Trump says ‘hello’ to top Senate Democrat after months of silence. Utah leaders praise Trump’s executive order rolling back coal moratorium, carbon emission regulations. Hatch considers stepping aside for Mitt Romney.
Happy Wednesday. After months of not talking to Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Donald Trump broke the silence Tuesday. During a meeting with members of the Senate, Trump sought out the minority leader. "Chuck? I see Chuck," Trump said. "Hello, Chuck." The two had been close in November and December, chatting on the phone regularly. Trump even tweeted that they had a "good relationship." But come January, something changed and the conversations ended. Trump then referred to Schumer as the "head clown" of the Democrats. And Schumer said Trump moved "so far over to the right that it’s virtually impossible to work with him." [Politico]
Topping the news: Though President Donald Trump’s signing yesterday of executive orders reversing the Obama administration’s efforts to cut carbon emissions and open up more federal tracts for coal mining received criticism from environmentalists, Utah leaders praised the move. Sen. Orrin Hatch called the slashed policies "costly, ineffective and erroneous." [Trib] [DNews]
-> Hatch also said Tuesday that he would consider ending his Senate career and skip a bid for an eighth term if one person in particular was in the running: former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder’s 21-point plan on how to deal with homelessness includes proposals for reducing the number of clients at The Road Home shelter on Rio Grande Street, closing the state liquor store at the corner of 400 South and 200 West and setting up a campground near 100 South and 600 West. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @rudepundit: "Now that Trump is ‘bringing back’ coal, I hope he’ll deregulate the haberdashery and mustache wax industries."
-> From @alexburnsNYT: "Police officer: Sir, do you know how fast you were going back there? Twitter randos: why are you wasting time on this instead of RUSSIA"
In other news: Against the advice of the state Air Quality Board, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a controversial proposal to exempt from air quality regulations wood burning for the purpose of cooking food — even on "no burn days." [Trib] [APviaKUTV] [Fox13]
-> Before businesses can replace the "Zion Curtain" with a less-intrusive barrier under the alcohol reform legislation Herbert signed yesterday, officials from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control say restaurants must first gain approval to ensure the areas follow new state law. [Trib] [APviaDNews] [ABC4] [Fox13] [APviaKUTV]
-> Herbert also signed a bill affirming polygamy’s status as a felony in Utah and increasing penalties for polygamists convicted of committing fraud while adding extra criteria for prosecution. [Trib]
-> Evan McMullin, a Utahn and 2016 presidential candidate who formerly served in the CIA, hinted he knows secrets that have yet to surface in the investigation into the Trump administration’s ties with Russia when he spoke to Brigham Young University students yesterday. [DNews] [ABC4]
-> Students at colleges and universities across the state will likely pay more for tuition next year as the Board of Regents considers an average 3.4 percent tuition bump. [Trib]
-> Members of the Jordan School District board have yet to vote on a proposal to increase salary for teachers, boost entry-level pay and lift the salary cap for veteran educators. [Trib]
-> A member of the state charter school board resigned abruptly last week in an email to his colleagues, insisting the reason for his departure was because of scheduling conflicts and not because of a pending lawsuit. [Trib]
-> Pleasant Grove residents launched the Fund Roads First Initiative that would require the city to use $2.625 million from its general fund to repair roads. The city’s mayor, however, says putting road funding first would come at the expense of the library, parks, swimming pool and senior center. [Fox13]
-> Cache Valley residents will soon see a 10 percent increase to their sewer utility rates for the next five years under approval from the Regional Wastewater Treatment Rate Committee. [APviaKUTV]
-> The Lehi-based company AncestryDNA has provided more than 3 million people with information about their ancestry. For its black clients from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it also provides the opportunity to identify ancestor candidates for baptismal temple rites for the dead and to "leap across the obstruction of 600 years of racial lies and historic deletions." [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley says Salt Lake County’s considerations for new homeless shelter sites have become stuck between a rock — "do unto others" — and a hard place — "but not in my backyard." [Trib]
-> A sobriety program piloted by the Weber County Sheriff’s Office allows DUI offenders the chance to keep their licenses and to stay out of jail if they submit twice-daily breathalyzer tests. [ABC4]
Nationally: President Donald Trump’s executive order nullifying climate change provisions instituted by the Obama administration sparked concerns over the unraveling of the 2015 Paris agreement, which committed nearly every country to take action to reduce planet-warming emissions. [CNN] [PBSNews] [NYTimes] [CBSNews]
-> Though Trump said he would move on from health care after Republicans pulled their plan to repeal Obamacare last week, he expressed confidence yesterday about making a future deal. "That’s such an easy one," he said. "I have no doubt that that’s going to happen very quickly." [NYTimes] [TheHill] [WaTimes]
-> House Republicans joined the Senate in a vote to overturn protections from the Obama administration that sought to limit internet service providers’ ability to use information, such as browsing habits, app usage, history, location data and Social Security numbers. If Trump approves the legislation, providers will have the ability to monitor customers’ online behaviors and use that information to sell targeted ads. [NPR] [WaPost] [NYTimes] [BBCNews]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz chairs an Oversight Committee hearing on cancer research, meets with the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals and votes.
- Rep. Chris Stewart speaks with representatives of the Utah Travel and Tourism Industry, the Wildlife Conservation Society, a Utah 4-H Youth Delegation and the Utah Cattlemen Association. Later, he meets with members of the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals, chats with the Public Lands Council and votes.
- Rep. Mia Love listens to concerns from ambassadors from the Caribbean, meets with members of the Utah Alzheimer’s Association, discusses education with the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals and votes.
- Gov. Gary Herbert signs education bills and reviews legislation.
- State Auditor John Dougall attends a staff meeting, meets with the State Board of Education’s internal audit director and reviews internal analysis reports.
- President Donald Trump receives his daily intelligence briefing, hosts an opioid and drug abuse listening session and drops by the Women’s Empowerment Panel.
-- Courtney Tanner and Taylor Stevens