Daily Fix, Jan 24

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Today is the first day of the 45 day legislative session for 2011. Fasten your seatbelts – it’s likely to be quite the roller coaster!

*As the session gets underway, here’s an overview of what you can expect from the Senate, including a clear explanation of LST – Legislator Standard Time. Believe me – it only takes once on the Hill to learn that LST is very real. Senate Site

*Speaking of the Senate, one of Utah’s rising stars is Senator Dan Liljenquist of Bountiful. Some people are drawn to politics because they want to BE something. Others are drawn to it because they want to DO something. Senator Liljenquist is definitely a doer. The young, energetic freshman has already tackled pension reform and this year has set his sights on Medicaid reform. Deseret News

*Chris Vanocur hosts Robert Gehrke of the Salt Lake Tribune, Josh Loftin of the AP, Bob Bernick of Utah Policy Daily and yours truly as we preview the 20112 legislative session. Topics discussed include Utah’s new Speaker, illegal immigration, Medicaid reform, land use bills, social media and more. Robert Gehrke pointed out that blogs can’t line newspapers. Um yeah. He’ll never live it down. On the Record, part 1, part 2, and part 3.

*Want to follow the legislative session in short bursts? Turn to Twitter. 19 Utah lawmakers are currently using Twitter (although most of them are relatively inactive). To stay up-to-date, follow the #utpol and #utleg hashtags. Daily Herald

*The Utah GOP has new leadership at the top. Previous chair, Dave Hansen, and vice-chair Kitty Dunn, resigned to work on Senator Orrin Hatch’s campaign. State central committee members met Saturday morning and chose Thomas Wright as chair, Christy Achziger as the vice-chair and Dana Dickson as the secretary, taking over for Achziger. SL Tribune

*Pignanelli and Webb provide a translation guide for interpreting politi-speak. Pretty funny stuff, like: Rep. Carl Wimmer: “The Patrick Henry Caucus is ready to fight for conservative values and guns.” (“What a great opportunity to consolidate support for my congressional campaign among tea party people.”) or this from Democratic legislators: “We provide an important voice and constructive balance in legislative deliberations.” (“We’re here! We exist! Please call on us once in a while.”) Deseret News

*Because the federal government apparently did not get the message that the American people is tired of government intervention into the marketplace, the Obama administration is starting a billion-dollar government drug development center. Don’t worry, though – Dr Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health assures us that none of it is intended to compete with the private market. New York Times

*In a smack-down with the state, a federal judge will not reconsider the arguments of several rural Utah counties and large energy development companies. They sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar over 77 withdrawn oil and gas leases. SL Tribune

*Saying for months that the federal government was “too big and too expensive”, Senator Mike Lee campaigned on ending government bailouts, handouts and unconstitutional programs. Last week, he went on KUER and reaffirmed his position that FEMA was unconstitutional and should not be funded with taxpayer dollars. Four days later, he said in relation to the recent flooding in St George: “That money is there. It’s been appropriated for disaster relief, and I see no reason why Utah ought not be entitled to receive such federal funds.” KUER Deseret News

*Citing former Rep Craig Frank’s resignation on Friday, a local paper praises him for his integrity and asks the legislature to quickly redraw the boundary lines so that his name can appear on the ballot at Saturday’s special election. Daily Herald

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2 Responses to “Daily Fix, Jan 24”

  1. MW Burkett Says:

    Great work! Thanks for your work in helping the average Utahn understand what the heck is happening the world of politics.

  2. Senate Journal: 1/24/11, First day of the session | New Senate Site Says:

    […] – Holly’s Daily Fix for January 24th covers the Chris Vanocur session preview, Billy Hesterman’s Twitter article, and Pignanelli […]

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