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Bennett: Balanced budget amendment 'dangerous.' Bishop on running for guv. Why Huntsman won't win.

Happy Wednesday. As the group looking at changes to Utah's open-records law meets this morning, an expert in the field notes that he has always held the state's system out to be one of the best in the nation — though that ranking would suffer a dramatic fall if provisions in the now-repealed HB477 were enacted. [Trib]

Topping the news: Former Sen. Bob Bennett says a balanced budget amendment pushed by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee is "very, very dangerous." [Trib]

-> The Interior Department says millions of public acres leased to oil and gas companies are sitting idle while Bishop blames red-tape and a slow-walked process. [Trib] [DNews] (Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is set to give a speech this morning calling for cutting oil imports and increasing domestic production.)

-> School choice advocates are hitting the phone tree hoping to persuade Gov. Gary Herbert not to sign a measure limiting online education. [Trib] [Herald]

Tweet of the day: From @StephenAtHome (Stephen Colbert): "The President doesn't have a plan for Libya, any more than I have a plan for this tweet. Hm, now what? Look, a balloon!"

2012 watch: One Republican details why Jon Huntsman Jr. has no shot at the GOP presidential nomination: "He is intelligent, attractive, has proven leadership credentials as a businessman and former governor, and would be best suited to take on Obama in a general election. So, of course, our party won't nominate him." [CNN]

-> In a rare opinion piece, Huntsman says that America welcomes the increasing Chinese investment in our country. [MarketWatch]

-> The Canadian Press looks at how Huntsman's Mormon faith will be a hindrance to his White House aspirations. [CanadianPress]

Will he or won't he? Rep. Rob Bishop, ducking a question in an interview on whether he would challenge Gov. Gary Herbert: "The next time I go to a State of the Union address, I will be giving it. Everyone else from Utah is running for president why can't I. I at least meet residency requirements in Utah."

Happy birthday: To former state Rep. Lorie Fowlke, DEQ's Stacee Adams and radio personality Matt Laslo.

Out of Context catchup: Sen. John McCain says Huntsman is a "fine man," but he's not sure the former Utah governor will run for president. [Trib]

Where are they?

Hatch speaks to the National Association of State Treasurers at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, hits the Senate Finance Committee hearing, and later takes pictures with the Davis County Eagles hockey team and attends an all-members meeting on Libya with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Herbert heads on a bill-signing tour, starting at WSU's Davis County campus then to USU and finally at the Tooele Community Learning Center.

AG Mark Shurtleff is in Washington and will do an interview with NPR Golden Spike Initiative and then sits down with Human Events.

SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon has breakfast with Community Council chairs and later attends a retirement party for Darrell Butler.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker has breakfast with U. President Michael Young and meets on various city departments.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder joins a conference call with leaders of the national Republican Mayors and Local Officials group.

President Barack Obama speaks at Georgetown University on his plan for America's energy security, lunches with Vice President Joe Biden and then meets with senior advisers in the Oval Office.

In other news: Herbert signs a measure intended to offer help to teachers facing a non-stop influx of children. [Trib]

-> Herbert is set to sign a bill authorizing an $83 million bond measure. [Trib]

-> DABC beat reporter Chris Vanocur discovers that the Legislature's decision to close several liquor stores means cities could lose a quarter-million dollars in tax revenue. [ABC4]

-> Paul Rolly reports former Rep. Trish Beck is fine and safe in Utah, not in London and needing money as some scammers suggested. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Obama's Libya speech. [Trib]

-> State lawmakers created a system this session to double-check legislators boundaries to avoid another "Craig Frank-situation." [Herald]

-> UtahPolicy's Bob Bernick notes that Herbert has until midnight tonight to sign bills but one he signed last night — taking away the ability for the Constitutional Review Commission and the Tax Review Commission to meet on their own or study an issue without being told to — could have lasting consequences. [UtahPolicy]

-> CNN covers Utah's first-in-the-nation guest worker proposal: [CNN].

-> Utah County repeals its ban on "Spice" after Legislature acts to make it illegal. [Trib]

-> Envision Utah has won Harvard's "Bright Ideas" award. [Trib]

-> New pet rules may be on their way in unincorporated SL County. [Trib]

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— Thomas

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