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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 14, 2023

It's Friday and Shark Awareness Day. It's also National Mac and Cheese Day, much to my grandchildren's delight. 

What You Need to Know

  • Governor Spencer Cox becomes the chair of the National Governors Association today. Each chair has a "signature initiative" and Governor Cox has chosen a campaign that will help citizens learn to "disagree better."  It may be an uphill battle, but without solving the problem of contempt, none of the nation's many other pressing problems will be solved, he explained. The Washington Post called him brave for being willing to try - "and for believing that Americans are not living in a 'post-kindness' world." No question it is a heavy lift, even here at home, where new research from UVU shows just as much division and rancor in Utah politics as national politics. 

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

  • Rep. Burgess Owens has something to say about foreign influence on college campuses (Deseret News)
  • These 78 Utah cities, entities want to raise taxes this year (KSL)
  • Utah lawmakers gave millions to support a private landowner’s unusual wildfire prevention method. Does it work? (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Salt Lake City elects new councilwoman to replace official arrested for DUI: Sarah Young, the chief of staff to the state school superintendent (KSL)

Election news

  • Republican Celeste Maloy calls for a pre-primary debate blitz ahead of special election (Salt Lake Tribune)

General Utah news

  • Saratoga Springs playground considered total loss after 'suspicious' fire (KSL)
  • West Jordan hit by a ransomware attack, expert says education is the best defense (KSL Newsradio)
  • Hildale, Colorado City experiencing dramatic changes and growth (Fox13)


  • ‘Solar boom’ heats up fraud complaints against Utah solar companies (Deseret News)
  • Entrata says new acquisition will help renters build better credit (Deseret News)


  • Eboo Patel: Thoughts on spending July 4 in London with Bruce Springsteen. If the ‘Boss’ didn’t exist, we’d have to create him because he’s so essential to our national identity (Deseret News)


  • USBE board member investigated for accusations of school complicity in grooming children (KUTV)
  • Utah school board condemns member Natalie Cline’s claim that schools are ‘complicit’ in sex trafficking and brainwashing (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah schools offer meal program, lists eligibility requirements (ABC4)


  • Many of Utah's reservoirs are full, but experts caution against early celebrations (Fox13)
  • Where are the Utah wildflowers? Season running late, especially in the canyons, but plenty of water plus a short growing season could make this year’s bloom one of the best (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • With Utah Lake dredging project sunk, Lake Restoration Solutions files for bankruptcy (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Cruise ships are seeing the highest number of norovirus outbreaks in a decade (Deseret News)
  • Aspartame may cause cancer, global health body says (Washington Post)

National Headlines


  • The US sets a grim milestone with a new record for the deadliest six months of mass killings (AP)
  • Weeks-long streaks of 100-plus-degree days break records across U.S. (Washington Post)
  • U.S. to pay nearly $1M to settle sexual assault case against former top general (Politico)
  • Biden orders 3,000 reservists to be ready for Europe deployments (Politico)
  • SAG-AFTRA actors strike begins, joining Hollywood writers (Washington Post)
  • How the National Archives preserves priceless documents (New York Times)
  • Lisa Marie Presley died of a small bowel obstruction, a side effect of bariatric surgery she had done 'years ago' (New York Times)
  • An LA deputy punched a woman in the face as she held her 3-week-old baby, video shows (NPR)


  • Changes to SNAP in 2023 Farm Bill concern hunger-fighting groups (UPR)
  • House blocks Pentagon abortion policy in defense bill, imperiling passage (Politico)
  • An Iowa state senator who’d previously endorsed Donald Trump is flipping his support toRon DeSantis just days after the former president attacked Iowa’s popular Republican governor, Kim Reynolds. (Politico)
  • Majority of Republicans vote down Greene, Gaetz Ukraine bills (The Hill)
  • New York congressional map must be redrawn, court rules (Washington Post)
  • Trump a no-show at Iowa evangelical forum, leaving opening for 2024 rivals (Reuters)
  • Americans are widely pessimistic about democracy in the United States (AP)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Wagner no longer significant in Ukraine, Pentagon says (Washington Post)
  • Putin says he offered Wagner mercenaries the option to stay as a single unit (AP)
  • Ruined, empty, mined and overgrown: Ukraine’s forgotten villages (New York Times)


  • Arthur Cyr: NATO proves to be an enduring alliance. The strategic realities of a now dangerously aggressive, expansionist Russia under President Vladimir Putin is the most important incentive to retain NATO, and it has reenergized the alliance (Deseret News)
  • India launches lunar mission with a shot at winning this year’s moon race (New York Times)

Number of the Day 

Number of the Day, July 14, 2023


News Releases

Gov. Spencer Cox to become the 2023-2024 chair of the National Governors Association

Gov. Cox will accept the gavel from current NGA chair New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and announce his year-long NGA Chair’s Initiative at the closing session of the National Governors Association summer meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey today, July 14. (Read More)

USBE leadership statement on allegation of educator rule violation

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) firmly believes that children must be protected from inappropriate sexual material in the school setting. 

USBE leadership strongly disapproves of recent social media statements by one board member that schools are “complicit in the grooming of children for sex trafficking” and “brainwashing them into queer, gender bending ideologies.” (Read More)

Lee seeks increased competition in biological drug market

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Mike Braun (R-IN), and J.D. Vance (R-OH) introduced the Biosimilar Red Tape Elimination Act to increase competition within the biological drug market and increase access to low-cost prescription drugs. (Read More)

Blake Moore to serve on the Bipartisan Fiscal Forum’s steering committee

Today, Representative Blake Moore joined the formal launch of the Bipartisan Fiscal Forum, a group dedicated to sounding the alarm about our nation’s unsustainable debt trajectory and working together to get control of our fiscal future. Led by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Representative Moore will serve on the steering committee alongside Representatives Tim Burchett (R-TN), Ed Case (D-HI), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jared Golden (D-ME), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA).  (Read More)

Burgess Owens leads hearing to tackle the threat of foreign influence on college campuses

Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (UT-04) delivered remarks at a hearing titled “Exposing the Dangers of the Influence of Foreign Adversaries on College Campuses.” (Read More)

Romney, colleagues laud SFRC passage of their Taiwan Tax Agreement Act of 2023

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, today joined Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, in releasing statements following the Committee’s passage of their Taiwan Tax Agreement Act of 2023bipartisan legislation authorizing the Biden Administration to negotiate and conclude a tax agreement between the United States and Taiwan. (Read More)


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-07-14 at 7.49.00 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
  • One-day civil rights symposium for high school juniors and seniors — July 21, Mount Liberty College, Register here
  • 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 

  • 1099 - Jerusalem captured in the First Crusade
  • 1789 - French revolutionaries storm the Bastille, marking the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • 1798 - Sedition Act become federal law
  • 1870 - The United States Congress grants Mary Todd Lincoln a life pension in the amount of $3,000 a year
  • 1881 - Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. He was 21.
  • 1911 - Gertrude Goldhaber is born. She became a physicist and early researcher into nuclear structure and the properties of nuclei. She was the third woman to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
  • 1913 - Gerald R. Ford is born.
  • 1917 - 16 women from the National Women’s Party were arrested while picketing the White House demanding universal women’s suffrage; they were charged with obstructing traffic.
  • 1933 - Germany begins mandatory sterilization of people with hereditary illnesses
  • 2018 - US President Donald Trump calls the EU a "trade foe" in interview with CBS ahead of meeting with Russian President Putin

Quote of the Day

“At our core, Americans are good people. We’re not going to change the country overnight, but we have to offer an alternative.”

—Governor Spencer Cox

On the Punny Side

What do you call a herd of sheep tumbling down a hill?

A lambslide.


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