National Pack Rat Day means it's time to de-junk; debt ceiling negotiations continue; Trail Mix with Rep. Paul Cutler
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Situational Analysis | May 17, 2023

It's Wednesday and National Pack Rat Day. Don't be one. Need some inspiration to de-clutter? Watch an episode of Hoarders.

What You Need to Know

  • Debt ceiling negotiations continue after President Biden and Speaker McCarthy met at the White House yesterday. Both have named top negotiators to continue hammering out details. "Now we have a format, a structure," said McCarthy. They are trying to meet a June 1 deadline,

Rapid Roundup

Today on the Hill

Trail Mix with Rep. Paul Cutler

Rep. Paul Cutler spent time on a city council and later as a mayor before joining the Utah legislature. He also spent time harvesting fruit, as a busboy and working with the "bricks" we called early mobile phones. Learn why he compares the Utah legislature to a Tesla and his favorite part of trail mix.

Screenshot 2023-05-16 at 7.42.46 PM



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Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Here are the actions Utah lawmakers may take to deal with coming floods (Deseret News)
  • Special Utah Senate hearing aims to fix error in firefighter death benefits (KSL TV)
  • Here's how much money, time Utah spent getting a new flag (KUTV)
  • Debrief of hoax school shooting reports will help make Utah safer, lawmaker says (Deseret News)
  • Lawmakers look to import some Israeli water policies to Utah (Fox13)
  • How many teens have the same politics as their parents? A new Pew Research Center analysis on parenting, politics and religion is full of surprises (Deseret News)
  • Should Utah give pharmacists and psychologists the power to prescribe? (Deseret News)
  • In the wake of the Durham report, Rep. Stewart points to a growing group in Congress that wants to ‘disband the FBI’ (Deseret News)
  • Former Cache GOP chair says it’s difficult for women in politics in Utah (Cache Valley Daily)

General Utah news

  • Strolling into controversy. The ‘15-minute city’ reimagines our car-centric urban spaces. Some are up in arms (Deseret News)
  • What's next for Smith's Ballpark? Salt Lake City unveils potential options (KSL)
  • Is Salt Lake City really one of the most dangerous cities in the country? (Fox13)
  • Utah man arrested for assaulting officers during Jan. 6 Capitol breach (KSL)
  • Cyberattacks against Utah agencies cost state $6M between 2016 and 2022, audit finds (KSL)
  • Family speaks out amid lawsuit against Utah boarding school after teen's death (Fox13)


  • Derek Miller: We need more flights to Washington, D.C. (Deseret News)
  • Gas prices drop nationally, but Utah prices jump (Deseret News)
  • The change agent: Life lessons from a corporate turnaround artist who believes in people (Deseret News)


  • Hear the Utah band’s song that won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Perspective: How we can rebuild the fragile blooms of social trust (Deseret News)
  • Self-checkout kiosks are asking for tips: Has ‘tipping culture’ gone too far? (Deseret News)
  • World’s oldest Hebrew Bible up for auction on Tuesday, could fetch $50 million (Deseret News)


  • BYU-Idaho names new school president as President Eyring will return to Provo after ‘outstanding’ tenure (Deseret News)
  • Astrid Tuminez and Ethan Morse: How can Utah compete with China? Education. (Deseret News)
  • Utah County school districts get ready for summer nutrition programs (Daily Herald)
  • Utah Tech students research shock-related failures using NASA’s mock-up shock module (St. George News)
  • Utah’s Pacific Islanders play a crucial role in BYU Alzheimer’s research (KUER)


  • Grand County ‘soda pop geyser’ erupts for the first time in years (KSL TV)
  • Holladay declares state of emergency due to ‘imminent risk’ of flooding (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah Geological Survey learning more on connection between Wasatch and West Valley fault lines (KSL Newsradio)
  • Utah’s hopes to ship coal through Oakland still alive, hinge on suit headed to trial (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Floods, quakes and radon, oh my: Utah’s hazard mitigation plan is getting a refresh (KUER)


  • The fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act. When it comes to children, should tribes govern themselves? (Deseret News)


  • Why the surgeon general is worried about declining church attendance. A new report on the importance of social connection highlights the value of church involvement, among other activities (Deseret News)
  • Fentanyl in Utah: How the drug gets into the state and how many people overdose (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Young Americans are dying at alarming rates, reversing years of progress. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Depression rates hit new high in Gallup polling (The Hill)


  • Utah rent prices remain high despite drops in neighboring states (KUTV)

National Headlines


  • Black victims of violent crime disproportionately denied aid in many states (AP)
  • Drug shortages near an all-time high, leading to rationing (New York Times)


  • George Santos expulsion coming before House as Democrats force vote (AP)
  • Hopes for historic Pacific visit dashed after Biden cancels trip to Papua New Guinea (AP
  • What everyone - except the US - has learned about immigration (Wall Street Journal)
  • Can new government regulation repack the Pandora’s box of emerging AI tools? (Deseret News)
  • Biden tries to win back working class voters through jobs as he looks to 2024 (Deseret News)
  • She won gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics as a 16-year-old. Now she’s running for Congress in New York (Deseret News)
  • The law that feeds America: How a new farm bill will decide what we eat — and who gets paid (Deseret News)
  • Debt limit progress as Biden, McCarthy name top negotiators to avert national default (AP)
  • North Carolina bans abortion past 12 weeks, overriding governor veto (Washington Post)
  • Texas passes bill stripping authority from cities (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russia orders arrest of prominent producer, director who criticized Ukraine war (AP)
  • ‘I only operate:’ A Ukrainian trauma surgeon has an all-consuming task during Russia’s war (AP)
  • The offensive before the offensive: Ukraine strikes behind Russian lines (Wall Street Journal)
  • As more European nations have worked to help Ukraine obtain F-16 fighter jets, the U.S. has remained reluctant. (New York Times)


  • The new cold war. Is it too late to stop Moscow and Beijing’s new world order? (Deseret News)
  • Freedom, just north of hope. As Haiti unravels, refugees find themselves in search of something better on the other side of Hispaniola. It may not be there (Deseret News)
  • Off-grid solar brings light, time and income to remotest villages (AP)
  • ‘Catastrophic’ Floods in Italy Leave 8 Dead and Thousands Homeless (New York Times)
  • Ecuador’s President Dissolves Congress Amid Impeachment Trial (New York Times)

News Releases

Romney: We must stop Putin from rebuilding the old Soviet Union

At a Foreign Relations Committee hearing yesterday to discuss what comes next for U.S. policy towards Russia, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) recalled the success of our Soviet Union strategy and asked the witnesses to detail potential pressure points for Russia and Putin. Romney argued that we must then apply more effort to those pressure points should the U.S., in lockstep with our allies, be successful at preventing Putin’s goal of re-establishing the old Soviet Union. (Read/Watch More)

USBE: 74 Utah students receive scholarship or tuition award

Seventy-four high school seniors received a Career and Technical Education (CTE) scholarship or tuition award to a Utah postsecondary institution. This year’s selection process began in February when 165 students applied for a scholarship or tuition award. (Read More)

National Coalition for Open Roads encourages Utah legislature to address road budget

A national organization is encouraging Utah lawmakers to reallocate millions of dollars to help state transportation officials deal with the snow removal costs and repairs to roads caused by flooding and landslides.

During a special session on Wednesday, Utah legislators will consider several bills, including House Joint Resolution 101, which would extend an existing emergency declaration flood mitigation and infrastructure rehabilitation from the current May 18 deadline to April 15, 2023.  The legislature will also consider H.B. 1001, which would allow the Utah Department of Transportation to move $20 million from construction projects to pay for the snow removal costs and current mitigation needs. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, May 17, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-05-17 at 7.17.55 AM



  • Interim Days — May 16-17, Utah State Capitol,
  • Utah Democratic Convention May 19-20, SUU (More information here)
  • Northern Utah Conference to End Sexual Violence — May 31, USU Eccles Center, 8:30 am-4:00 pm, Register here
  • Intellectual Property Rights webinar with the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation — June 1, 10:00 am, Register here
  • Bolder Way Forward Launch — June 9, 9 am-1 pm, Zions Technology Campus, Register here
  • Interim Days — June 13-14, Utah State Capitol,

On This Day In History

  • 1769 - George Washington criticizes “taxation without representation.”
  • 1912 - Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner is born. She was an African-American inventor most noted for her development of the sanitary belt.
  • 1937 - Hazel Reid (O’Leary) is born. She became the first - and so far, only - woman to serve as US Secretary of Energy.
  • 1954 - Brown v. Board of Education was decided in a unanimous decision and after 48 years of “separate but equal,” segregation in American schools was ruled unconstitutional.
  • 2001 - US President George W. Bush calls for reduced regulations to encourage more oil, gas, and nuclear production
  • 2004 - The first legal same-sex marriage in the US is performed in Massachusetts. 
  • 2018 - Michigan State University will pay $500 million in claims to 300 survivors of sexual abuse involving Larry Nassar. Largest sexual abuse case in sports history.

Quote of the Day

"This group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing."

—Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman at Larry Nassar's sentencing

"Enjoy hell"

—Gymnast Brooke Hylek

On the Punny Side

My friend Jack claims he can communicate with vegetables.

Jack and the beans talk!


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