Trail Mix with Senator Blouin; Tim Scott jumps into presidential race; some VERY expensive ice cream; and heavy Memorial Day travel
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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


Situational Analysis | May 23, 2023

It's Tuesday and, I kid you not, National Drinking with Chickens Day. 🐓

What You Need to Know

  • California, Nevada and Arizona submitted a plan to the US Dept. of Interior to conserve 3 million acre-feet of Colorado River water by the end of 2026. Because of this plan, the Interior Department will put on hold the draft supplemental environmental impact statement it published last month. The federal government will pay around $1.2 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funds to irrigation districts, cities, and Native American tribes for the water cuts. Utah isn't forced to make cuts, but the decrease in water will impact everything from food prices to growth. 

Rapid Roundup

Trail Mix with Senator Nate Blouin

Senator Blouin joins Utah Policy to talk about the mix of experiences along his trail to becoming a state Senator. He's worked in a pizza place, then spent time working construction, then as a ski instructor and more. He's also a trail runner - perfect for Trail Mix!

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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

  • Editorial Board: Why the 14th Amendment can’t lift the debt ceiling (Deseret News)
  • 'We are not helpless' against problems facing society, Cox tells students (KSL)
  • SLC Police Department to change the way it handles requests for information (KSL TV)
  • Here’s how Utah could be impacted by a US debt default (KSL Newsradio)
  • Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to Russia, banned from returning. The past Utah governor was one of 500 Americans sanctioned by the Kremlin on Friday as the U.S. continues to penalize Russia for invading Ukraine. (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah news

  • Authors of new book about Mountain Meadows Massacre say the tragedy has insights for current polarized moment (Deseret News)
  • Driver apathy keeps tens of thousands of unsafe cars on Utah roads (KSL TV)
  • Layton woman, whose husband is suspected of killing her, in-laws, remembered as ‘selfless.' Anastasia Stevens suspected her husband was cheating on her, she told a friend two days before she was killed. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah music festival with Post Malone cancelled unexpectedly (ABC4)
  • Convincing 'deepfake' scams mimic voices using AI to try and get money (Fox13)


  • FTC: Utah real estate company, celebrity realtors agree to pay millions after promoting ‘deceptive’ investment workshops (Deseret News)
  • Dinosaur Island bringing ancient life to Thanksgiving Point this summer (ABC4)
  • The Inland Port wants to be Utah’s magnet for tech jobs and electrification (KUER)


  • Male teachers are dying out in the education system. Here’s why — and how to bring them back (KSL)
  • Is community college a waste? Not in Utah (Deseret News)
  • Most Utah high schools have a high graduation rate (KSL Newsradio)
  • ‘Cover-up’? Frustrated Utah lawmakers subpoena Alpine District leaders over school closure plans. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah high schoolers build tiny homes for the homeless (ABC4)


  • 39 years later, ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ Cataract Canyon rapids are expected again (Deseret News)
  • Salt Lake moves flood control center to Wheeler Farm as it seeks to be more 'runoff ready' (KSL)
  • Waterfall of runoff damages road in Payson Canyon (KSL TV)
  • Runoff flows through Woodruff streets and homes (KSL TV)


  • Moving beyond ‘I’m sorry for your loss.' What do you say? What do you do? Research shows what grieving people really need (Deseret News)
  • Food pantries, Utah Food Bank see increase in demand heading into summer months (Fox13)


  • Ultra-processed foods are 60% of the average American diet. Some studies show that ultra-processed foods can pose a risk to long-term health and well-being. Are whole foods the solution? (Deseret News)
  • Being around birds can boost mental health, studies say (Deseret News)
  • ‘Bridle Up Hope’ empowers girls’ mental health with horses (ABC4)

National Headlines


  • Rick Hoyt, who competed in more than a thousand road races using a wheelchair pushed by his father, died on Monday at age 61. From 1980 through 2014, the pair competed nearly every year in the Boston Marathon, which honored them with a statue in 2013. (New York Times)
  • A housing bust comes for thousands of small-time investors (Wall Street Journal)


  • The clock is ticking as McCarthy and Biden say no deal yet, but talks ‘productive’ (Deseret News)
  • Judge dismisses Kari Lake’s final claim in election loss for Arizona governor (AP)
  • Perspective: How a Supreme Court decision went from red to blue in less than 2 decades. Between Reagan and Obama, support for ‘Chevron deference’ changed. Now the doctrine is back before a conservative Supreme Court (Deseret News)
  • E. Jean Carroll adds Trump’s post-verdict remarks to defamation case, seeks at least $10M (AP)
  • Rare bipartisan immigration proposal faces steep odds (Wall Street Journal)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russia claims it has defeated alleged incursion from Ukraine, a day after attack began (AP)
  • Militias of Russians fighting on Ukraine’s side mount incursion in western Russia (Washington Post)
  • Biden’s shift on F-16s for Ukraine came after months of internal debate (AP)
  • Jester or rebel? Mercenary Prigozhin lays bare the strains of Putin's war (Reuters)


  • How Turkey’s president maintains popularity despite economic turmoil (AP)

News Release

FTC & Utah Division of Consumer Protection settle largest consumer suit in Utah history

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Division of Consumer Protection (DCP), a division within the Utah Department of Commerce, have reached a court-ordered settlement with Response Marketing Group, LLC and its principals, who have agreed to pay $15 million and are banned from selling money-making opportunities. The suit brought by DCP and the FTC alleged that Response Marketing used false promises to sell expensive real estate investment training programs. Additionally, two real estate celebrities, Scott Yancey and Dean R. Graziosi, endorsed the training and agreed to pay $1.7 million. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, May 23, 2023


Tweet of the Day

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  • 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

  • 1785 - Benjamin Franklin announces he has invented bifocals
  • 1810 - Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli was born today. Commonly known as Margaret Fuller, she was an American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate.
  • 1824 - Ambrose Burnside is born. An American soldier, industrialist and politician (Governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69), he popularized sideburns. Burnside=sideburns. Who knew?
  • 1911 - The New York Public Library, the largest marble structure ever constructed in the United States, is dedicated in New York City.
  • 1934 - Bonnie Parker, of the Bonnie and Clyde duo, is shot and killed. (So is Clyde.)
  • 1960 - Israel announces that high-ranking Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina.
  • 1977 - US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals of Watergate wrong doers H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman & John Mitchell
  • 2021 - Belarus accused of “state-sponsored hijacking" after diverting commercial Ryanair flight to Minsk to arrest dissident journalist Roman Protasevich

Quote of the Day

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."

—Alice Walker

On the Punny Side

When you die, what is the last part of your body to stop working?

Your pupils. They dilate.


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