Dual tragedies in Texas, with 8 people shot to death at a mall and 8 killed when driver plows into people waiting for a bus
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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 8, 2023

Good Monday morning to you! It's World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. Sadly, during the night, Russian shelling destroyed a Red Cross humanitarian aid warehouse in Odesa. 

What You Need to Know

Rapid Roundup



Thank you to Utah’s leaders for tax relief on Social Security benefits.

For too long, state taxes have reduced the hard-earned Social Security benefits Utah seniors count on. But now, Governor Cox and Utah legislators have passed tax relief that will reduce state taxes on Social Security. AARP Utah fought hard for this new law to make sure our seniors keep more of what they’ve earned. Click here to learn more & thank our leaders.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Poll: More than three-quarters of Utahns want state share of food tax removed. But the state’s voters are split if that’s tied to approving a constitutional changes in education funding (Deseret News)
  • Opinion: Are young Latter-day Saints leaning more liberal? (Deseret News)
  • What first-time homebuyers need to know (ABC4)
  • Previewing the Utah Democratic Party state convention (ABC4)
  • New Utah law aims to help refugees, immigrants get driver's licenses (Fox13)
  • Cox calls Utah legislature into special session for flooding (Fox13)

General Utah news

  • Ugh. Utah man who works with global charity for children, charged for involvement in ‘sex tourism’ (KSL TV)
  • Swimming in Utah floodwaters is dangerous health hazard (Fox13)


  • Congregation Kol Ami celebrates 50 years, and ongoing relationship with Latter-day Saints (KSL)
  • Why Latter-day Saints and mainline Protestants have the highest social capital rates (Deseret News)
  • Have you seen my doppelgänger? I recently found myself staring at my face — on someone else. How likely are you to find your look-alike? (Deseret News)


  • Utah State professor shares info on Green Book sites (KUTV)
  • Canyons School District administrator Wendy Dau selected as next Provo superintendent (Deseret News)
  • Are the nation’s schools failing? The latest ‘nation’s report card’ test results on 8th grade history and civics are out, and the results are bad (Deseret News)
  • A west-side high school would foster a better community, residents and advocates say (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Eboo Patel: My advice to college graduates — and everyone else (Deseret News)
  • Utah Tech grads advised to surround themselves with brilliance and kindness (St. George News)


  • Arches National Park may have found a magic bullet for overcrowding. Could it work at other parks? (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Flooding updates: Three Utah rivers to watch, and unsettled weather to continue this week in Salt Lake City (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • What would an El Niño mean for Utah this summer? (KUER)
  • Young Utahns sue the state, calling for climate action (UPR)


  • Every generation has been ‘doomed’ — yet we’re still here (Deseret News)
  • Mother's Day Drive-Thru provides for hundreds of Utah refugee mothers (KUTV)


  • Loneliness is a killer. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says action needs to be taken immediately (Deseret News)


  • After 5 people died on streets this winter, Salt Lake City stopped counting deaths, Tribune found (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • COVID-19 no longer a global health emergency, says WHO (Deseret News)
  • COVID-19 was No. 4 cause of death in 2022, according to CDC (Deseret News)
  • Investigators examine Texas gunman’s white-supremacist views after 8 killed (Washington Post)


  • Why AOC and Rep. Matt Gaetz co-sponsored a bill together (Deseret News)
  • GOP threatens Blinken contempt charge over Afghanistan docs (AP)
  • He helped craft the 'bounty hunter' abortion law in Texas. He's just getting started (NPR)
  • A California panel has called for billions in reparations for descendants of slaves (NPR)
  • Six months after midterm losses, election deniers mount new efforts (Washington Post)
  • In debt limit talks, Biden and Republicans start far apart (New York Times)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Ukraine shoots down 35 drones over Kyiv as attacks kill 4 (KUTV)
  • Ukraine downs Russian hypersonic missile with US Patriot (AP)
  • Russia attacks Ukraine with huge drone swarm ahead of Victory Day holiday (Reuters)


  • King Charles III is officially crowned king of Britain (Deseret News)
  • Fire deep in gold mine in southern Peru kills 27 workers (AP)
  • Out-of-control wildfires cause evacuations in western Canada (NPR)
  • Iran hid weapons among earthquake aid to target U.S. troops, leak says (Washington Post)
  • How the democratic hopes of the Sudan Spring went so horribly wrong (Washington Post)


You’re invited to Envision Utah's 2023 Spring Breakfast!

Utah had an incredible snow season, but we’re still one of the driest states in the nation — and one of the fastest-growing. Join Envision Utah for a breakfast and an expert panel discussion on the future of water.  Thursday, May 18, 2023, 8 AM – 9:30 AM at The Grand America Hotel. Purchase Here!


News Releases

Gov. Cox issues call for a Special Session

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has called the Utah Legislature into Special Session to address three items that require immediate legislative action. The special session will be held beginning at 4 pm on May 17. (Read More)

Gov. Cox names Brian Redd as new executive director of the Department of Corrections

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has appointed Brian Redd as the new executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections. This appointment is subject to the approval of the Utah Senate. For the past two years, Redd has been vice president and manager in the Compliance Division of Goldman Sachs, overseeing the PWM U.S. Surveillance Team and involved with the Firmwide Insider Threat Team. Prior to this position, he served for 21 years in the Utah Department of Public Safety, working up through the ranks from Trooper to Agent, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Chief Special Agent. During his service, Redd served as director of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Statewide Information and Analysis Center (SIAC). (Read More)

Gov. Cox orders flags to be lowered

Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox has ordered the flags of the United States of America and the great state of Utah be lowered in recognition of the victims of Allen, Texas until sunset on Thursday, May 11, 2023. (Read More)

Utah Taxpayers Association Annual Taxes Now conference May 8th, Grand America

Today, 9 am - 1 pm at the Grand America Hotel, elected officials, legislative leadership and tax experts will be discussing legislation from the 2023 session, budgeting, federal tax policy and tax policy going forward in Utah. (Read More)

Romney tours Utah businesses, participates in Jordan River roundtable

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today toured Utah businesses and met with local leaders to discuss Utah’s water challenges. Romney started the day at OxEon Energy in North Salt Lake, where he toured the firm’s facility and met with employees. He then visit Bonnell Aluminum in Clearfield for a meeting with their executive board about the company’s efforts to shore up our supply chains, followed by a discussion with its workers. Romney ended the day at the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District for a roundtable discussion with local leaders about the Jordan River Watershed and the Great Salt Lake. (Read More)

Romney joins colleagues in reintroducing College Transparency Act

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined his colleagues, led by Sens. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in reintroducing the College Transparency Act (CTA), legislation which ensures that students and families have better information as they consider higher education opportunities. The CTA would modernize the college reporting system for postsecondary data by providing accurate reporting on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college earnings across colleges and majors, while ensuring the privacy of individual students is securely protected. (Read More)

Romney welcomes investment from bipartisan infrastructure bill to update Utah’s light rail system

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today applauded an announcement from the Department of Transportation that Utah Transit Authority would be awarded $60 million for its Light Rail Vehicle Replacement Project as part of the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) Rail Vehicle Replacement program. The FTA program—established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—was designed to help transit agencies replace aging rail rolling stock, which would improve the reliability, safety, and accessibility of our country’s rail transit systems. (Read More)

Lee leads 43 GOP Senators in opposition to raising debt limit without substantive spending and budget reforms

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) leads a group of 43 Republican Senators in sending the letter below to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The letter expresses a collective commitment to oppose raising the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, May 8, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-05-08 at 5.54.21 AMhttps://twitter.com/AndriyYermak/status/1654919811745316868



  • 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 

  • 1348 - A ship from Bordeaux carrying the plague, lands in Melcombe Regis (now Weymouth), Dorset and begins spreading in England.
  • 1541 - Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto lands in Florida.
  • 1792 - Militia Act establishes conscription under federal law.
  • 1846 - Future president Zachary Taylor fights the Battle of Palo Alto, north of the Rio Grande River.
  • 1884 - Harry S. Truman born. He became the 33rd president of the United States.
  • 1945 - Victory day in Europe as Germany surrenders.
  • 1958 - President Eisenhower federalizes National Guard troops and orders them removed from Central High School in Little Rock. They were there on the orders of Arkansas governor Orval Faubus to keep the school segregated.
  • 1984 - Soviets announce boycott of 1984 Olympics.
  • 2018 - President Donald Trump pulls the US out of the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.

Quote of the Day

"This war is more than a war about freedom. It’s a war about good and evil. Women and children have been indiscriminately killed. Children have been kidnapped and taken away from their parents. We will always stand for good over evil.”

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams

On the Punny Side

I paid $1 for a wig today…

It was a small price toupe.


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