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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


Situational Analysis | July 28, 2023

It's Friday, Friday and World Nature Conservation Day. What's the coolest thing you've ever seen in nature? Victoria Falls in Zambia is way up there for me. And the leaf peeping tour I went on in the Northeastern states. 🍁 Incredible.

Condolences to Governor Spencer Cox on the passing of his grandmother yesterday and to Box Elder County Commissioner on the passing of his wife, Jennifer, who died last week.

What You Need to Know

  • Senate Republicans are rallying behind Sen. Mitt Romney’s call for Republican donors to refrain from giving money to long-shot presidential candidates once it becomes clear they can’t win the GOP nomination. “I think that’s a pretty practical recommendation,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. “I think to have a large field is probably not going to help us win the White House back.” Cornyn told reporters in May that he didn’t think Trump could win the general election, adding “what’s the most important thing for me is that we have a candidate who can actually win.” Trump called both Cornyn and Romney "weak, ineffective and very bad for the Republican Party and our nation."   

Rapid Relevance


Honoring Healthcare Heroes

Utah Business and Roseman University of Health Sciences are proud to honor those who have made it their mission to improve the state of health in our state.
Do you know a Healthcare Hero who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the community? Nominate them here before nominations close on August 14.


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Sharon Ellsworth-Nielson: Love drives immigration. It should drive our policies, too (Deseret News)
  • Biden rule would hinder states from investigating out-of-state abortions. Here’s why Utah’s A.G. is opposed (Deseret News)
  • Ladd Johnson: When it comes to voting, Utahns must reject the ‘either/or’ mindset (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • ‘Strategic vision’: St. George hires new economic development director (St. George News)

General Utah news

  • Human bones discovered buried in sand on shore of Bear Lake in Idaho (KUTV)
  • Future Utah treasure hunts in jeopardy after post-hunt controversy (Deseret News)
  • Hill Air Force Base's 421st Fighter Squadron deployed to Middle East (KSL)
  • Gill joins nationwide effort to help get prosecutors out of Afghanistan (KSL)
  • ‘We are running lower than normal;’ Salt Lake City nonprofit thrift store in need of donations (KSL TV)
  • Provo Food Bank says need for assistance has doubled in last year (Daily Herald)
  • Driver accused of throwing hatchet in fit of road rage (ABC4)
  • State says police are breaking the law by refusing to fill out towing paperwork (Fox13)


  • Natalie Gochnour: The power of women and men in leadership roles (Utah Business)
  • Oreo maker increases growth forecast thanks to demand for cookies, sweets (KSL TV)
  • Midvale psychiatric hospital banned from taking new patients for third time (Fox13)
  • ‘We are really struggling’: Sober bar Curiosity says 900 South construction is killing business. The nonalcoholic bar in the Maven District offers signature mixed drinks, tea and specialty coffee. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • The demand is there, so older Utahns are finding ways to stay in the workforce (KUER)


  • Yes, Mattel really did release a Sugar Daddy Ken and a Pregnant Midge doll (Deseret News)
  • A Salt Lake City man wanted to produce plays, so he’s doing it in his backyard (Salt Lake Tribune)


  • Granite School District says recent school closures a result of low enrollment (KSL Newsradio)
  • Secrets to save on back-to-school clothing (Fox13)
  • Weber School District bond projects $59M over budget; board seeking tax hike to cover shortfall (Standard-Examiner)
  • Schools lost track of homeless kids during the pandemic. Many face a steep path to recovery (AP)


  • ‘No good deed goes unpunished’: Why Utah and other states fear BLM rule (Deseret News)
  • DWR pushing to make fishing, outdoor recreation more accessible for Hispanic Utahns (KSL)
  • More of Utah will be back in drought by fall (Fox13)
  • Washington County water managers begin to roll out 20-year plan that requires partners to ‘pull together’ (St. George News)
  • Conservative groups have crafted a plan for demolishing the federal government’s efforts to counter climate change (Politico)


  • These parents fought to legalize CBD in Utah a decade ago. Did it help their epileptic children? (Deseret News)
  • A finalized will is ‘a relief’ and beats letting the state make decisions when the time comes (KUER)
  • Dads may want to do more caretaking — but then face barriers, one study finds (NPR)


  • A red meat allergy caused by tick bites is an "emerging public health concern," according to two new studies from the CDC. (ABC News)
  • Utah’s first medical marijuana pharmacy opened over three years ago. What’s happened since? (Deseret News)
  • Risk of a heart attack could double in extreme heat and pollution, study finds (Deseret News)
  • What is ‘sweet brain?’ And can it cause you to gain weight? (Deseret News)
  • Improved diagnostics, treatments increase autism diagnoses in Utah minorities (KSL TV)
  • Newborn screening in Utah now includes testing for additional ‘rare genetic conditions’ (St. George News


  • Homebuilders ‘only game in town’ as sales of existing homes slow down (Deseret News)
  • This year’s Salt Lake Parade of Homes has a little surprise — and we mean little (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Nearly 200 million people in the US are under heat or flood advisories (AP)
  • Fabricated data in research about honesty. You can't make this stuff up. Or, can you? (NPR)
  • Wait, do you need a visa to go to Europe now? The new ETIAS requirements, explained (NPR)


  • New study shows just how Facebook's algorithm shapes conservative and liberal bubbles (NPR)
  • What’s the state of the Republican primary heading into the first debate? (Deseret News)
  • Donald Trump faces new charges in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. (AP)
  • Trump accused of asking staffer to delete camera footage in Florida classified documents case (AP)
  • Biden orders changes to the military code of justice for sexual assault victims (AP)
  • Former Trump administration lawyer on Mar-a-Lago investigation: ‘The evidence is so overwhelming’ (The Hill)
  • DeSantis spars with reporter over Florida’s controversial slavery curriculum (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Poland’s lawmakers approve a divisive law on Russian influence (AP)
  • Putin woos African leaders at a summit in Russia with promises of expanding trade and other ties (AP)
  • Ukraine struggles to rebuild a navy destroyed by Russia (NPR)
  • What lies beneath. Land mines left by Russian forces in Ukraine pose a deadly threat to Kyiv's military - and civilians in liberated territory. (Reuters)
  • As Ukraine reclaims southern village, a brutal fight lies ahead (New York Times)


  • Unmarked Senegal beach graves hold untold number of West African migrants, officials and locals say (AP)
  • Ruins of ancient Nero’s Theater discovered under garden of future Four Seasons near Vatican (AP)
  • Sudan conflict brings new atrocities to Darfur as militias kill, rape, burn homes in rampages (AP)
  • Norway, Finland battle rapid spread of bird flu (Reuters)
  • Niger coup upends US security plans in West Africa (Wall Street Journal)
  • First came a bloody massacre. Then the junta silenced the mourners. (Washington Post)
  • In the Bahamas, migrants are increasingly dying in dangerous seas (Washington Post)

Number of the Day 

Number of the Day, July 28, 2023


News Releases

Romney, Manchin reintroduce bipartisan legislation to bolster efforts to combat drug epidemic

U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) reintroduced the bipartisan Life Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act, bipartisan legislation which would establish a stewardship fee to provide and expand access to substance use treatment. (Read More)

Romney, colleagues call on President Biden to expand U.S. submarine industrial base

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Susan Collins (R-ME), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, as well as 22 of their Senate and House colleagues in calling on President Biden to take immediate action to strengthen the U.S. submarine industrial base as the U.S. works to fulfill the terms of the historic Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) partnership. (Read More)

Romney applauds Senate passage of defense bill with wins for Utah

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today applauded Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (NDAA), annual legislation that authorizes funding levels and provides authorities for the U.S. military and other critical defense priorities, ensuring America’s forces have the training, equipment, and resources they need to carry out their missions. The bipartisan Senate NDAA includes several Romney measures aimed at protecting against threats from China and Russia and reaffirming the critical role Utah plays in our national security. It also includes provisions from Romney on passport services, continuing his efforts to improve access to passport services for Utahns. The NDAA passed by a 86-11 vote. (Read More)

Lee, Roy introduce the HERO Act

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act, a bill that brings transparency, accountability, and competition to higher education. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) sponsored the HERO Act in the House of Representatives. The HERO Act aims to simplify federal student loans by offering a single option and introduces a new financial “skin-in-the-game” requirement for universities. Under this requirement, universities will be rewarded for each Pell Grant graduate but will also be obliged to repay a percentage of the total loans issued, with consideration for loan default rates and the average national unemployment rate. (Read More)

Owens leads hearing on lowering costs and increasing accountability in postsecondary education

Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (UT-04) delivered remarks at a hearing titled “Lowering Costs and Increasing Value for Students, Institutions, and Taxpayers." (Read More)

Gov. Spencer Cox recognizes recipients of second annual Governor’s Spirit of Service Award

Gov. Spencer Cox honored individuals and organizations who have rendered exemplary service to others throughout the state. Four individuals and four organizations received the second annual Governor’s Spirit of Service Award in a ceremony in the Gold Room at the Utah State Capitol. The winners of this year’s awards were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted to the Governor’s Office earlier this year. (Read More)


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-07-28 at 7.21.14 AM



  • Sutherland Institute Congressional Series with Rep. Chris Stewart — Aug 3, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, Hinckley Institute, U of U
  • Interim Days — Aug 7-10,
  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — Aug. 8-15
  • Sutherland Institute Congressional Series with Sen. Mitt Romney — Aug 21, 10:00-11:30 am, Hinckley Institute, U of U
  • Sutherland Institute Congressional Series with Rep. John Curtis — Aug 22, 9:00-10:30 am, Center for Constitutional Studies, UVU
  • Sutherland Institute Congressional Series with Sen. Mike Lee — Aug 22, 3:00-4:30 pm, Hinckley Institute, U of U
  • '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,
  • Sutherland Institute Congressional Series with Rep. Blake Moore — Aug 29, 10:00-11:30 am, Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service, Lindquist Hall, Weber State
  • Sutherland Institute Congressional Series with Rep. Burgess Owens — Aug 30, 12:00-1:30 pm, Hinckley Institute, U of U
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept. 5
  • Interim Day — Sept. 18, Utah Tech University,
  • Interim Day — Oct 10-11,
  • Interim Day — Nov 14-15,
  • General election — Nov. 21

On This Day In History 

  • 1868 - The 14th Amendment granting citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including formerly enslaved people - is officially adopted.
  • 1879 - Lucy Burns is born. An active suffragist, she formed the National Woman’s Party with Alice Paul, picketed the White House for women suffrage and was arrested 6 times.
  • 1914 - WWI begins when Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
  • 1917 - The Silent Parade, organized by James Weldon Johnson, had 10,000 African-Americans marching on 5th Ave in NYC to protest lynching.
  • 1929 - Future first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy is born
  • 1943 - Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini resigns
  • 1976 - Tangshan Earthquake, 8.2 in magnitude kills over 240,000 Northern China in the largest loss of life from an earthquake in the 20th century
  • 1996 - Kennewick Man, the remains of a prehistoric man, is discovered by two college students near Kennewick, Washington.

Quote of the Day

“There is no silver lining in slavery. Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating."

—Sen. Tim Scott

On the Punny Side

I got a new pair of gloves today, but they're both "lefts".

On the one hand, it's great, but on the other, it's just not right.


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