Arnold Schwarzenegger mulls potential Senate bid. Sen. Orrin Hatch pledges to run for an eighth term — though his office walks it back. The 2017 session of the Utah Legislature ends.
Happy Friday. In the "Terminator" films, Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged "I’ll be back." Now the actor and former governor of California seems to be applying the catchphrase to politics. Schwarzenegger, according to some GOP insiders, is considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2018. The thought comes after tense relations between Schwarzenegger, a recent host of "Celebrity Apprentice," and President Donald Trump, who called out the actor on Twitter for "his bad (pathetic) ratings" on the show. Political analysts, though, suggest Schwarzenegger could "be like kryptonite" to the president. [Politico]
-> Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman recently accepted a position in President Donald Trump’s administration as the ambassador to Russia. He has declined to rule out, though, a run against Hatch for U.S. Senate in 2018. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake Tribune reporters spent the last day on the Hill filing live updates. Find out how bills concerning public education, concealed firearms and child support shook out on the floor. [Trib] (More news from the Legislature below)
Tweets of the day: From @LeeHDavidson: "Computers down at Legislature, so it is in recess. Heard joke that it was a Russian attack. Also heard, ‘Thanks, Russia’"
-> From @BenWinslow: "On the House floor, hijinks ensue. @mike_winder is doing a Mr. Rogers sketch."
-> From @McKenzieForbes4 : "S/O to Rep. @NormThurston who literally just microwaved fish in the intern room and left. Ultimate power move."
Happy Birthday: To Todd Sims and former Salt Lake Tribune editor Terry Orme.
Behind the Headlines: The Tribune’s Washington bureau chief Thomas Burr, reporters Lee Davidson, Courtney Tanner and Matt Piper, as well as editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce, join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the new Republican health care plan and the 2017 state legislative session. Listen at KCPW.org or tune in to KCPW or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast from 9-10 a.m.
In other news: Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff filed a lawsuit against the state for at least $1.1 million in damages and legal fees over allegations that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes interfered in his case, which was dismissed. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]
-> Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow also plans to ask the state to pick up the legal fees in his criminal case. Swallow was acquitted last week on nine felony and misdemeanor charges. [Trib]
-> In a PowerPoint presentation to pitch his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised Utah’s pre-Obamacare plan and voiced intention to go back to something similar. [KUTV]
-> Though a spokesperson from the Outdoor Retailer show said she appreciated the Utah Legislature setting aside $1 million in the state budget to lure the event back to Utah, she said nothing other than a statewide position change on public lands would cause organizers to reconsider. [KUTV]
-> Opponents of oil and gas leasing in Washington County near Zion National Park are urging the Bureau of Land Management to reconsider its proposals. [Trib]
-> Owners of The Gateway are reimagining the shopping center as a cultural and entertainment hotspot complete with new restaurants and bars. [Fox13]
-> A Utah volunteer organization held a fashion show to empower refugee and immigrant women. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley calls Utah’s new alcohol-reform legislation "prohibition" but says it’s a method that works. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly looks at conflicts of interest and a "you-scratch-my-back" culture in the Utah Legislature. [Trib]
From the Hill: Here’s a roundup of some of the best quotes from lawmakers over the 45-day session. [Trib]
-> One of primary focuses of this year’s Legislature was alcohol reform. Changes include a decrease in the blood-alcohol content limit for drivers, price increases for alcoholic beverages and new options aside from the "Zion Curtain." [Trib] [ABC4] [Fox13]
-> The state’s $16 billion budget allocates funds to schools, state worker wages and Medicaid growth. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert signed two nonbinding measures — one calling on President Donald Trump to revoke Bears Ears National Monument and another calling for the reduction in size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. [Trib]
-> Columnist Robert Gehrke tries his hand at writing Herbert’s final remarks to the Legislature — with a lot of applause. [Trib]
-> A measure that would require all rape kits be tested for DNA at the state’s crime lab may soon become law under legislation awaiting Herbert’s signature or veto. [Trib]
-> Utah’s teachers saw some give-and-take during the session. Find out which education bills passed and which didn’t. [Trib]
-> Despite opponents who say there is no medical evidence that the policy is scientifically-based, the Senate approved a bill that would require doctors to inform women that medication-induced abortions can be stopped partway into the procedure. [APviaKUTV]
-> Utah would hold its own primary elections in an attempt to avoid long voting lines under legislation that passed through the House. [DNews]
-> A bill that would allow parents whose adult children are struggling with opioid addiction to intervene on their behalf to ensure adequate care passed through both the House and the Senate and heads now to the governor for further consideration. [ABC4]
-> The House voted unanimously to approve a bill that would streamline the licensing process for businesses in Utah’s growing food truck industry. [DNews]
Nationally: President Donald Trump’s administration is weighing cuts to the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for the construction of a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. [Politico] [ABCNews] [NYTimes] [TheHill]
-> Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, recused himself from decisions related to the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the State Department. [NYTimes] [NBCNews] [TheHill] [WaPost]
-> Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming — a statement that contradicts decades of scientific research and analysis, as well as the prior stance of the agency. [NPR] [PBSNews] [NYTimes] [CNN]
-> The United States is sending an additional 400 troops to Syria to ensure stability in the country once the fight to defeat Islamic State militants in their self-declared capital of Raqqa is over. [NYTimes] [WaTimes] [NPR] [ABCNews]
Where are they?
- Rep. Mia Love attends a strategy meeting with the Financial Services Committee, speaks with members of the GOP, votes and flies back to Utah.
- President Donald Trump receives his daily intelligence briefing, leads a health care discussion with House committee chairmen and speaks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by telephone. In the afternoon, he lunches with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and meets with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
-- Courtney Tanner and Taylor Stevens