Happy birthday to the US Army; the Beatles are releasing their 'final' album thanks to AI; and what 'Hoarders' taught me about decluttering
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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 | June 14, 2023

It's Wednesday and it's both Flag Day 🇺🇸 and the 248th birthday of the US Army. 🎉

Candidate filing for the 2nd Congressional District special election closes today at 5 pm.

What You Need to Know

  • Utah's interim day on Capitol Hill will also include a special session to change municipal election dates to allow for a quicker replacement of Rep. Chris Stewart. Other items on the docket for today include discussions of "sensitive materials" in schools, discussions of heightened road rage penalties and a sunset review on the Women in the Economy subcommittee.

  • Former President Donald Trump pled not guilty Tuesday to 37 federal charges alleging he illegally retained classified documents at his Mar-A-Lago property and conspired to conceal them from federal authorities. The judge presiding over the arraignment ordered Trump not to speak to his aide and alleged co-conspirator in the case, Walt Nauta, regarding the details of the indictment except through attorneys. After the court hearing, Trump headed to a well known Cuban restaurant in Miami, then flew to New Jersey, where he spoke of "fake and fabricated charges."

Rapid Roundup

On the Hill Today


Refugees are Leaders

Refugees add to the cultural, economic and social fabric of our communities. Utahn refugees bring resilience, diverse perspectives, and a deep appreciation for the opportunities provided by their new home. Learn More and Become a Welcomer. #WorldRefugeeDay


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Utah lawmakers to consider ‘unprecedented’ election date changes to fill upcoming congressional vacancy (Deseret News)
  • Trump’s alleged deeds are too serious to ignore. The special counsel’s 47-page indictment outlines serious risks to national security and international intelligence. No one, not even a former president, should be above the law (Deseret News)
  • Is the Utah energy office planning for the future? Audit says no. Review finds office lacks strategic planning, risk analysis and modeling (Deseret News)
  • A scathing audit blasts Utah Office of Energy Development as adrift at a crucial moment. Office lacks goals and governance, has high employee turnover and its planning for energy transition is ‘limited.’ (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • State audit finds Utahns' data privacy at risk with state's government agencies (Fox13)
  • Utah to receive $209 million in latest opioid settlement (KSL)
  • Salt Lake City Council to vote on proposed $444 million budget (KSL Newsradio)
  • D2: President Stuart Adams previews Wednesday’s special session (KSL Newsradio)
  • Read the full LDS Church letter on political participation and straight-ticket voting (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah lawmakers considering increase in fines, penalties for reckless, aggressive driving (KUTV)

Election news

  • Flood of candidates declare run for 2nd District as filing deadline nears (Deseret News)
  • Utah Legislature will meet Wednesday to fund special election to replace GOP Rep. Chris Stewart (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Switching parties for the special election? You have a really tight deadline (Fox13)
  • Here’s the special session bill lawmakers will vote on for new Utah election dates (KUER)

General Utah news

  • Song for a war-torn heart: This Ukrainian has an American dream, but here’s why she stays. Fatigue sets in over a year after invasion, but Utah-based nonprofit August Mission urges Ukrainians still need help (Deseret News)
  • Encircle opens new LGBTQ+ resource center in Heber City (KSL)
  • Finally, Utah’s new retro black specialty license plate hits the streets (KSL TV)
  • ‘Show Up’ initiative promotes community service and how to get involved (KSL Newsradio)
  • Eagle Mountain road rage suspect charged with manslaughter, reckless driving (KUTV)
  • 2 Utah suburbs, Lehi and Layton, rank among Top 25 safest in US, study finds (ABC4)
  • Free-speech group threatens to sue Orem library for removing displays (Fox13)


  • Chick-fil-A brings back its summer milkshake — and is testing a new sandwich (Deseret News)
  • Study finds remote work and hybrid schedules might increase stress in U.S. workers (Deseret News)
  • 'Looking to the future': Utah leaders break ground on new Davis County sports park (KSL)
  • See how tourism jobs have recovered in your Utah county. Recent county reports and a dashboard from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute show tourism jobs and visitor spending had largely recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, though some counties lagged behind. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah promotes federal broadband access program for low-income residents (UPR)
  • Why we tell lies more on a laptop than on a cellphone. New research suggests that we associate laptops with our professional lives, and cellphones with our personal lives (Wall Street Journal)


  • Holly Richardson: Why did I save so much junk?! How to overcome your inner hoarder (Deseret News)
  • Juneteenth is primed for Utahns of color to explore their family history and traditions (KUER)


  • Sutherland Institute: Oklahoma’s Catholic charter school wouldn’t be legal in Utah — and shouldn’t be (Deseret News)
  • Brigham Young University hiking tuition prices for upcoming school year (ABC4)
  • UVU, MTECH collaborate on path for nursing students to continue education (Daily Herald)
  • ‘You build it, they will come’: Utah Online School sees major increase in graduates within a decade (St. George News)


  • Over 200 landslides have now been reported in Utah after record snowpack (KSL)
  • After drought, Utah farmers relieved after spectacular water year (Fox13)
  • Why a future with more extreme heat could hit parts of rural Utah especially hard (KUER)


  • Dad jokes are scientifically shown to benefit children. Even though dad jokes are a little cliche and more punny than funny, they’re something of an art form (Deseret News)
  • Summer hunger in Utah increases as food drives reap 50% less this year, local nonprofit says (ABC4)


  • Photo of the day: Therapy dogs leave their paw marks at St. Mark’s Hospital (Deseret News)
  • Healthy secret for retirement: Volunteer your time (KSL)
  • Voluntary recall of Costco frozen fruit over Hepatis A concerns (KSL Newsradio)


  • Salt Lake City may soon have a sanctioned homeless campground (KSL)
  • Home insurance providers backing out of Summit County due to wildfire risk (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Olympic sprinter Tori Bowie died from complications of childbirth, autopsy report concludes (AP)
  • There’s a widening spending gap between retirees and younger adults. Baby Boomers are shelling out for cruises, vacations and restaurants, while younger generations are pulling back, a new report shows. The divide could widen even more if the economy sours. (Washington Post)


  • Despite serious legal threat, Trump turns day in court into a campaign event (AP)
  • Trump pleads not guilty to federal charges that he illegally kept classified documents (AP)
  • A Fox News calls President Biden a “wannabe dictator” on Tuesday. (New York Times)
  • Democrats and Republicans share core values but still distrust each other (AP)
  • GOP presidential candidates of color walk a 'tightrope' as they discuss race (NPR)
  • US launches quiet diplomatic push with Iran (Wall Street Journal)
  • U.S. spy agencies buy vast quantities of Americans’ personal data, U.S. says (Wall Street Journal)
  • U.S. extends temporary protected status for more than 330,000 immigrants (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russia steps up aerial strikes on Ukraine, killing at least 6 amid Kyiv counteroffensive (AP)
  • Belarus starts taking delivery of Russian nuclear weapons (Reuters)
  • Using high-tech laser gear, UN-backed team scans Ukraine historical sites to preserve them amid war (AP)
  • Putin ponders: Should Russia try to take Kyiv again? (Reuters)
  • The Russian soldier who surrendered to a Ukrainian drone (Wall Street Journal)
  • Graffiti left by Russian soldiers serves as a reminder that the Kremlin wants to stamp out Ukraine and its culture. "It doesn't count as a war crime if you had fun." (New York Times)


  • The stuff of nightmares: Woman declared dead in Ecuador revives during her wake, knocks on her coffin (AP)
  • A mind-bogging 110 million people forcibly displaced as Sudan, Ukraine wars add to world refugee crisis, UN says (AP)
  • Sudan slides further into war as diplomacy flounders (Reuters)
  • At least 78 migrants dead and dozens feared missing after fishing vessel sinks off Greece (AP)
  • The mayor of a Mexican border city says she will live at an army base for safety (NPR)

News Releases

Romney warns of China threat while leading Foreign Relations Committee nominations hearing

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today served as Ranking Member at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee nominations hearing for ambassadorships to Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Palau, and Djibouti, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation. During his questioning, he warned of the threat China poses to our national and global security and asked the witnesses how they would approach their service to combat this threat—whether it be safeguarding U.S. supply chains, obtaining critical mineral independence, and discouraging other countries from partnering with the Chinese Communist Party for investment. (Read/Watch More)

Moore’s LODGE Act passes the House Committee on Natural Resources

Congressman Blake Moore’s Lodging Options Developed for Government Employees (LODGE) Act passed the House Committee on Natural Resources. Reintroduced for the 118th Congress with Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), the LODGE Act will cut red tape and provide the National Park Service (NPS) with new authorities and increased flexibility to enter into innovative housing partnerships. It will also reduce costs to the taxpayer, provide modern housing for both NPS employees and the private sector to rent, and improve NPS employee morale and the agency’s ability to hire and retain staff. This model is similar to those used successfully by other federal agencies, such as at Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park at Hill Air Force Base. (Read More)

Lee harnesses unused budget authority to aid Great Salt Lake

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) introduced the Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act, critical legislation that addresses the dire ecological crisis facing the Great Salt Lake. The proposed bill would grant the Secretary of the Interior the flexibility to allocate unexpended budget authority from other sections of CUPCA towards the existing water conservation program. By expanding the geographic coverage of the program to include the entire Great Salt Lake drainage basin, the bill aims to support the efforts of the State of Utah, local communities, and water districts north of Salt Lake County in conserving water use and replenishing the lake. (Read More)

UVU to host Silicon Slopes Summit on artificial intelligence

AI experts from across Utah are scheduled to speak as Utah Valley University (UVU) hosts the first annual Silicon Slopes Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit on Thursday, June 15 from 10 a.m. – noon in the Clarke Building on UVU’s Orem Campus. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, June 14, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-06-14 at 7.45.17 AM



  • Interim Days — June 13-14, Utah State Capitol, le.utah.gov
  • Bellwether International Symposium on Bridging the Religious Divide with the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy — June 16, 9:00 am-3:30 pm, Little America, Register here
  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — August 8-15
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept 5
  • General election — Nov 21

On This Day In History

  • 1775 - Birthday of the U.S. Army
  • 1777 - Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes
  • 1811 - Harriet Elisabeth Beecher (Stowe) is born. She went on to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • 1877 - The first Flag Day is observed
  • 1940 - Germany invades Paris
  • 1953 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the commencement address at Dartmouth and addressed Senator McCarthy’s misguided push to “get rid of” books by “subversive” authors. 
  • 1970 - Cheryl Adrienne Brown becomes the first Black woman to compete in the Miss America pageant after winning Miss Iowa
  • 2017 - Five people, including Rep. Steve Scalise, shot at a charity baseball game.

Quote of the Day

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book."

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower

On the Punny Side

The bank keeps calling me to give me compliments.

They say I have an “outstanding balance.”

(Also, it turns out Dad jokes are good for you - you're welcome!)


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