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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 19, 2023

It's Friday and Celebrate Your Elected Officials Day. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

What You Need to Know

  • Dick Nourse dies at age 83. From his first newscast in 1964 until his last in 2007, Nourse became the trusted voice of KSL 5 News for 43 years. His first big news story was a plane crash on Nov. 11, 1965. He was the only Utah television reporter to go to Vietnam during the war. “I was in love with my job and I wanted to be there, more than anything,” Nourse said.

Rapid Roundup



Everyone gets a say. What are Your Ideas?

Utah is growing quickly. Help us prepare for the opportunities and the challenges ahead by sharing your thoughts on growth. Take the survey and be heard.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • A proposed BLM public lands rule change about how public lands can be used has some of Utah’s state lawmakers and the federal delegation sounding the alarm. (KSL Newsradio)
  • Cox throws support behind Texas’ immigration policies, calls out ‘imbeciles in Congress’ (Deseret News)
  • Gov. Cox: ‘In the absence of action’ states like Utah have to step in (KUER)
  • Stewart: Congress should have oversight over FBI (Deseret News)
  • How Utah’s new emergency funds will help cities and towns respond to flooding (Salt Lake Tribune)
  •  Gov. Cox open to a ‘rebalance’ of city powers after Draper homes collapse. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • First Amendment is grounds for dismissal of GOP leader’s defamation suit, Tribune attorney says (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Ogden City Council approves new city flag (Standard-Examiner)
  • Utah lawmakers chastise Alpine School District over its proposed closures (KUER)
  • Governor Cox's monthly news conference (PBS Utah)

General Utah news

  • Three months after a KSL investigation: two cases re-opened by the Davis County Sheriff’s Office have led to first-degree felony rape charges. (KSL TV)
  • A 2News Investigation exposes a breakdown in our legal system that has allowed a serial drunk driver to stay on our roads while he racks up arrest after arrest for drunk driving and driving on a suspended license. (KUTV)
  • Alleged drunk driver accused of killing motorcyclist in American Fork released from jail (KSL TV)
  • Utah man speaks out after rockfall in Big Cottonwood Canyon took girlfriend's life (KUTV)
  • Ogden City Council reacts to FOX 13 investigation into police quotas (Fox13)
  • Kamas woman accused of killing husband took $2M in life insurance policies, police say (KSL)


  •  Why teens are a bigger portion of Utah’s workforce than in any other state (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Oui, this country may be a late entry in the race to host the 2030 Winter Games (Deseret News)


  • Grand County schools transition to remote learning in attempt to slow norovirus outbreak (KUTV)
  • What creates jobs, puts food on the table and supports businesses? It’s research (Deseret News)
  • The University of Idaho will create a nonprofit to acquire the University of Phoenix, one of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges, in a $550 million deal unanimously approved by state education officials Thursday. (Washington Post)
  • Utah high school student paints portraits of over 200 school shooting victims (Fox13)


  • Giving the Great Salt Lake national park status would repair our relationship with this natural wonder. (Deseret News)
  • Will we ever be at peace with wolves? (Deseret News)
  • The Beehive state is ranked among worst beekeeping states (KSL Newsradio)


  • How do we feed our families as prices continue to rise? This ‘Produce Mom’ has some ideas (Deseret News)
  • National Foster Care Month honored in Utah with event to bring awareness (Fox13)


  • Depression rates in the United States are skyrocketing, particularly among young adults and women, a new poll shows. (ABC News)
  • Drug shortages in U.S. is currently hitting a 10-year high (Deseret News)
  • Aerobic exercise decreases the risk of death by flu or pneumonia, new study finds. As little as 10 minutes of physical activity a day makes a difference (Deseret News)
  • Can Utahns Quit Their Diet Coke? A local restaurant owner weighs in (KSL Newsradio)


  • Looking for a house? High mortgages, few homes lead to biggest annual price drop in 11 years (KSL TV)
  • Minimum wage workers in Utah can’t afford even the most modest rental on full-time pay. There’s no county in Utah where people working at minimum wage for 40 hours a week can earn enough to afford the cheapest living space — not even a studio. (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Citing “considerable changes” to business conditions, Disney scuttled a Florida office construction project worth nearly $1 billion amid an ongoing feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The office complex was expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs to Florida. (Washington Post)
  • Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) slams Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), saying his “personal vendetta” with Disney has cost the state jobs and investments. (The Hill)
  • TikTok content creators file lawsuit against Montana over first-in-nation law banning app (AP)


  • Supreme Court rules against Andy Warhol in copyright case (New York Times)
  • Supreme Court rules Google and Twitter not liable for terrorist content (Deseret News)
  • Two religious freedom lawsuits cost California more than $1 million. (Deseret News)
  • Freedom Caucus says ‘no further discussion’ on debt ceiling until Senate passes House GOP bill (The Hill)
  • World watches in disbelief and horror as U.S. nears possible default (Washington Post)
  • Feinstein’s office details previously unknown complications from shingles illness (AP)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Ukraine’s president begins visit to Saudi Arabia, aims to enhance ties with Arab world (AP)
  • Ukraine war: Taking steps to tackle the mental scars of conflict (BBC)
  • Ukraine races to forge new army ahead of offensive (Wall Street Journal)
  • $3 billion accounting error means the Pentagon can send more weapons to Ukraine (AP)


  • Video evidence shows asylum seekers in Greece, among them young children, being rounded up and stripped of their belongings, then taken to sea and abandoned on a raft by the Coast Guard. (New York Times)

News Releases

Gov. Spencer J. Cox signs three bills from special session

Gov. Cox signed three bills passed during yesterday’s special session. 

  • HB 1001, Emergency Response Funding
  • HB 1002, Restricted Persons Amendments
  • HB 1003, Firefighter Death Benefit Amendments

University of Utah Research Park Act passes committee

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) University of Utah Research Park Act passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a unanimous vote. This bill would preserve the University of Utah’s nearly 600-acre research park and avoid possible action by the Bureau of Land Management to repurpose the land. Research Park is a center for research and development serving both the University and the local workforce. Research Park is situated on a parcel of land which was transferred to the University by the Bureau of Land Management in 1968. Lee and Romney partnered on this legislation to ensure Research Park remains productive and thriving. The bill is now eligible for consideration by the full Senate. (Read More)

Moore reintroduces bipartisan, bicameral FIRESHEDS Act to improve wildfire prevention efforts

Congressman Blake Moore was joined by Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Senator James Risch (R-ID) in reintroducing the Forest Improvements through Research and Emergency Stewardship for Healthy Ecosystem Development and Sustainability (FIRESHEDS) Act, which would allow for the establishment of fireshed management areas. These areas, created in close partnership with state governors, would allow the Secretary of the Interior to designate one or more landscape-scale fireshed areas within a state to conduct fireshed management projects and use advanced technologies and wildfire hazard models to reduce threats to public health, critical infrastructure, wildlife habitats, and watersheds. This would be accomplished by creating fuel and fire breaks, conducting hazardous fuels management and prescribed burns, and removing unhealthy tree stands. (Read More)

Romney joins colleagues in commemorating National Police Week

The U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution marking National Police Week and reiterating support for the men and women in law enforcement. U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) co-sponsored the bipartisan resolution, led by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL), with 76 of his Senate colleagues. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, May 19, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-05-19 at 5.34.48 AM



  • 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, le.utah.gov

On This Day In History

  • 1536 - Unsuccessful at producing a male heir in three years, Anne Boleyn is beheaded and Henry VIII married his 3rd wife, Jane Seymour, 11 days later.
  • 1864 - President Lincoln proposes equal treatment of soldiers’ dependents, regardless of race
  • 1916 - Britain and France conclude the secretive Sykes-Picot agreement, which divided most of the Arab lands under the rule of the Ottoman Empire into British and French spheres of influence.
  • 1930 - Author Lorraine Hansberry is born. Her most famous work, A Raisin in the Sun, was inspired by her family's legal battle against racially segregated housing laws in the Washington Park Subdivision of the South Side of Chicago during her childhood.
  • 1953 - Nuclear explosion in Nevada - fall-out reaches St George, Utah
  • 1965 - Patricia R. Harris was appointed as ambassador to Luxembourg, becoming the first woman African American ambassador.
  • 1994 - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American 1st lady (1961-63), dies of cancer at 64

Quote of the Day

“When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.”
― Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

On the Punny Side

How do you get 100 math teachers into a room in which only 99 fit?

You carry the one.


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