U.S. Rep.-elect Ben McAdams of Utah and more than 40 other freshman House Democrats penned a letter to their future leaders Monday, saying they want to focus on policy issues above investigating the Trump administration. Addressing the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, immigration, gun safety, infrastructure, the environment and criminal justice reform should lead the agenda, they wrote. “While we have a duty to exercise oversight over the Executive Branch, particularly when the Administration crosses legal lines or contravenes American values, we must prioritize action” on the list of policy issues, the message states. The letter went to the Democratic leadership team, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who’s been nominated as the next House speaker despite some pushback from inside and outside her party. [WaPost]

Happy Tuesday.

Topping the news: The Utah legislators voted Monday to approve replacing Proposition 2 with the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, an agreed-upon alternative to the ballot initiative. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert the same evening. [Trib][Fox13][KUTV][KUER]

-> Lehi residents have been in uproar about a letter sent out by the city mayor alleging that the dust pollution at the Point of the Mountain mines is safe and not a reason for concern to residents. But the Utah Health Department says further studies are needed to determine whether the dust is a problem. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams turned in a letter of resignation Monday, making his retirement from his position as mayor effective on Jan. 2, the day before he will start as a member of Congress. In his letter he listed the county’s bipartisan accomplishments during his tenure in the mayoral office. [Trib][KUTV]

Tweets of the Day: From @LoganDobson: “My dentist told me my teeth look ‘fine’, which i believe is the highest compliment allowed by the American Dental Association.”

-> From @David_Leavitt: “Tumblr is banning nudity but not nazis?”

- > From @SpencerJCox: “Shoutout to all the dads out there staying up late to work on science fair projects. That was me digging through a foot of snow in the dark for soil to make water dirty so we could make it clean again. The real experiment is how a 12yo girl can get her dad to do everything.”

Happy Birthday: to state Rep. Mark Wheatley.

In other news: On Monday, Utah lawmakers voted unanimously to appropriate money for construction of a new state prison, a move that could offset bonding and help stave off future interest costs. State revenue numbers have shown a $1.2 billion surplus on hand, with $235 million of it being allocated to the new prison. [Trib][DNews]

-> The Utah Legislature voted on Monday to repeal a law that’s not compliant with federal rules for identification cards. Utahns will soon see a gold star on their driver licenses, putting the cards in line with Department of Homeland Security standards. [Trib][DNews]

-> Former Vice President Joe Biden will be speaking Dec. 13 at the University of Utah as part of his book tour. [DNews][KUTV]

-> One out of every four residents of San Juan County are living in poverty, a stark contrast to Utah’s Morgan County, where one out of every 25 individuals is living in poverty. San Juan County is dominated by the Navajo reservation, and its poverty rates are 22nd worst among counties in the West. [Trib]

-> A former Utah Jazz player is suing United Airlines for $10 million over allegations of racial discrimination. [Trib]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch shared a poem he had written to former President George H.W. Bush and his wife back in 2013. [Trib]

Nationally: President Donald Trump will attend former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral this week, but he is not expected to give a eulogy or speak at the event. [NYTimes][CNN][Fox]

-> Drilling in the pristine landscapes of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has long been off-limits, but the Trump administration is trying to clear the way for these operations. He is moving through the environmental assessment at breakneck speed and is unraveling protections in the areas he plans to drill, hoping to open oil reserves before the 2020 election cycle. [NYTimes]

-> Naturalist Sir David Attenborough spoke at the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Poland this week, saying that climate change is humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years. He cautioned that the current path could lead to the collapse of civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world. [BBC]

-> President Trump declared Monday that U.S. military spending was too high — after he previously suggested raising the budget to fund what he called a depleted force. [WSJ]

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-- Bethany Rodgers and Cara MacDonald