Trump ‘loves rallies,’ heads to Iowa for fanfare and flattery. Sen. Mike Lee denounces secrecy surrounding Republican health care bill. Lawmakers discuss challenging Utah guv over special election authority.
Happy Wednesday. President Donald Trump will host a rally in Iowa today where he’ll likely be greeted by fans and flattery as he continues his travel to the swing states that he won in the 2016 election. White House staffers suggest it’s a welcome trip for the president, who hasn’t always had the same reception in Washington. Rick Wilson, a GOP consultant and Trump critic, said: "He loves rallies. He likes big, cheering crowds. These are things that make him feel everything is under control and everything is going to be okay." [WaPost]
-> State lawmakers met Tuesday to discuss how to respond to Gov. Gary Herbert’s decision to block the attorney general’s office from issuing a legal opinion to the Legislature about whether he overstepped his authority in making rules for a special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [FOX13] [KUTV] [KUER]
-> Rep. Mia Love will play in a congressional women’s softball game Wednesday to raise awareness for breast cancer. [DNews]
Tweet of the day: From @joshgondelman: "Anyone else worried that your parents are going to get jealous of how often you’re calling your senators?"
In other news: In an effort to expand Medicaid coverage for childless adults in the state, Utah amended its proposal to the federal government to include lifetime limits and work requirements for enrollees. [Trib]
-> The Interior Department asked Kane and Garfield counties to draw new boundaries for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument as part of its review. [DNews]
-> Navajo candidate James Singer, a Democrat challenging Hatch for his seat, dropped out of the race because he felt he couldn’t raise the funds necessary to successfully run against "an established politician." [Trib]
-> The Utah Department of Health is looking to add testing for four more diseases to newborn screenings. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers are calling for higher accountability for some agencies which the state auditor has recently reported to have widespread waste, fraud and abuse. [Trib]
-> Educators are asking the Utah Legislature to increase funding for nursing programs so that they can increase enrollment. [DNews]
-> Three months after the Utah Board of Education denied Athlos Academy’s application to open a school, the State Charter School Board inappropriately gave a start-up grant to the institution, says a report by the Utah State Auditor. [Trib] [ABC4] [KUTV]
-> Salt Lake City Councilman Derek Kitchen is frustrated that one year after the city’s transportation director stepped down, Mayor Jackie Biskupski still hasn’t appointed a replacement. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams sent a letter to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control asking them to relocate the liquor store located near Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande neighborhood. [DNews]
-> After complaints that Salt Lake County transportation funds were being unfairly distributed by state lawmakers, some county council members attempted and failed to stop the Legislature’s most recent allocations. [DNews]
-> Four candidates hoping to replace Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder aim to improve relations with police chiefs in the area, which have been tense under Winder’s leadership. [Trib]
-> Sandy’s police chief said the department will reevaluate its domestic violence protocols after Memorez Rackley and her son were killed by a man that was purportedly stalking her. [Trib]
-> State lawmakers promised to change state laws to better protect domestic violence victims in the wake of the tragedy surrounding Rackley’s death. [ABC4]
-> Residents living near US-89 are upset about UDOT’s decision to expand the highway. [FOX13]
-> A 10,000-seat arena at the Utah State Fairpark is nearly complete and will host this year’s Days of ‘47 Rodeo. [Trib]
-> Ken Sleight, an 87-year-old environmentalist made famous in Edward Abbey’s book "The Monkey Wrench Gang," is still raising awareness of Glen Canyon — now submerged in Lake Powell. [Trib]
-> Kaltum Mohamed is a refugee who came to Utah from the tumultuous Darfur region in Sudan. She now owns a fledgling catering business that serves Sudanese cuisine. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke tells the story of 62 Utah firefighters who helped sift through the rubble after 9/11, most of whom are now facing health complications. [Trib]
-> After the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea, President Donald Trump said on Twitter that China’s efforts to curb North Korea have not been successful. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
Where are they?
- Rep. Chris Stewart attends a House Intelligence Committee meeting and sits in on an appropriations hearing with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. He later meets Peruvian parliament members and speaks with representatives from Comcast and Chevron.
- Rep. Mia Love takes part in a GOP legislative planning session, questions witnesses at a Financial Services Committee markup on flood insurance policies, presents an award at a congressional gold medal ceremony, attends a Congressional Black Caucus meeting and votes at the Capitol. Later, she plays in the congressional women’s softball game to raise money for breast cancer.
- Gov. Gary Herbert participates in a ribbon cutting ceremony, attends the dedication of Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center, takes part in a defense symposium and goes to an artist series.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks with lawmakers, participates in an outdoor press camp, meets with Utah clean energy partners and discusses homeless hospice.
- State Auditor John Dougall goes to an audit planning meeting and sits down with a representative from the Utah School Board Association.
-- Courtney Tanner and Emily Anderson