This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Poll: Utahns favor Bush, Clinton in 2016 but 'don't know' beats them both. Highlights from the 2015 legislative session. Matheson talks about his retirement from Congress.
Happy Monday. While the 2016 presidential race is starting to form, Utahns still aren't sure who they'll back of the Republican or Democratic candidates. Members of both parties gave "don't know" as their top answer but of those who picked a possible presidential hopeful, Jeb Bush won more of the Republicans and Hillary Clinton nabbed more of the Democrats, a new poll shows. [http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/5104-bush-clinton-are-frontrunners-for-2016-nomination-among-utahns" target="_blank">UtahPolicy]
Topping the news: Forty-five days and 528 bills later, here are a few highlights from the 2015 Legislative session. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2286136-155/legislature-tackles-major-issues-with" target="_blank">Trib] [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624227/Legislative-wrap-2-anti-discrimination-religious-liberty-bills-overshadow-other-successes.html" target="_blank">DNews] [http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/largest-successes-and-failures-from-the-2015-utah/47497/FDQuy2EGQUqPodGzZZucfw" target="_blank">ABC4] [http://fox13now.com/2015/03/13/the-legislatures-over-heres-what-lawmakers-did-to-your-life/" target="_blank">Fox13] [http://kuer.org/post/view-gallery-sine-die-week-7" target="_blank">KUER] [http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/largest-successes-and-failures-from-the-2015-utah/47497/FDQuy2EGQUqPodGzZZucfw" target="_blank">ABC4][http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/03/13/mgk-2015-leg-wrap-up/#.VQWb3kKhnMg" target="_blank">StGeorgeNews] [http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/utah/bills-that-sank-sailed-as-utah-lawmakers-end-session/article_62a1dba3-aca9-5386-b3b5-fc24a3560af3.html" target="_blank">AP]
-> House Speaker Rep. Greg Hughes and Minority Caucus Manager Sen. Jim Dabakis sat down with reporters to discuss their take on the 2015 Legislative session. [http://fox13now.com/2015/03/13/sen-jim-dabakis-house-speaker-greg-hughes-discuss-2015-legislative-session/" target="_blank">Fox13] More session news below.
-> With his new life out of elected office, Jim Matheson sat down with Lee Benson to answer questions about his political career and what's in store next. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624260/Q-and-A-Jim-Matheson-talks-politics-past-present-future.html" target="_blank">DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @https://twitter.com/KaseyOKillion" target="_blank">KaseyOKillion "No Utah legislator in session to constantly complain about!? I feel so empty."
From @https://twitter.com/utpolcapitol" target="_blank">utpolcapitol "Man, I am getting all itchy...I am really jonesing for a motion - hell, I will even take a personal privilege."
From @https://twitter.com/hcraighall" target="_blank">hcraighall "I'm already being cc'd on emails to the Governor asking him to veto various bills."
Happy Birthday: To state Rep. Kraig Powell and former state Reps. Ronda Menlove and Stephen Sandstrom, and Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke.
Opinion: Jeffrey Mathes McCarthy, director of the University of Utah's Environmental Humanities graduate program, encourages citizens to voice their opinions on the Mountain Accord proposal before it's too late. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2284252-155/op-ed-dont-let-mountain-accord-opportunity" target="_blank">Trib]
-> The Tribune's George Pyle discusses racism and poverty in modern-day America. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2291726-155/pyle-kvetching-about-other-peoples-families?fullpage=1" target="_blank">Trib]
-> The Deseret News' Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss what they say was the "Super Bowl/World Series" of legislative sessions. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624273/Utahs-Super-BowlWorld-Series-of-legislative-sessions.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> Chris Mehl, policy director at Headwaters Economics, says local communities and the state of Utah should work together to protect the state's public lands and capture the tourism-driven economic benefits that come from them. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2284091-155/op-ed-recreation-on-public-lands-drives" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Paul Rolly discusses the uniqueness of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's political career. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2249662-155/rolly-jon-huntsman-works-from-outside?fullpage=1" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Rolly also discusses Utah Republican strategist Dave Hansen's decision to back Jonathon Johnson's gubernatorial campaign against Gov. Gary Herbert. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2248759-155/rolly-republican-strategist-has-herbert-in" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Kirk L. Jowers, the director of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, says extending the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program is critical to the state of Utah. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2284076-155/op-ed-home-visiting-program-is-getting-utah" target="_blank">Trib]
-> University of Utah emeritus professor Doug Rollins says a recent report on endangered birds is proof that climate change is real. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2284281-155/op-ed-sentinel-birds-are-telling-us" target="_blank">Trib]
-> The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists lists a few things that they believe would help government transparency in Utah. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2284181-155/op-ed-three-things-utah-governments-can?fullpage=1" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Public relations consultant and broadcast producer Janice Evans says Obamacare made it possible for her to get a cornea transplant that saved her eyesight. [http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2284598-155/op-ed-obamacare-saved-my-sight" target="_blank">Trib]
From Capitol Hill: After offering their support on a bill guaranteeing the LGBT community with certain rights, leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discuss the decision. [http://www.kutv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Tonight-at-10-LDS-apostle-opens-up-on-evolution-of-church-s-support-for-new-antidiscrimination-law-102821.shtml#.VQWcJUKhnMi" target="_blank">KUTV]
-> Utah leaders are hoping that the anti-discrimination/religious rights bill passed at the end of the session will be a model for other states across the nation. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624241/Utah-anti-bias-religious-rights-law-could-be-model-for-other-states.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> Lawmakers added a sales-tax hike to a bill about the relocation of the state prison, something that might sweeten the deal for Salt Lake City if it gets picked to host the new prison. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2289743-155/prison-bill-has-sweetener-that-seems?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed" target="_blank">Trib]
-> After a session of struggling over the gas tax, here's the process behind how lawmakers were able to decide on a compromise of a 5 cents a gallon raise. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2288383-155/youll-pay-more-for-gas-in?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed" target="_blank">Trib] [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624244/Lawmakers-increase-gas-tax-allow-local-increases-for-tranportation.html" target="_blank">DNews] [http://kuer.org/post/lawmakers-hike-gas-tax" target="_blank">KUER]
-> Though they compromised on a few big issues this past Legislative session, lawmakers failed to find a solution for electing state school board members. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2287075-155/clock-runs-out-on-school-board" target="_blank">Trib]
-> The state's education budget received $515 million in new money this session. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2285103-155/utahs-public-schools-got-more-funding" target="_blank">Trib] [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624129/Legislative-session-wraps-up-with-510M-in-new-money-for-schools.html" target="_blank">DNews] But some are saying it isn't enough. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624240/Will-the-2015-Legislature-lead-to-better-outcomes-for-students.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> A bill passed by the Legislature will give unincorporated communities in Salt Lake County the right to vote and create their own governments, and supporters say it will bring "peace in the valley." [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2289185-155/bill-promises-to-bring-peace-to?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed" target="_blank">Trib] [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624201/Community-preservation-bill-creates-governance-options-for-Salt-Lake-County.html" target="_blank">DNews] [http://kuer.org/post/unincorporated-salt-lake-county-residents-get-voice-under-new-law" target="_blank">KUER]
-> In the wake of the Legislature passing a bill that would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, Gov. Gary Herbert says he still plans to veto it. He also gave his opinion on a few other bills that he will be taking a look at. [http://fox13now.com/2015/03/12/herbert-speaks-about-2015-legislative-session-says-he-will-veto-bill-regarding-concealed-carry/" target="_blank">Fox13]
-> Although a solution to Medicaid expansion was not achieved in this session, Gov. Gary Herbert and GOP lawmakers say they are not done yet. [http://kuer.org/post/legislative-session-ends-no-medicaid-expansion-plan" target="_blank">KUER]
-> Although this year's Legislature passed a "right to try bill" that will give terminally ill patients the ability to try experimental drugs that have yet to be approved by the FDA, it defeated two other bills that would give terminally ill patients more options, one legalizing medical marijuana and one giving them the "right to die." [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624134/Lawmakers-pass-right-to-try-legislation-not-medical-cannabis-death-with-dignity-bills.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> Despite attempts to overturn it, lawmakers decided that a deal is a deal with regards to last year's Count My Vote compromise. The compromise will allow candidates in the 2016 primary election to bypass the state's caucus and convention system altogether. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2280648-155/elections-last-years-count-my-vote" target="_blank">Trib] [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624243/Changes-coming-to-primary-elections-in-2016.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> The Legislature gave some long-awaited funding to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to build a nature center near Farmington Bay. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2289492-155/lawmakers-provide-cash-infusion-to-farmington?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Legislation from this year will release over $12 million of taxpayer dollars for state campaigns to take over public lands from the federal government. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2283816-155/consultants-raking-in-millions-on-utahs" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Lawmakers passed a bill that would require licenses for e-cigarette vendors and put stricter penalties on those who violate the licenses. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624157/Tighter-e-cigarette-regulations-await-governors-signature.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> Although many lawmakers agreed on the need for a study to find ways of disrupting intergenerational poverty cycles, a lack of funding put the project on hold. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624242/Intergenerational-poverty-education-initiative-on-hold-until-2016.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> With high rates of white collar crime in Utah, this year's Legislature decided to create a white collar crime offender registry to allow the public to keep track. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624199/Utah-to-have-nations-first-white-collar-crime-offender-registry.html" target="_blank">DNews] [http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/utah/utah-plans-registry-for-white-collar-criminals-to-stop-fraud/article_1a3715aa-374f-5668-a7fc-16bd419bf508.html" target="_blank">AP]
-> Utahs lawmakers are trying to show the public that they hear their cries about the importance of transparency in public records. [http://www.standard.net/Government/2015/03/15/After-backlash-lawmakers-aim-to-make-records-more-open.html" target="_blank">AP]
In other news: Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has traveled to the White House 40 times during President Barack Obama's administration, showing that the city has a special relationship with the president. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2288048-155/obama-clearly-loves-cities-salt?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed" target="_blank">Trib]
-> Residents near Big and Little Cottonwood canyons are voicing concern about the Mountain Accord proposal, which outlines future development of the Wasatch Front. [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624262/Residents-raise-concerns-about-Mountain-Accord-plan.html" target="_blank">DNews]
-> Salt Lake City is vying for Google Fiber's business, but some fear the free Internet service won't be enough to bridge the connectivity divide with the city's low-income and under-serviced neighborhoods. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2278593-155/would-google-fiber-bridge-the-digital" target="_blank">Trib]
-> With police coming under scrutiny of the national public, a few of Utah's police chiefs talked to reporters about use of force, body cameras and the emotional demands of the job. [http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/together4utah-discusses-utah-law-enforcement-and-e/22683/mjN8XkiAxEeeaVn_WWk3hw" target="_blank">ABC4]
Nationally: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated yesterday that the confirmation vote for U.S. Attorney General-nominee Loretta Lynch will be delayed until Democrats let though a now-controversial human trafficking/abortion bill. This may give time for wavering Republicans to decide not to vote for her. [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/loretta-lynch-attorney-general-nomination-116092.html?hp=t1_r" target="_blank">Politico] [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/us/senate-vote-on-nomination-of-loretta-lynch-as-attorney-general-faces-new-delay.html?_r=0" target="_blank">NYTimes] [http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/15/mcconnell-no-loretta-lynch-confirmation-until-vote-on-human-trafficking-bill/" target="_blank">WaPost] [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/15/mitch-mcconnell-loretta-lynch_n_6872716.html" target="_blank">HuffPost] [http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-lynch-confirmation-20150315-story.html" target="_blank">LATimes] [http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-15/mcconnell-indicates-human-trafficking-bill-fight-could-hold-up-loretta-lynch-vote" target="_blank">Bloomberg]
-> President Barack Obama yucked it up at the 130th annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/03/14/president-obama-jokes-about-clintons-emails-scott-walker-and-marijuana-at-gridiron-club-dinner/" target="_blank">WaPost]
-> Police have charged a 20-year-old man for allegedly shooting and injuring two Ferguson police officers last week after a demonstration outside the police department. Although the suspect was at the demonstration, he said he was aiming to shoot someone else. [http://www.sltrib.com/news/2294982-155/prosecutor-20-year-old-charged-in-shootings-of" target="_blank">AP] [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/us/suspect-arrested-in-shooting-of-2-officers-in-ferguson-police-say.html" target="_blank">NYTimes] [http://www.wsj.com/articles/police-make-arrest-in-shooting-of-two-officers-in-ferguson-mo-1426443344" target="_blank">WSJ] [http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/15/393177470/arrest-made-in-shooting-of-two-officers-in-ferguson-police-say" target="_blank">NPR] [http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/15/us/ferguson-police-shot-arrest/" target="_blank">CNN]
-> Although 70 percent of U.S. states now allows same-sex marriage, only one of its five territories has faced a lawsuit seeking for gay marriage. [http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/flung-us-territories-gay-marriage-arrived-29637649" target="_blank">AP]
Where are they?
Thomas Burr and Erica Palmer