-> Utah Transportation officials wrongly terminated an employee they suspected of leaking information about a major i-15 contract and now have to give the employee her job back. But UDOT plans to appeal the decision. [Trib]
-> In response to being burned twice from veterans falsely reporting military honors, Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants the Pentagon to create a centralized database of military honors, but military reps said they don't think that's necessary. [Trib] [Military]
Tweet of the day: From @kurtbestor: "I would be happy to compose some "sauntering" music for the Ut State Senate & House. I laugh every time I hear "Motion to saunter.""
In other news: As a LDS Democrat, Utah's newest gubernatorial candidate, Peter Cooke, says he's different from the rest and argues that the state suffers in education and environment because of a lack of leadership. [Trib] And Peg McEntee says he has some street cred even for such a conservative state. [Trib]
-> The SkiLink that would connect Solitude with Canyons advances in Congress, though Utah reps want more local say. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch takes a shot at President Barack Obama's energy policy saying he's supporting hipsters not the working class. [Trib] [Gawker]
-> One national political prognosticator says Hatch will survive the state convention. [WSJ]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert and federal land managers are on the cusp of a decision that could nearly double Utah's operating gas wells, creating thousands of jobs. [Trib]
-> 4th District congressional candidate Mia Love attended a D.C. fundraiser with some heavy hitters, but says she is not part of the establishment. [UtahPolicy]
-> The preparations to ready the state for a potential Olympic bid continue, with high-profile Utah business leaders heading up a strategic plan for funding its development. [Trib]
-> Occupy Salt Lake activists tried their hand at acting with a "protest theater" on the steps of the state Capitol, caricaturing members of the Utah Legislature. [Trib]
2012 Watch: With Ohio awarding more delegates than any other state voting on Super Tuesday, the Buckeye State is on the priority list for all candidates. [WaPost] [Time]
-> Romney is trying to build momentum and the size of his campaign bank account. He is aggressively fundraising after having to spend so much to fight off Rick Santorum in his home state of Michigan. [WaPost]
-> Less than 24 hours after Romney took victories in Arizona and Michigan primaries, the Democratic National Committee unveils a new video slamming him as "out of touch" with voters. [CNN]
-> Jabs on the campaign trail are becoming personal, but now a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC spokesperson has called into question Santorum's working knowledge of the English language. [WaPost]
-> Ron Paul is preparing to launch an attack on all three of his rivals in an ad set to air in Washington state and Vermont two states he thinks he can nab a win. [CNN]
-> Paul takes a break from the campaign trail, flying to Washington, D.C. to question Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on the Federal Reserve. [TheHill]
->Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt says Romney's Olympic turnaround is "exactly what we need in a president." [DNews]
Heard on the Hill: "You know you've been on the Hill too long when marriage, divorce, abortion you're not sure which waiting period applies to you." Steve Erickson, environmental activist. low-income advocacy lobbyist
"You know you've been on the Hill too long when it's OK to shoot feral animals but not with a camera." Erickson and Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City.
The Session: The debate over federal lands continues to heat up, with the House now demanding 30 million acres of it. [Trib]
-> The proposed GRAMA bill is just one vote away from becoming law and didn't bring even one witness to the rewrite Wednesday, starkly contrasting with last year's controversial version that had protesters surrounding the Capitol. [Trib]
-> The House votes for a bill that would seek to continue the ban on fuel companies lowering prices under cost to edge out smaller businesses. [Trib]
-> A panel cleared a bill that would allow restaurant owners to sample potential wines before buying in bulk, a measure passed after a few tweaks, including making sure a DABC member would supervise the tastings. [Trib] [DNews]
-> More than 100 people protested the demise of a bill that would ban housing and employment discrimination of gay or transgendered Utahns. It's the fifth time the bill has been introduced in the Legislature. [Trib]
-> A bill calling for stricter rules on tanning for minors is on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert's office for his signature. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Police officers could get a fee waiver on background checks when buying a gun for personal use after a bill passed through a Senate committee. [Trib]
-> Hundreds of young children with autism would qualify for Medicaid coverage during a two-year pilot program that passed easily through the House. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Although the state school board won't be asked to reconsider its decision to adopt Common Core academic standards, a legislative committee approved two measures urging the board to continually monitor the standards' implementation. [Trib]
-> Elementary school class sizes won't be capped for now, after lawmakers feared the measure wouldn't be self-sustaining and cause future funding problems. [Trib]
-> The Senate gave preliminary approval to prohibit internet gambling, which would cement Utah as one of two states where all forms of gambling are illegal. [DNews]
-> A bill that would have changed the way Utahns vote for the U.S. president withered in a House committee with plans to shelve it for further study throughout the year. [Trib]
-> A House panel killed a proposal to limit the number of bills a lawmaker could introduce each session to five. [UtahPolicy]
-> The Senate passes legislation to change how teachers maintain their salaries, requiring them to be annually evaluated tying 15 percent of their income to job performance. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers move to pare down dental benefits of the Children's Health Insurance Progarms such as cosmetic-only braces to be more aligned with Medicaid. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers put a stop to a bill that would have required all of Utah's elected officials to use a uniform financial and conflict-of-interest disclosure form, arguing the cite would be underutilized and expensive to maintain. [Trib]
-> Utah high school students might soon have to pay for college-level credits that have long been offered for free after a lawmaker says universities can no longer afford it. [Trib]
-> A mobile home park bill designed to allow more freedom of conversation between the residents of manufactured homes gets held by a House committee. [Trib]
-> A bill advances that would require school districts to pay attention to earthquake safety, with an added focus on schools built before 1975. [Trib]
-> The House acts to end the standoff over a long-delayed bill that would keep email address on the voter rolls private. [Trib]
-> The Legislature is poised to change the way lawmakers are paid, but they won't be getting a raise. [UtahPolicy]
Where are they?
Sen. Orrin Hatch meets with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and congressional leaders to discuss corporate tax reform.
Rep. Jim Matheson goes to the Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearings and meets with Utah reps from U.S. Air Force Auxiliary and Civil Air Patrol.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz goes to a Budget committee meeting, then meets with Honeywell and USPS.
Gov. Gary Herbert goes to an Uplift Utah Families media event with First Lady Jeanette Herbert, attends the big business and technology expo and signs H.B. 318 industrial assistance account amendments.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell conducts the governor's rural partnership board meeting then joins Herbert for ceremonial bill signings.
AG Mark Shurtleff is in New York City to meet to hit the Carnegie Board Meeting on Immigration and then heads to Washington to meet with Richard Cordray, the new head of the consumer finance agency.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon is in Washington D.C. for the County Executives of America Conference.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets for lunch with Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell, attends a Salt Lake council of governments meeting and a Community Learning Center architectural design meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder goes to a Salt Lake County caucus at the state Capitol, attends a joint policy meeting with metro planning agencies, meets with the council of governments and goes to a candidate meeting in Millcreek.
President Barack Obama travels to New Hampshire where he speaks at Nashua Community College on energy, then he goes to New York City to attend several campaign fundraisers.
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Matt Canham and Laura Schmitz Twitter.com/mattcanham