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Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 321st day of the year. There are 44 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 46 days until candidates can declare their intent to gather signatures for the 2018 election (1/2/2018)
  • 66 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 111 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 112 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
  • 118 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
  • 123 days until the statewide GOP caucus meetings (3/20/2018)
  • 155 days until the GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 221 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 354 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,082 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today's political TL; DR -

  • It was a busy week in Utah politics. Understand what happened and why with our week-in-review [Utah Policy]. Here's a podcast if you prefer [Utah Policy].

  • Bob Bernick says revamping Utah's nomination system will allow the moderate middle to break away from the extremes on both sides [Utah Policy].

  • All four of Utah's members of the U.S. House vote for the GOP tax reform package that passed on Thursday [Deseret News, Tribune].

  • Early in the 2018 Utah Legislature lawmakers will vote on a massive legislative package to clean up Utah's public education law [Deseret News].

  • House Speaker Greg Hughes is urging other counties in Utah to sue opioid manufacturers after Salt Lake County filed a similar suit this week [Deseret News, Tribune].

  • Lawmakers want to make sure the millions of dollars they're spending to remedy Salt Lake City's homeless problem is going where it needs to [Tribune].

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch is co-sponsoring a bill that will boost the federal database for firearm purchases [Tribune].

  • Iconic journalist Bob Woodward speaks in Salt Lake City. He says the current political climate is the "final exam for democracy" [Deseret News, Tribune].

National headlines:

  • The U.S. House passed their tax plan on a party-line vote on Thursday. Here's what's in the bill and how it affects every taxpayer in America [Washington Post].

  • The U.S. Senate passed their tax reform plan on Thursday evening. A non-partisan analysis of the Senate plan says the bill would drop large tax increases on Americans making under $75,000 per year while giving tax cuts to the wealthy [New York Times].

  • A woman says Democratic Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped her during a USO tour in 2006. Franken has apologized for the incident and has called for a Senate ethics investigation into his behavior [New York Times].

  • A new poll from Alabama shows Democrat Doug Jones has opened up an 8-point lead over embattled Republican Roy Moore. The Alabama GOP is standing by Moore in next month's election [Washington Post].

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee says Jared Kushner did not turn over documents he promised to give them as part of the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election. Specifically, Kushner did not provide emails about WikiLeaks and a "backdoor overture" from Russia during the campaign [Washington Post].

  • Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak says it would take him more than 20 minutes to name every Trump administration or campaign official he's met with or spoken to on the phone [CNBC].

  • A Turkish national who was in prison for skirting sanctions on Iran is now reportedly cooperating with special counsel Robert Muller's probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn [NBC News].

  • President Donald Trump's approval ratings have dropped to a new low and have been on a downward slide for three straight months. 59% of Americans disapprove of Trump's job performance [The Hill].

  • The public corruption case against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez ends in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Following the announcement, Menendez vowed to enact revenge on his opponents who sought to take advantage of the political damage from the trial [New York Times].

  • The White House plans to ask Congress for $45 billion more for disaster relief [Reuters].

  • The controversial Keystone pipeline leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota [Associated Press].

  • The FCC has relaxed media ownership rules that will allow broadcasters to own more television stations in a single market [Variety].

On this day in history:

  • 1558 - The Elizabethan Age begins with Britain's Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne upon the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary.

  • 1800 - The U.S. Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.

  • 1869 - The Suez Canal in Egypt was opened, linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

  • 1871 - The National Rifle Association is granted a charter by New York.

  • 1969 - NBC angered football fans when it pre-empted the final minute of an Oakland Raiders-New York Jets game to air the movie Heidi.

  • 1989 - Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution began following the put down of a student demonstration by riot police.