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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 9, 2023

It's Tuesday and National Lost Sock Memorial Day. I am pretty sure the missing ones turn into dryer lint or go to join Tupperware lids in the great beyond.

What You Need to Know

  • 😳 A Kamas mother who wrote a book with her children to help them deal with the grief over losing their father has just been arrested for his murder. Kouri Richins, 33, was charged with aggravated murder, a first degree felony, along with three charges of possession with intent to distribute. Her husband, Eric, died on March 4, 2022. He had told his family members that if he died, she would be to blame. She went on a publicity tour in March this year to promote her book, which she dedicated to her "amazing husband and wonderful father."

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

  • Tucker, Crowder and Trump — conservatism must hold its own accountable for misogyny (Deseret News)
  • As June’s debt ceiling deadline approaches, here’s where Lee and Romney stand (KUER)
  • Mike Lee, Mitt Romney say new mortgage rules will punish people with good credit (Deseret News)
  • Former Provo councilwoman, city advocate Cindy Richards dies (Daily Herald)
  • Utah lawmakers optimistic on deal with education unions on constitutional amendment (Fox13)
  • Ogden mayoral race heats up: Seven candidates throw their hats in the ring (ABC4)
  • Ivins leaders mulling tax hike, other options to make up for budgetary shortfall. The City Council is dealing with a $382,000 deficit in the general fund. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • How Utahns feel about the economy and their financial future (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah news

  • Utah man sentenced to 3 years in prison in U.S. Capitol riot (Fox13)
  • Man shot inside Valley Fair Mall; three in custody (KSL TV)
  • Salt Lake City firefighters respond to 6 fires at vacant buildings over past 2 weeks (KSL)
  • Chilling video shows gunman killing Utah brother during casual porch conversation (KSL)
  • Tax refunds are down but here’s how Utahns are putting that money to work (Deseret News)
  • Despite political tensions, Iran’s bond to Utah goes back over a hundred years. It all started at a Utah State University graduation ceremony (Deseret News)


  • Good info: What to do if you encounter a mountain lion (KPCW)
  • Flood Warning issued near Rich County ranches already struggling (Fox13)
  • Ute Tribe alleges discrimination was behind rejected bid to buy Tabby Mountain. Suit alleges officials conspired to sabotage the tribe’s $47 million bid. (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Study sheds light on how families overcome opioid stigma (UPR)
  • USU UWLP sheds light on maternal mental health challenges (Cache Valley Daily)


  • Recent poll finds increased language disorder diagnoses in children (UPR)
  • Study suggests many Americans not getting enough vitamin D (Standard-Examiner)
  • South Ogden business aims to help treat concussions with light therapy, in honor of Hannah Warburton who died in 2014 (Fox13)
  • Newest Huntsman Cancer Institute center opens with more space for treatments, screenings (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Psychologists issue health advisory for teens and social media (NPR)

National Headlines


  • Texts from Lori Vallow portray sensual romance amidst plans to ‘eliminate’ kids (KSL Newsradio)
  • A Nebraska middle school reporting a child with acid burns led to one of the largest investigations into child labor in the U.S. The Department of Labor found more than 100 children, some as young as 13 working overnights cleaning slaughterhouses. (60 Minutes)
  • The end of an era for the Sisters of Charity of New York (AP)
  • Goldman Sachs to pay $215 million to settle female employees’ discrimination case (Wall Street Journal)
  • Texas gunman fantasized over race wars on social media before mass killing (Washington Post)


  • She ran Harvard Law School and mentored future politicians. Now she wants them to get along (Deseret News)
  • Can Democrats win in 2024? Yes, and here's why (Deseret News)
  • How those fleeing Ukraine inspired US border policies (AP)
  • Florida lawmakers want to use radioactive material to pave roads (NPR)
  • Yellen calls invoking 14th Amendment a ‘constitutional crisis’ (The Hill)
  • Senate panel asks Crow for full accounting of gifts to Thomas, other justices (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Haunting photos from Ukraine that earned the AP a Pulitzer Prize (AP)
  • EU, Ukraine together on Europe Day, but Kyiv remains outside (AP)
  • Russia fires missiles at Ukraine on Victory Day as Kyiv celebrates Europe (Reuters)
  • Putin condemns western support for Ukraine as Russia's battlefield losses mount (Wall Street Journal)


  • How El Chapo’s sons built a fentanyl empire poisoning America (Reuters)
  • Sudan deepens crisis in Africa as UN sees 5 million more needing aid (Reuters)
  • Pakistan arrests former prime minister Imran Khan (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

Snow College graduates have a new, streamlined way to transfer to UVU

Snow College students in good academic standing who complete an associate degree, or 60 credits toward third-year status, will be accepted into Utah Valley University’s Integrated Studies Program thanks to a new agreement between the two schools. (Read More)

UVU’s General Counsel receives prestigious corporate counsel award from Utah Business Magazine

Utah Valley University’s (UVU) General Counsel, Clark Collings, was recognized as one of the top in-house legal attorneys in Utah with a Utah Business Magazine 2023 Corporate Counsel award at a banquet in Salt Lake City on April 28. As UVU’s general counsel, Collings oversees a team of five attorneys and three staff members and is responsible for all university legal services, including litigation, contract development, policy review, settlement negotiations, government relations, intellectual property rights, internal employment matters, and risk management and compliance. He was named UVU’s general counsel in July 2020. (Read More)

Sutherland Institute welcomes Hal Anderson to Board of Directors

Sutherland Institute is pleased to announce that Hal Anderson, co-founder of Soltis Investment Advisors, has accepted a seat on its Board of Directors. Anderson brings a wealth of knowledge from the financial and investment sector that will expand Sutherland’s impact on free enterprise and economic issues. (Read More)

New report shows those in foster care are left without key services

Permanent families and supportive adult connections, stable housing and postsecondary education remain beyond the reach of too many young people with foster care experience, according to “Fostering Youth Transitions 2023: State and National Data to Drive Foster Care Advocacy,” a data brief released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Fostering Youth Transitions 2023” examines the experiences of teenagers and young adults in foster care as reported by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — and how child welfare systems support their transition to adulthood. (Read More)

Lee leads senators defending Supreme Court

Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ted Budd (R-NC), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), expressing concerns over “unprecedented attacks” on the Supreme Court, including Sen. Wyden’s April 24, 2023 letter to Harlan Crow requesting tax return information from a private citizen as an attempt to further smear Justice Clarence Thomas and to bully the Supreme Court into acting as “a super legislature to implement progressive policies.” (Read More)

Statewide Stamp Out Hunger drive is Saturday, May 13th

On Saturday, May 13th, letter carriers will collect food statewide to help the 289,000 Utahns facing hunger. Utah Food Bank asks residents across the state to help “Stamp Out Hunger” by filling the blue reminder bag with non-perishable food and leaving it near their mailbox no later than 9:00 a.m. on May 13th. Local letter carriers will collect and deliver food donations to Utah Food Bank and its statewide network of 216 partner agencies. All donations will be distributed to food pantries located in the community where the donation is made. With inflation causing increased need, Utah Food Bank and their partner agencies are eagerly anticipating the success of this food drive. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, May 9, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-05-09 at 7.02.02 AM



  • 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 

  • 1657 - William Bradford, first governor of Plymouth Colony and the 11th great-grandfather of Utah’s Lt. Governor, Deidre Henderson, dies at age 57.
  • 1754 - The 1st newspaper cartoon in America: the divided snake "Join or Die"
  • 1865 - President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation declaring armed resistance in the South is virtually at an end; this is the commonly accepted end date of the American Civil War
  • 1906 - Sarah Boyle is born. She became a writer who supported immediate integration in 1962 with The Desegregated Heart. She railed against age discrimination in the 1970s and 80s.
  • 1914 - Anna Jarvis’s vision of Mother’s Day becomes a reality with a national designation by President Woodrow Wilson.
  • 1921 - Sophie Scholl is born. She was an active anti-Nazi activist and was subsequently arrested and beheaded for passing out leaflets. 
  • 1922 - The International Astronomical Union formally adopt Annie Jump Cannon's stellar classification system, which with only minor changes, is still used today.
  • 1941 - British intelligence, including Alan Turing, breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen
  • 1955 - West Germany joins NATO
  • 1960 - The FDA approves “the pill.”
  • 1974 - The US House of Representatives votes to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Nixon

Quote of the Day

“But what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

—Sophie Scholl

On the Punny Side

Yesterday I ate a clock, it was very time consuming.

Especially when I went back for seconds.


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