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‘The Rundown’: Utah tops economic rankings again

Your Tuesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Utah’s economic outlook ranked #1

The annual “Rich States, Poor States” report from the American Legislative Exchange Council is out, and they put Utah at the top for economic outlook and #4 in economic performance. The right-leaning organization is made up of conservative state legislators and business representatives.

It’s the 14th year running Utah finished at the top of the economic outlook rankings.

Florida was second, followed by Oklahoma, Wyoming, and North Carolina. New York had the worst projected economy along with Vermont, New Jersey, and Illinois.

Texas, Colorado, and Washington finished ahead of Utah in economic performance.

“We lead the nation in upward mobility, which means that if you’re born in poverty, it doesn’t mean you have to stay in poverty,” said Gov. Spencer Cox during a Monday morning appearance on Fox Business Channel.

Utah scored high on the group’s report card for not increasing the minimum wage above the federal minimum of $7.25, not imposing an estate tax, and for being a right-to-work state. The Beehive State was dinged for a 23rd ranked sales tax burden and being ranked 25th in debt service to tax revenue ratio.


Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

Local news

  • A legislative audit says Utah’s new homeless centers are safer, but drug use is still a big problem [Tribune].

  • Democrats in Congress are pushing a big voting rights bill. How does it compare to Utah’s method of holding elections? [Tribune].

  • Sen. Mike Lee raised $80,000 during a fundraiser he held with Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation for sex trafficking. What should he do with that money? [Tribune].

National news

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks [NYT].

  • Senate Republicans are still not sold on the proposed bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol [Politico].

  • President Joe Biden spoke with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday where he expressed support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas but did not demand an immediate end to hostilities [AP].

  • Democrats are growing more skeptical of President Biden’s response to Israeli strikes against Gaza [Politico].

  • Republicans in Maricopa County, Arizona are blasting a sketchy recount of the 2020 election pushed by Republicans in the Arizona Senate, calling the process “grift disguised as an audit” [WaPo].

  • Joel Greenberg, the former “wingman” to Rep. Matt Gaetz, pleaded guilty to multiple crimes including sex trafficking a teenage girl [Politico].

  • The Biden administration will send 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine abroad by the end of June [Al Jazerra].

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to make $5.1 million from his book on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Investigators are probing whether he used state resources to write the book [NYT].

  • Japanese doctors are calling for the cancellation of the Summer Olympics as cases of COVID-19 surge in that country [WaPo].

  • The Trump Justice Department tried to use a grand jury to unmask the person behind an anonymous Twitter account critical of Republican Rep. Devin Nunes [NYT].

  • President Biden released his tax returns on Monday. They show his income fell sharply in 2020 to $607,000 [WSJ].

  • Former President Donald Trump has reportedly $65,000 in federal pension payments since he left office in January [Insider].

  • A new study found overwork killed more than 745,000 in 2016. The study does not take into account the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic [NPR].

  • The median home price in California rose over $800,000 for the first time ever [Bloomberg].

  • Amazon is considering buying MGM [The Information].


Tuesday’s Utah news roundup

Utah

  • Looking for a new job in Utah? Here’s how the state can help you find one [Tribune].

  • Native Americans may have cultivated medicinal plants in Bears Ears, study finds [Tribune].

  • Look out for bears — they’re more likely to run into people during drought, officials say [Tribune].

  • Salt Lake City best place to start a career, study shows [Fox 13].

Washington

  • Senators Lee, Romney sit down together, to talk about Utah families [KUTV].

COVID-19

  • Utah reports one more COVID-19 death and 168 new cases [Tribune].

  • Seven things Utah parents should know about getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19 [Tribune].

  • Does Utah need kids vaccinated for the state to reach herd immunity? [ABC4].

  • Weber State University dropping its mask requirement [ABC4].

Education

  • Guadalupe School in Salt Lake will make up for pandemic losses during summer school [KUTV].

Local government

  • Jiu jitsu sessions give law enforcement officers options on how to approach dangerous situations in non-confrontational ways [Park Record].

On the opinion pages

  • Grace Olscamp: That $1.5 billion is for Utahns, not private interests [Tribune].

  • Gov. Cox’s COVID-19 response has been a success [Deseret News].


🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Birthday wishes today to State Rep. Christine Watkins, political consultant Peter Watkins and former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson.

Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.

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