Happy Solstice! 11 GOP candidates debated last night; Utah Jazz to air games for free, national math and reading scores plummet
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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 21, 2023

It's Wednesday and, at 8:57 am, summer officially begins. Happy Solstice! ☀️ (But, sad trombone, the days will now start getting shorter. 😢)

What You Need to Know

Rapid Relevance


Utah’s Open Space is Shrinking – What You Can Do

Population growth impacts recreation opportunities and open space in Utah. Leaders welcome input on how to protect them. Take the survey and be heard.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Orrin Hatch, Elizabeth Warren, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton team up to fight endometriosis. They are all executive producers of ‘Below the Belt,’ which is airing on PBS. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah wants judge to toss challenge to its online porn age verification law (KUER)

Election news

  • Rep. Chris Stewart endorses Celeste Maloy to replace him (Deseret News)
  • In tame first debate, candidates vying to replace Rep. Chris Stewart try to stand out (Deseret News)
  • Utah Republicans discuss same-sex marriage, federal budget in first special congressional election debate (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Kelleen Potter: Utah should be using ranked choice voting in the special election (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah news

  • ‘An act of love': Utah decorated veteran, injured in Afghanistan, receives free car (KSL)
  • Single mother of 2 young children loses everything in house fire (KSL)
  • Christmas Box shelter desperate for summer donations (KSL TV)
  • Utah named third deadliest state for young drivers (Fox13)
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources stocks community fishing ponds across state (UPR)


  • Female entrepreneurs, artists featured at Outdoor Retailer (Fox13)
  • Next up in the Salt Lake airport renovation: 9 gates and 12 stores (Deseret News)
  • Jay Evensen: How to avoid the AI apocalypse (Deseret News)
  • Utah company uses AI to catch online predators (KSL)
  • First standalone Panera Bread to open in Utah (KUTV)


  • Utah is friendly to refugees - but we can do better. Here are organizations you can help (Deseret News)
  • Tuesday was World Refugee Day. Here's how everyday Utahns can help (KSL)
  • Meet two of Ogden’s infamous madams, from the city’s rougher days (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • USU honors Juneteenth by educating, celebrating and activating (UPR)
  • Bible back in Davis County schools (Deseret News)
  • Group holds mental toughness youth summer camp (KSL)
  • Utah book challenges by the numbers: A KSL investigation (KSL TV)
  • Utah Library Association and PEN Utah: We need common sense solutions to book challenges (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Utah files federal lawsuit over ‘egregious power grab’ on ozone rule (Deseret News)
  • Brrr! It’s nearly summer, but it doesn’t feel like it in northern Utah (Deseret News)
  • Rio Tinto allocates $920M to Utah's Kennecott for underground copper mining (KSL)
  • Utah takes first step to challenge rule requiring cleaner coal power
    Petition seeks review of “Good Neighbor Rule,” which aims to keep Utah pollution out of Colorado. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • ‘Just disgusting’: A Nevada city confronts millions of smelly Mormon crickets (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Record-setting winter, wet spring making way for hot, dry weather conditions ripe for wildfires (KUTV)
  • Construction begins on power line that’ll cut through Utah as some fret over wind power (KUER)


  •  How do politics affect dating as young people drift further apart? Research says young women are becoming a lot more liberal. Young men are becoming a bit more conservative. Will they find each other? (Deseret News)


  • ‘Wellness’ needs a warning label. How do you know if your wellness routine is hurting you? (Deseret News)
  • What 18 years of research tells us about the mental health of Latter-day Saints (Deseret News)
  • Learning more about sickle cell disease and how it affects Black people (KSL Newsradio)


  • Nope, it’s not gas stations or high-density housing that caused this SLC neighborhood squabble. It's speed bumps. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Two more Orem development projects cause concern amongst neighbors over traffic (KUTV)

National Headlines


  • New report: charitable giving declined in 2022 (Deseret News)
  • Native American tribes say Supreme Court challenge was never just about foster kids (KUER)
  • Underwater noises heard in desperate search for submersible missing with 5 aboard near Titanic (AP)
  • Greece boat disaster: 800 were on board (Reuters)


  • Rep. Boebert introduces privileged resolution to impeach President Biden (Washington Post)
  • Biden calls Xi a dictator; Beijing slams remark as ‘provocation’ (Washington Post)
  • Majority of Americans say it was wrong for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe (NPR)
  • Trump's advantages are huge in the 2024 GOP primary right now (NPR)
  • Election workers are facing threats and harassment as they brace for 2024 (NPR)
  • ProPublica asked about Alito’s travel. He replied in the Wall Street Journal. (Washington Post)
  • Trump calls for death penalty for drug dealers; Fox’s Baier notes it would apply to woman he championed (The Hill)
  • Trump, Barr feud reaches fever pitch (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Kyiv clamps down on bunker rules after residents died outside locked shelter (Washington Post)


  • IOC: Police raid on Paris Olympic organizers ‘very tense’ and ‘very difficult’ (Deseret News)
  • Greek Coast Guard under scrutiny for response to migrant mass drowning (New York Times)
  • In missing submersible and migrant disaster, a tale of two Pakistans (Washington Post)
  • Once starved by war, millions of Ethiopians go hungry again as US, UN pause aid after massive theft (AP)
  • Antlers and fancy dress: Stonehenge welcomes 8,000 visitors for summer solstice (AP)

News Releases

Utah files lawsuit to stop EPA rule that could increase energy costs

Today, the Utah Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently released Ozone Interstate Transport Rule. Regarding the lawsuit, Utah’s elected leaders – Gov. Spencer Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Senate President J. Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson, U.S. Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, and Congressmen Chris Stewart, John Curtis, Burgess Owens, and Blake Moore – issued the following statement:

“Utah’s measured, all-of-the-above energy policy has powered decades of prosperity by providing some of the country’s most reliable and affordable energy. This balanced and commonsense approach has powered our state, fueled our economy, and maintained a high quality of life for Utahns. We have also dramatically decreased emissions and ozone on our own. However, the Biden administration has turned to executive rulemaking to enact policies that will force early closures of Utah power plants, putting reliable, affordable, and dispatchable power significantly at risk – and only in a few years." (Read More)

Romney, colleagues introduce bill to promote US critical mineral independence from China

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, along with Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Gary Peters (D-MI), today introduced the Critical Mineral Independence Act of 2023legislation to push the Department of Defense to achieve critical mineral supply chain independence from China, Russia, and other geostrategic competitors and adversaries. (Read More)

2023 Clear the Air challenge kicks off

The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) and TravelWise, kicked off the 14th Annual Clear the Air Challenge today. Issued by business, government and community leaders, the Challenge is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, June 21, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-06-21 at 7.46.55 AM



  • GOP special election convention — June 24, Delta High School
  • United Utah special election convention — June 27, 7:00 pm, Hunter Library
  • Democratic special election convention — June 28
  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — August 8-15
  • 'Titan of Public Service' gala recognizing Senator Mitch McConnell and former Transportation and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, hosted by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation — Aug 22, 7 pm, Register here
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept 5
  • General election — Nov 21

On This Day In History

  • 1788 - US Constitution is ratified

  • 1893 - George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. debuts his invention, the Ferris wheel, at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition.

  • 1964 - Three Civil Rights workers working to register Black voters disappear and are murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.

  • 1990 - A 7.7 earthquake in Iran kills 50,000 and injures another 135,000. 400,000 were left homeless.

  • 1997 - The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) plays its first game.

  • 2001 - Mexican artist Frida Kahlo becomes the 1st Hispanic woman to be honored on a US postage stamp.

  • 2004 - Test pilot Mike Melvill flew SpaceShipOne into suborbital flight becoming the first civilian to pilot an aircraft into space.

Quote of the Day

"I think the most important thing about technology is that you must not think about it first, but think about people first."

—Mattias Ulbrich, CEO of Porsche Digital and CIO of Porsche AG

On the Punny Side

Are people born with a photographic memory?

Or does it take time to develop?


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