Good Monday morning, Utah!
Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.
It’s tax day! Don’t forget to file those returns by midnight tonight. Here’s everything that’s changed because of this year’s delay.
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Special session call
Gov. Spencer Cox is expected to send out the call for this week’s special session sometime Monday morning.
Legislative sources say there could be two dozen or more bills that lawmakers will consider starting Wednesday. Most of those are technical or budgetary items to deal with more than $1.5 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Some controversial issues could be on the agenda, including a measure to make Utah a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary,” which we reported on Friday. There could also be a bill to ban the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools.
Romney rails against Republicans trying to “memory hole” the January 6 attack
Last week, several Republican members of Congress attempted to downplay the attempted insurrection on January 6, but Sen. Mitt Romney is not having it.
“I was there,” Romney told Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic last week. “What happened was a violent effort to interfere with and prevent the constitutional order of installing a new president.”
“As such, it was an insurrection against the Constitution that resulted in severe property damage, severe injuries, and death,” he added.
During a hearing discussing what went wrong with the police response to a horde of Donald Trump supporters attacking the Capitol, Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde made the jaw-dropping claim that there was no insurrection, and the mob of supporters who attacked police looked like a “normal tourist visit.”
Clyde’s effort to rewrite what happened that day ran into some trouble, though, when Roll Call photographer Tom Williams posted a picture of Clyde helping to barricade the door to the House chamber as the rioters attempted to enter.
Apparently, Rep. Clyde thinks it’s normal to barricade doors against everyday tour groups.
Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning:
Breaking overnight: The U.S. Treasury Department says direct cash child benefits will start hitting the bank accounts of American families in July [WaPo].
Utah lawmakers may consider whether to ban the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 classrooms during this week’s special session. Critical race theory is not currently taught in the state, and there are no plans to implement it [Tribune].
Legislators are pushing Gov. Spencer Cox to include a bill making Utah a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” on the agenda for the special legislative session [Tribune].
A swastika was scratched into a glass door on a synagogue in the Sugar House neighborhood. Rabbi Avremi Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch says his congregation is determined not to be intimidated by the action [Tribune].
The U.S. military held a massive war games exercise at Utah’s Dugway Proving Grounds last week. The Tribune’s Matt Canham has this exclusive look at the new technologies they tested during the new event [Tribune].
The Utah Jazz finished with the best record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. If this were soccer, the Jazz would be the champions right now [Tribune].
Lawmakers in Congress struck a deal on a bipartisan investigation into what led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6 [WSJ].
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said there’s “no question” former President Trump could incite another attack similar to the January 6 attempted insurrection [ABC News].
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says science, not politics, was behind the agency’s shift on mask-wearing guidelines for vaccinated Americans [Fox News].
Starbucks joins the growing list of companies loosening mask requirements for those who are fully vaccinated [CNN].
Former President Donald Trump shocked military officials during the final days of his presidency by signing a memo ordering the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan before President Joe Biden’s inauguration [Axios].
The CEO of Cameo, the online service that allows people to pay celebrities for personalized video messages, says Trump is free to use his platform [Axios].
Parler is back on the Apple App Store with new rules against hate speech, but they only apply to iPhones [WaPo].
The University of California system is nixing SAT and ACT scores in their admission decisions [NYT].
AT&T and Discovery are merging to form a massive streaming service that will include HBO and CNN [WaPo].
Microsoft founder Bill Gates admits he left the company during a probe into an affair he was conducting with an employee [WSJ].
Israel escalated airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza. The strikes destroyed a high-rise building that housed several media outlets, including the Associated Press [AP].
Monday’s Utah news roundup
Which Utah businesses got the most federal Paycheck Protection money in 2020? [Tribune].
What is critical race theory? [Tribune].
BYU professor calls gay student a Book of Mormon term associated with anti-Christ [Tribune].
How BYU scientists struck pharmaceutical gold – and the fight over who keeps the money [Tribune].
Utah’s COVID response contracts still active, even if not being used [KUTV].
A new law is helping Utah police understand autism [Deseret News].
Senator Mitt Romney receives JFK Profile in Courage Award [ABC4].
Utah WIC raising benefits in response to COVID-19 pandemic [KUTV].
Utah appeals court rejects challenge to medical cannabis grow licenses [Fox 13].
Utah reports 242 new cases of COVID-19, no additional deaths [Tribune].
Kane County paid $483,000 to nonprofit fighting Biden conservation plan [Tribune].
The Jordanelle Reservoir’s low level is ‘concerning’ but not ‘critical’ official says [Park Record].
Reduced supply, high demand have car prices cruising upward [Deseret News].
Mano seeks to become first Asian American elected to SLC Council [Fox 13].
Park City officials address contaminated soils facility, saying concept was not a secret [Park Record].
On the opinion pages
Why kids may be the losers in Cox’s gamble on masks [Tribune].
The 1619 Project and critical race theory rewrite history through the lens of ‘wokeness’ [Deseret News].
Utah will pioneer a new kind of medical education. Here’s why it matters [Deseret News].
You say it’s your birthday?!!
Happy birthday to former state Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck and former state Sen. Margaret Dayton
Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.