffirms US, and Utah, support for Ukraine after call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy (Deseret News)
  • Most Utahns give the Legislature a thumbs up. Here’s why (Deseret News)
  • Gov. Cox appointed a Democratic physician to the Utah Air Quality Board. GOP lawmakers said ‘no.’ (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Half of Utahns oppose using income tax revenue beyond education, services for children, disabled (Deseret News)
  • Legislature put aside funds for tolling in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons and expanded bussing, but they won’t happen soon (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah Sens. Mitt Romney, Mike Lee suggest Donald Trump’s felony arraignment is politically motivated (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Governor talks drought, road safety, Trump indictment during stop in St. George (St. George News)

General Utah news

  • Concerns grow for Suncrest community with snow-related buildup around homes (KUTV)
  • Editorial Board: Science backs up President Nelson's call for peacemaking (Deseret News)
  • Jay Evensen: If the pandemic is ending, were we right or wrong on lockdowns and school closures? Sweden refused the lockdown many nations imposed. But it’s hard to know whether the benefits outweighed the risks, or even which metrics to use (Deseret News)
  • Utahn in water rights dispute charged with making fake bomb as ‘scare tactic’ (KSL TV)
  • Utah woman killed in ice climbing accident likely saved her friend, sheriff's office says (Fox13)


  • Twitter reacts to Utah’s spring snowstorms (Deseret News)
  • Humans need to belong. ‘If you don’t have anyone in your life that makes you feel like you matter, that’s an emergency.’ (Deseret News)


  •  Some Utah educators don’t see ChatGPT and AI as a threat but as an opportunity (KUER)
  • For lower-income students, big tech internships can be hard to get (New York Times)


  • Photos: The weather outside is (still) frightful (Deseret News)
  • Utah's snowpack breaks 71-year-old record; Cox issues flood declaration as melt nears (KSL)
  • Spring snow is good and bad for Utah fruit growers, ranchers and tulips (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Big snowstorms bring more potholes across state of Utah (KUTV)
  • Engineers, crews work to avert repeat of 1983 flooding (Fox13)
  • Utah in 'uncharted territory' with record-breaking snow, Cox warns (Fox13)


  • April is Autism Acceptance Month. What is it like to be an autistic adult in Utah? (Deseret News)
  • Study: Utah’s fertility rates decline over past 50 years (Daily Herald)

National Headlines


  • Mass Yellowstone hunt kills 1,150 bison (New York Times)
  • CDC workers sick after investigating East Palestine train derailment site (Deseret News)
  • Recovery high schools help kids heal from an addiction and build a future (NPR)
  • How some Jews will honor an imprisoned American journalist during Passover (Deseret News)
  • Drug overdose deaths have quadrupled among seniors in the last 20 years. Why? (The Hill)


  • Marjorie Taylor Greene compares Trump to Jesus, Nelson Mandela ahead of arraignment (KUTV)
  • Trump says Republicans in Congress should ‘defund’ Justice Department, FBI (Washington Post)
  • ‘Frustrated and upset,’ Trump goes silent, then seethes (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • ‘He’s a war criminal’: Elite Putin security officer defects (AP)
  • Russia invites children’s official sought by ICC to brief UN (AP)
  • Ukraine's Zelenskyy visits Poland as allies step up military aid (Reuters)
  • U.S. to boost Ukraine’s air defenses with $2.6 billion weapons package (Washington Post)


  • Why Finland — but not Sweden — is in NATO (Washington Post)
  • Violence at Jerusalem holy site raises fears of escalation (AP)
  • Former Italian PM Berlusconi in intensive care in hospital (Reuters)

News Release

USBE: Students selected to attend the 2023 National Youth Science Camp

The Utah Board of Education is pleased to announce that Priyanka Mathews and Christine Schmidt have been selected to represent Utah at the 2023 National Youth Science Camp. Elaine Carpenter and Makalya Hansen have been selected as alternates.

Priyanka Mathews and Christine Schmidt will be flown to Charleston, West Virginia to participate in this innovative educational program. The National Youth Science Academy (formerly the National Youth Science Foundation), based in Charleston, West Virginia, covers all expenses, including travel. (Read More)

Romney statement on indictment announcement

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today issued the following statement on the indictment of former President Trump:

“I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office. Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda. No one is above the law, not even former presidents, but everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law. The prosecutor’s overreach sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public’s faith in our justice system.

“The charges and evidence will be duly considered and the outcome decided by a jury with an obligation to fulfill its responsibility with the utmost care and impartiality. The American voters will ultimately render their own judgment on the former President’s political future.

“Finally, it is also incumbent on all elected leaders to discourage violence and anger in response to this situation.”


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Apr 5, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-04-05 at 7.33.26 AM



  • UVU Conference on Domestic Violence — April 14, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, 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 

  • 1588 - Thomas Hobbes is born. He was an English philosopher known for his work “Leviathan.” 
  • 1614 - American Indian princess Pocahontas and daughter of chief Powhatan marries English colonist John Rolfe.
  • 1792 - George Washington vetoes his first bill.
  • 1876 - ‘Arsenal Hill’ (now Capitol Hill) exploded in Utah
  • 1887 - Helen Keller learns w.a.t.e.r from teacher Anne Sullivan.
  • 1901 - Hattie Alexander is born.  She became a pediatrician and microbiologist who identified and studied antibiotic resistance caused by random genetic mutations in DNA. She was the first woman elected president of the American Pediatric Society.
  • 1911 - 100,000 to 500,000 people march in New York City to attend the funeral of seven unidentified victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in late March
  • 1933 - FDR creates Civilian Conservation Corp that puts tens of thousands of Americans to work
  • 1937 - Colin Powell is born.
  • 1955 - Winston Churchill retires as prime minister.

Quote of the Day

"Don't let your ego get too close to your position, so that if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn't go with it."
—Colin Powell

On the Punny Side

Where do rainbows go when they've been bad?

They go to prism...

But it's a light sentence....


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