Speaker Brad Wilson has $2M in his war chest for a potential US Senate run; US inflation falls to 3%; a dream birthday present: a tractor
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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 12, 2023

It's Wednesday and Etch-A-Sketch Day. Sadly, I have no Buddy the Elf skills. But, it's also Amazon Prime Day and I definitely have ordering skills. 

What You Need to Know

  • Multiple graves of Indigenous children have been found at the former Panguitch Indian Boarding School, in operation from 1904-1909. Today only a single building remains of the former school, which is now the site of a USU-operated research farm. However, during its five years of operation, nearly 150 Paiute children, some as young as 2 and 3, were taken to the federally overseen school. In a joint statement, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and its five sovereign bands expressed sorrow at finding the graves and at the practice that stripped children of their Native language, culture and heritage. “These children were taken from their families at very young ages, were not permitted to communicate in the only language they had ever known and were forced into manual labor to maintain the facility," they write. "Our tear will fall as we sing for you." 

  • Speaker Brad Wilson says he is still exploring a run for US Senate next year, but filed as an official candidate in April. He has raised more than $2 million and the Federal Elections Commission requires that a person file as a candidate if their exploratory committee raises more than $5000. If support continues, the "likelihood of us launching a full campaign is extremely high." If he doesn’t run, he says everyone who’s donated to his exploratory committee will be fully refunded.

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

  • Utah Gov. Spencer Cox continues to enjoy strong approval rating (Deseret News)
  • Did Legislature take power from the people? Utah high court weighs lawsuit (KSL)
  • Did Utah’s congressional map go too far? Utah Supreme Court hears the case. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Orrin Hatch Foundation honors Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao in Salt Lake City (Deseret News)
  • Herriman proposes up to 15% property tax increase to fund law enforcement (KUTV)
  • Utah Sen. Johnson looking anew at targeting diversity, equity and inclusion programs (Standard-Examiner)

Election news

  • Brad Wilson has filed as a candidate for US Senate but calls it an exploratory committee (KSL Newsradio)
  • Women taking over the ballot for the 2nd Congressional District special election (KSL Newsradio)

General Utah news

  • Derek Miller: Pioneer Day is a time to welcome all immigrants (Deseret News)
  • Why Germany’s no longer looking at bidding for the same Winter Games as Salt Lake City (Deseret News)
  • Details of violent prison incident not shared with Utah's parole board before convicted rapist’s release (KSL TV)
  • F-35s from Hill Air Force Base to perform All-Star Game flyover (Fox13)
  • Utah closes off 56 abandoned mines near Eureka, including where 2 bodies were found (KSL TV)


  • How the next major hub in the biotechnology industry found a home in Salt Lake City (Deseret News)
  • Crocs releases ‘Barbie’-themed shoes ahead of movie release (ABC4)
  • Utah brothers bank on butterflies for business (Fox13)
  • It's (already!) back-to-school shopping time, and everyone wants a bargain (NPR)


  • Holly Richardson: Americans need to unplug and recharge. Too many people take work with them on vacation. They would be more productive if they learned to relax and refresh (Deseret News)
  • The surprising share of Americans who don’t see political divisions at church (Deseret News)


  • Hawaii’s first poet laureate helping Utah students tell their own stories (KSL)
  • ‘Right-sized schools’: Salt Lake board hears recommendations for school closures (KSL TV)
  • Alpine School Board votes to pause closure process of three elementary schools (KUTV)
  • Test scores show American students slipping further behind despite recovery efforts (AP)


  • Michael Liss: Stop locking us out of Arches National Park. It’s time to upgrade the infrastructure of Arches (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Extreme heatwave takes aim at southern Utah and the rest of the Southwest (KUER)
  • How hot is the sea off Florida right now? Think 90s Fahrenheit. (New York Times)


  • Child drowning is the number one killer for children 1 to 4 (KSL Newsradio)


  • Tenants accuse Salt Lake housing authority of unfair rent hikes, poor treatment (KSL)
  • Salt Lake City unveils 'heartening plan' to address housing crisis (KSL)
  • First-time Utah homebuyers can now apply for up to $20k in assistance (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Vermont turns to recovery after being hit by flood from slow-moving storm (AP)
  • NASA releases spectacular new image to celebrate the James Webb Space Telescope’s 1st year of science (Washington Post)
  • MyPillow auctions off equipment amid ‘massive cancellation,’ CEO Lindell says (The Hill)


  • Another Trump legacy: Governor troll wars (Politico)
  • Perspective: Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson — together at last? (Deseret News)
  • House Freedom Caucus, other Republicans press McCarthy to cut spending for 2024 to 2022 levels (Deseret News)
  • A Biden plan cuts student loan payments for millions to $0. Will it be the next legal battle? (AP)
  • Senators call for Supreme Court to follow ethics code like other branches of government (AP)
  • Congress tackles food stamp changes in the farm bill (NPR)
  • Biden's approval rating lingers at 40%, economy remains top worry -Reuters/Ipsos
  • DOJ will no longer intervene on behalf of Trump in Carroll defamation suit (Washington Post)
  • Tuberville’s white nationalism comments trigger GOP uproar (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • NATO deepens ties with Ukraine but doesn’t set clear path for membership (AP)
  • NATO allies offer security assurances for Ukraine on path to membership (Reuters)
  • In ’20 Days in Mariupol’ documentary, the horrors of war illuminated (AP)
  • Masked gunmen and a stolen toilet: How Russia seized a Ukrainian city's business (Wall Street Journal)
  • Zelensky softens tone on NATO ahead of meeting with Biden (Washington Post)
  • Russian troops are battling high and drunk: It’s nothing new (The Hill)


  • The Palestinian Authority, teetering on collapse, is tested in Jenin (Washington Post)
  • Volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital, in photos and videos (Washington Post)

Number of the Day 

Number of the Day, July 12, 2023


News Releases

First-time Homebuyers Assistance Program applications available starting July 11

Qualified applicants can apply for The First-time Homebuyers Assistance Program starting Tuesday, July 11, 2023. Funding will be made available to Utahns on or after July 25 and will help individuals and families receive a loan of up to $20,000 to buy down interest rates, apply funds towards a down payment or pay closing costs on a first home. (Read More)

Romney, Hickenlooper introduce seven-year extension of fish recovery programs

U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) today introduced the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Reauthorization Act. The bill extends the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program for seven years, which, combined, protect four threatened and endangered native fish species in the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins. The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Bennet (D-CO), Lujan (D-NM), and Heinrich (D-NM). The legislation builds on the success of Romney and Hickenlooper’s Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins Recovery Act in the 117th Congress, which provided a one year extension for the programs and passed into law with the annual budget last December. (Read More)


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-07-12 at 7.54.46 AM



  • Legislative School Security Task Force — July 17, 2:00 pm, le.utah.gov
  • Legislative Court Reform Task Force — July 19, 1:00 pm, le.utah.gov
  • Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee — July 27, 11:00 am. le.utah.gov
  • Interim Days — Aug 7-10, le.utah.gov
  • 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
  • Legislative Education and Mental Health Coordinating Council — Aug 23, le.utah.gov
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept. 5
  • Interim Day — Sept. 18, Utah Tech University, le.utah.gov
  • Interim Day — Oct 10-11, le.utah.gov
  • Interim Day — Nov 14-15, le.utah.gov
  • General election — Nov. 21

On This Day In History 

  • 1389 - Geoffrey Chaucer is named chief clerk to the king by Richard II
  • 1849 - Dolley Madison dies. She was the 4th First Lady of the United States
  • 1862 - President Abraham Lincoln signs a law that creates the Medal of Honor
  • 1909 - 16th Amendment (income tax) was passed by congress
  • 1984 - Geraldine Ferraro named vice presidential candidate, the first woman to be named on a major political ticket
  • 1990 - Boris Yeltsin quits the Soviet Communist Party
  • 1997 - Malala Yousafzai is born. She is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In 2012, they shot her in the head for teaching other girls to read.
  • 2013 - Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations and calls for worldwide access to education
  • 2022 - Twitter sues Elon Musk after he pulls out of a deal to buy the social media site, accusing him of "trashing it" and "a model of bad faith.” Not sure making Musk follow through on the deal worked out for Twitter….

Quote of the Day

“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
― Malala Yousafzai

On the Punny Side

Why couldn't the jalapeño practice archery? 

Because it didn't habanero 🌶️


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