Good Tuesday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.
🌦 Expect some rain showers across most of Utah today. Highs will be in the lower 40s to mid-60s.
The House GOP caucus meets in the morning to elect new leadership following the resignation of House Majority Leader Rep. Francis Gibson. Current House Majority Whip Rep. Mike Schultz is running for Majority Leader against Rep. Keven Stratton. There are two candidates to take Schultz’s place as Majority Whip. Rep. Jefferson Moss, R-Saratoga Springs, and Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, are the two candidates.
The Legislature’s special session kicks off at 10:30.
In the afternoon, the Business and Labor Interim Committee meeting at 1:45 pm could be a wild affair as they consider legislation in response to the testing or vaccine mandate from the Biden administration. Anti-vaccine groups are whipping up support online and say they hope 5,000 people or more will show up in person.
Gov. Spencer Cox holds an online town hall on his Facebook page at 7 pm.
A Veterans Day assembly goes sideways
Larry Law, a P.E. teacher at Dry Creek Elementary School in Lehi, is a military veteran who has been a part of the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly, delivering the same presentation on patriotism and love of country for several years.
But, this year, he added some slides into his presentation that had not been part of the presentation before.
According to a social media post from the parent of a student, Law’s speech went awry when he started discussing misinformation about COVID-19 and the COVID vaccine. Law runs an anti-COVID and anti-vaccine website. He also warned students about the dangers of socialism and how those governments harm and kill innocent students.
“The Rundown” is told the school’s principal abruptly shut down the assembly and addressed the situation with faculty and staff.
Alpine School District spokesperson David Stephenson says the Veterans Day assemblies are a tradition at schools throughout the district.
“An isolated incident that occurred today at an elementary school is unfortunate, concerning, and is being investigated by school and district administration. District policy prohibits political advocacy,” Stephenson said in an email.
Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning
🏛 The Legislature’s redistricting committee picked its maps instead of the proposals from the independent commission. Frustrated voters packed a committee hearing room Monday evening to vent their ire over what they viewed as a clear gerrymander in favor of Republicans. [Tribune]
The non-partisan Princeton Gerrymandering Project said the maps from the Legislature violated “traditional principles of keeping counties whole.” [Tribune]
The Legislature’s redistricting website was overwhelmed for several hours on Monday, leaving Utahns unable to comment on the proposed maps. [Tribune]
🏛 Robert Gehrke calls the Legislature’s redistricting maps the worst in decades. [Tribune]
🚛 Utah businesses are suffering because of disruptions to the global supply chain. [Tribune]
🏛 The House committee investigating the January 6 attempted insurrection issued subpoenas to 6 top advisers to former President Donald Trump, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and those linked to a “war room” in Washington, D.C. ahead of the attack. [Politico]
💉 The White House urges large businesses to move ahead with a testing or vaccine mandate even though the plan was temporarily put on hold by a federal court. [The Hill]
🤦♂️ Republican Rep. Paul Gosar posted a cringe-worthy anime clip showing him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden with swords. Ocasio-Cortez responded by calling Gosar a “collection of wet toothpicks” who “fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups.” Gosar’s spokesperson said, “Everyone needs to relax.” [WaPo]
🦠 The number of global COVID-19 cases surpassed 250 million. [CNN]
💉 More than 360,000 U.S. children under 12 have already received a coronavirus vaccine. [WaPo]
⚡️ A new report says renewable energy in the U.S. nearly quadrupled over the past ten years. [WaPo]
🗳 Former President Trump will “probably” announce whether he’s running for president in 2024 following next year’s midterm elections. [Fox News]
🚀 The SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully splashed down with four astronauts who spent six months aboard the International Space Station. [Space.com]
Tuesday morning’s Utah news roundup
Women can’t take all the classes offered to men at Utah State Prison, and some worry it plays into gender stereotypes. [Tribune]
Salt Lake County’s only quarantine hotel lacks food and medical support, guests and visitors say. [Tribune]
Ogden officer who shot, wounded man with knife felt threatened, court record say. [Tribune]
Should Utah cut taxes? Please don’t, advocacy groups tell lawmakers. [Deseret News]
Why a private island in the Great Salt lake went on the market. [Deseret News]
Millcreek City Council to vote on changing code to allow for digital billboard. [Fox 13]
Homeowners say historic houses damaged by UDOT construction. [Fox 13]
Lifting of travel restrictions good for Utah tourism. [KUTV]
Utah reports 14 more COVID-19 deaths, almost 4,000 new cases. [Tribune]
Should people who’ve had COVID-19 get credit for ‘natural immunity’ if they don’t want the vaccine? [Deseret News]
Here’s how much Utah students’ test scores declined through the pandemic. [Tribune]
Analysis: Utah has the No. 2 health care system in the United States. [Tribune]
3 House Democrats: Redistricting needs as many people working on it as possible. [Tribune]
Stuart Reid: America is at risk from the radicalization of the Republican Party. [Tribune]
Rex Facer: Independent Redistricting Commission provides nonpartisan map options. [Tribune]
Wendy Dennehy and Erin Young: Is the filibuster the best tool to protect against extremes? No. Do these things instead. [Tribune]
Rochelle Kaplan: Romney is misguided on defending filibuster. [Tribune]