Happy Independence Day!; here's where to watch fireworks in Utah this Fourth of July; Steve Young reportedly a casualty of ESPN layoffs
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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 | July 3, 2023

It's Monday and Air Conditioning Appreciation Day. Hip hip hooray for Willis Haviland Carrier, inventor of the modern air conditioner! 🎉

Also, hip, hip hooray for Brooklyn Roemer, who did a great job for y'all with the Utah Policy newsletter last week while I went on vacation - without my laptop, even!

Enjoy Independence Day tomorrow - Utah Policy will be back in your inboxes on Wednesday morning. 

What You Need to Know

  • The wait for US passports is creating travel purgatory and snarling summer plans. Some 500,000 applications are submitted each week, creating a mini-nation of people with family dreams and big money at stake, holding their phones, refreshing the screens, queuing up, spending more money, and fuming online — before any of them set foot near an airport. The Utah federal delegation has been pushing for a passport office in Utah to be opened ASAP.

Rapid Relevance


Get tickets for the Utah Days of '47 Rodeo for some country fun from July 19th-22nd, 24th.

This summer, experience the wild west without wandering too far from home. Whether you're a Salt Lake downtowner or a tiny hometowner, come to the Utah State Fairpark for live music, food, and family fun. Join us July 19th-22nd and the 24th for the Utah Days of '47 Rodeo.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Perspective: The case for patriotism (Deseret News)
  • Why did Mike Lee use an ‘Office’ reference to react to the Supreme Court’s student loan decision? (Deseret News)
  • Communities push to become cities to push against county control (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah alcohol laws: Is the .05 DUI threshold saving lives? (ABC4)
  • Editorial Board: Poor oversight of Utah’s long-term care facilities puts lives at risk. It’s time for change. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Weber County creates political entity to aid in business park development (Standard-Examiner)
  • Congressman Stewart welcomes America’s newest citizens at Bryce Canyon naturalization ceremony (St. George News)

Election news

  • Robert Gehrke: Here’s how we fix Utah’s broken, unrepresentative primary election system (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • The IUP Panel on the 2CD special election and book bans (ABC4)

General Utah news

  • Illegal fireworks to blame for large fire that burned 3 homes, neighbors say (KSL TV)
  • Utah Division of Wildlife advises caution around bison, other wildlife ahead of holiday weekend (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Judge awards $152 million to ex-FLDS members in lawsuit against Warren Jeffs (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Woman attacked last Fourth of July advocates for women's safety (KUTV)
  • Utah man fatally hits bicyclist then shoots himself (ABC4)
  • Man riding scooter killed intentionally after being hit by car in Salt Lake City (Fox13)
  • Provo's sky fills with color for 2023 Balloon Fest (KUTV)


  • Men perceive less gender bias than women in the Utah workplace — what can we do about it? (Deseret News)
  • Guilty until proven sick: How workplace culture, and personal stigmas, are pushing people to work through illnesses (Deseret News)
  • This trio of BYU students thinks they may have built the next 'billion-dollar company' (KSL)
  • Mayor announces international flights out of Provo (ABC4)


  • The Farm at Gardner Village rescues animals ... and humans (Deseret News)
  • The best reason to think about social justice as a religion (Deseret News)


  • Pres. Taylor Randall: How admissions at the University of Utah really work (Deseret News)
  • From nonprofits to frog dissections: Utah students are learning about civic engagement in creative ways (Deseret News)
  • Alpine School District officially closing 2 elementary schools (Fox13)


  • Forest management critics call for tree thinning to prevent wildfires, improve watersheds (Deseret News)
  • What’s going on with the West’s largest transmission line in decades? 732-mile transmission line will deliver wind energy from Wyoming (Deseret News)
  • Aristotle knew back in 300 B.C. what ‘watermelon snow’ was and now Utah mountains are experiencing it (Deseret News)
  • Thousands of nesting birds have vanished at Great Salt Lake’s Gunnison Island (KSL Newsradio)
  • The new Great Salt Lake Commissioner is ready to help save the lake (Fox13)
  • Deep sea mining permits may be coming soon. What are they and what might happen? (AP)


  • Life is in the pictures: Practical strategies to organize your family photos (Deseret News)
  • Walk down ‘Memory Lane’ — digitalize old photos and reels at the new FamilySearch Library preservation center (Deseret News)


  • Utahns have the most skin cancer in the nation — here’s how to reduce your risk (Deseret News)


  • Tenants accuse Salt Lake housing authority of unfair rent hikes, poor treatment (KSL)
  • Even affordable housing tenants feel the pressures of Salt Lake City’s climbing rents (KUER)

National Headlines


  • California man sentenced to over 6 years in prison for $8.7 million cow manure Ponzi scheme (KSL TV)
  • Men are hunters, women are gatherers. That was the assumption. A new study upends it (NPR)
  • Half the police force quit in Minneapolis. Crime dropped. (New York Times)


  • Man cited in Supreme Court LGBTQ rights case says he was never involved. The man says he has been married to a woman for 15 years and never asked for services from a Christian website designer (Washington Post)
  • The four key rulings made by the Supreme Court last week: From free speech and your right to Sabbath observance to college admissions and debt forgiveness, here’s what you need to know. (Deseret News)
  • The 2024 Republican presidential field keeps growing. So why aren’t there more women? (AP)
  • U.S. explores refugee program for non-Mexican asylum seekers in Mexico (Reuters)
  • Trump pressured Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to overturn 2020 election (Washington Post)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Award-winning Ukrainian writer dies of injuries suffered in Russian missile attack on restaurant (AP)
  • NATO readies military plans to defend against bruised but unbowed Russia (AP)
  • Moscow says 700,000 children from Ukraine conflict zones now in Russia (Reuters)
  • Putin's corporate takeover of Wagner has begun (Wall Street Journal)
  • Cracking down on dissent, Russia seeds a surveillance supply chain (New York Times)
  • Ukraine says Putin is planning a nuclear disaster. These people live nearby. (Washington Post)


  • Amazon Indigenous are leaving rainforest for cities, and finding urban poverty (AP)
  • Facebook content moderators in Kenya call the work ‘torture.’ Their lawsuit may ripple worldwide (AP)
  • Israel targets a West Bank militant stronghold with drones and troops, killing 8 Palestinians (AP)

Opinion: The Moore decision empowers Utah courts to overturn gerrymandered congressional districts

by Dr. Ellen Brady

The June 27 US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Moore v. Harper decision sent a clear message regarding the courts’ authority to ensure free and fair elections through judicial checks on legislative actions. SCOTUS specifically rejected the North Carolina Legislature’s claim to unrestrained power over redistricting. Notably, North Carolina’s Supreme Court had overturned overtly gerrymandered maps drawn by the legislature, but then reversed itself after gaining more Republican judges. Thus, by preserving the North Carolina Supreme Court’s right of oversight, ironically, this SCOTUS decision upheld the gerrymandered maps

We urge Utah’s Supreme Court to apply the Moore v. Harper decision to The League of Women Voters v. the Utah Legislature case it will hear on July 11. When Utahns passed the Better Boundaries ballot initiative they made known their desire for a fair, independent redistricting process that maintained the integrity of communities of interest. The legislature totally disregarded that law as it drew Congressional Districts designed to disenfranchise Salt Lake County, the state’s most populous and “left-leaning” area. It was classic “cracking”—the splitting communities of interest in order to dilute their influence. (Read More)

News Releases

Weber State selected by Amazon as an education partner for Career Choice Program

Weber State University has been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees access to over 200 certificate and degree programs.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an educational benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through various education and upskilling opportunities, including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas and GEDs. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, July 3, 2023


Meme of the Day

Screenshot 2023-07-03 at 7.59.32 AM



  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — Aug. 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 p.m., Register here
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept. 5
  • General election — Nov. 21

On This Day In History 

  • 1775 - George Washington takes command of the Continental Army
  • 1863 - Battle of Gettysburg ends on the third day. It became the turning point in the Civil War, costing the Union 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Confederates suffered some 25,000 casualties. Brutal.
  • 1890 - Happy birthday, Idaho!
  • 1916 - Henrietta "Hetty" Green, American businesswoman and financier whose wealth and miserliness saw her known as the "Witch of Wall Street", dies of a stroke at 81
  • 1938 - President Franklin Roosevelt dedicates the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lights the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield
  • 1962 - Jackie Robinson named to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first Black ball player in the major leagues.
  • 1988 - U.S. warship accidentally shoots down Iranian passenger jet, killing all 290 on board.

Quote of the Day

"I went over the field. Such a sight I never wish to see again. Every conceivable wound that can be thought of was there. There was so many wounded that it was impossible to attend to all of them. Some of them laying 48 hours in a drenching rain. It is beyond the power of me to describe a battle field."

—John Inglis, Sergeant, 9th New York Cavalry, Co. D., in a letter to his wife

On the Punny Side

I was walking barefoot on the beach and stepped on a rusty piece from an old video game.

Now I have to get a Tetris shot.


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