Gordon Lightfoot died Monday at 84; West Valley City named worst city in America for ‘naked gardening.’ 🤣; 3 finalists for USU president
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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 | May 2, 2023

It's Tuesday and both National Foster Care Day and National Teacher Appreciation Day, a day made just for first lady Abby Cox and Show Up Utah. May is also Jewish American Heritage Month.

What You Need to Know

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Monday the U.S. could run out of money to pay its debts as early as June 1 if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit. In response, President Joe Biden invited the leaders of both houses of Congress—including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy—to the White House on May 9 for negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, which McCarthy and his GOP colleagues want to link to spending cuts. House Republicans narrowly passed a bill to that effect last week, but it will not be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Rapid Roundup


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Utah city council member targeted by racist remark (Fox13)
  • Cox warns the next 48 hours will test Utah's flooding infrastructure (Fox13)
  • Fight over Utah’s state flag continues. Opponents of the new flag want voters to decide in 2024. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Cox declares May 1 Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (KSL)
  • Could AI change how Utah governments interact with non-English speakers? (KSL)

General Utah news

  • Utah loves Harry Potter more than any other state (Cache Valley Daily)
  • Local emergency declared for Spanish Fork flooding (Daily Herald)
  • Utah crime victims sue state agencies after they say violent offenders were wrongfully released, improperly monitored (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Utah (KSL)


  • BP posts $5B quarterly profit on strong oil and gas trading (AP)
  • ‘Too little oversight’: A Utah adoption agency owner violated state law and lost her license. Why did officials grant her a new one? (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • How 2 Salt Lake County school districts responded to attempted kidnappings (KUER)
  • ‘Prepared for the workforce’: Record number of students graduate from Dixie Technical College (St. George News)
  • Utah State University reveals three finalists in search for new president. Candidates include a former university president, a research leader and an in-house contender. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • High expectations, low confidence: College seniors on the post-grad job hunt (Deseret News)
  • Religious and conservative students worry about speaking up on campus — but so do progressives (Deseret News)


  • Thinking about getting rid of your lawn? Utah will pay you to do it (KUER)
  • How a Utah TV reporter ended up in Israel to learn about helping the Great Salt Lake (KUER)
  • Flood warnings and advisories put in place near rivers, creeks across Utah as snow melts (Fox13)
  • Hydrologist assesses Utah's watersheds as high temperatures continue (KUTV)
  • Flood concerns still top of mind as above-average temperatures linger (ABC4)


  • The perils of cohabitation and why timing is linked to later divorce (Deseret News)


  • Loneliness poses risks as deadly as smoking: surgeon general (AP)
  • Why viral reservoirs are a prime suspect for long COVID sleuths (NPR)

National Headlines


  • DNA analyst: Hair found on tape wrapping JJ Vallow's body matched Lori Vallow Daybell (KUTV)
  • Family says they repeatedly called 911 during Texas shooter’s rampage (Washington Post)
  • 7 bodies found during search for missing Oklahoma teens (AP)
  • A sudden dust storm in Illinois led to car crashes that killed 6 and injured dozens (NPR)
  • ‘The Godfather of A.I.’ leaves Google and warns of danger ahead (New York Times)
  • Ron DeSantis's oversight board countersues Disney (Wall Street Journal)
  • Hollywood writers go on strike, halting production (New York Times)


  •  US to lift most federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates next week (AP)
  • Can Biden win again? Here’s how past incumbents fared (AP)
  • Senate panel to examine US Supreme Court ethics as questions swirl (Reuters)
  • A week after Tucker Carlson’s exit, McCarthy goes big for Ukraine (Washington Post)
  • Trump tops DeSantis by 36 points in new poll (The Hill)
  • Supreme Court move could spell doom for power of federal regulators (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • US says 20,000 Russians killed, 80,000 injured in Ukraine war since December (AP)
  • Ukrainian farmer comes up with novel way to demine his fields (Reuters)
  • Ukraine seeks to bolster air defenses after Russian missile barrages (Wall Street Journal)
  • Russian authorities are imposing stricter measures on civilians under occupation, Ukrainian officials said. (New York Times)
  • Former US Marine killed in Ukraine (KSL Newsradio)


  • Challenger in Turkey presidential race offers sharp contrast (AP)
  • A brutal sex trade built for American soldiers in South Korea (New York Times)
  • 800,000 refugees could flee Sudan, triggering regional crisis, U.N. warns (Washington Post)

News Release

Romney discusses the debt ceiling and federal spending on KSL Sunday Edition

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) yesterday joined KSL Sunday Edition with Doug Wright to discuss the ongoing debate around raising the debt ceiling and the reality of what will happen if the U.S. defaults. He also urged President Biden to negotiate with Republicans, saying it cannot just be Democrats’ way or the highway.

In addition, Romney advocated for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to address the main driver of our debt—the two-thirds of government spending that is automatic—and the imminent solvency of entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, May 2, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-05-02 at 7.00.47 AM



  • One Utah Summit — May 1-2, Davis Conference Center, Register here
  • Mount Liberty College Spring Youth Seminar on The Virginian — May 6, 9 am-7 pm, Register Here
  • Taxes Now Conference with the Utah Taxpayers Association — May 8, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Grand America Hotel, Register here
  • Below the Belt screening and discussion (a film on endometriosis) — May 10, 7 pm, UVU Noorda Theater, Register here
  • YWCA Leader Luncheon featuring Dr. Bernice A. King — May 12, 11:30-2:00, Grand America. Register here
  • Interim Day — May 16-17, Utah State Capitol, le.utah.gov
  • Utah Democratic Convention May 19-20, SUU (More information here)
  • Intellectual Property Rights webinar with the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation — June 1, 10:00 am, Register here
  • Interim Day — June 13-14, Utah State Capitol, le.utah.gov

On This Day In History 

  • 1670 - King Charles II grants charter to Hudson’s Bay Company
  • 1865 - US President Andrew Johnson offers $100,000 reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis.
  • 1915 - Clara Immerwahr, German chemist, commits suicide in protest of the “perversion of the ideals of science” when chlorine gas was used to kill 5000 soldiers. It was her husband who initiated the release of the gas.
  • 1933 - Loch Ness Monster seen for the first time, igniting the modern legend. 
  • 1957 - Senator Joseph McCarthy dies at age 48.
  • 1963 - 2,543 Black and White civil rights demonstrators protesting segregation are arrested and jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, including 600 children.
  • 1972 - J. Edgar Hoover dies, ending a five-decade era at the FBI.
  • 2000 - President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military
  • 2011 - Osama bin Laden killed by US forces during a raid on his hideout in Pakistan.

Quote of the Day

“​​We will fail when we fail to try.”

— Rosa Parks

On the Punny Side

What do you call a fish wearing a bowtie?



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