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Congress passes fiscal deal. Hatch only Utah vote for bill. Obama returns to Hawaii.

Happy Wednesday. Congress technically let the country head over the fiscal cliff, but was able to avert the tax increases for nearly all Americans in a last-minute deal on New Years Day. The Senate voted at 2 a.m., while the House passed the kick-the-can-on-spending-cuts measure just after 11 p.m. last night. [WaPost]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch was the only member of Utah's delegation to back the measure while Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson opposed it, arguing it was a punt, not a solution. [Trib]

-> Utah's House members were upset with how the process unfolded. [Trib]

-> The Washington Post breaks down the winners and losers in the fiscal cliff debate: VP Joe Biden gets a nice nod, President Barack Obama, not so much. [WaPost]

-> Quote of the day: "We should not take a package put together by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenarians on New Year's Eve." — Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio.

Topping the news: License plate readers used by law enforcement in Utah are prompting a debate about how such information is used and stored. [Trib]

-> State Sen. Aaron Osmond has a novel approach to funding preschool education for at-risk kids: get private investors to pay for it with the promise that the state would pay them back if results can be shown. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @MikeMadden: "Don't think I really understand House GOP fiscal cliff strategy, but that's okay, because I don't think they really do, either."

-> From @RobertCostaNRO: "This long national nightmare may be over — for two months."

In other news: The Alliance for a Better Utah hands out awards for progressive efforts in the state during the last year. [Trib]

-> Outgoing AG Mark Shurtleff wants to urge the Republican Party to do something about immigration. [UtahPolicy] Audio of Bryan Schott's interview with Shurtleff. [UtahPolicy]

-> SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon says his driving goal the last eight years has been to do the right thing no matter the political fallout. [Trib]

-> SL Co. Mayor-elect Ben McAdams says he thinks Corroon did a good job as mayor but still wants a top-to-bottom review of the county government. [DraperJournal]

-> Historic preservationists are opposing a proposed potash mine near Wendover. [Trib]

-> Hill Air Force Base is getting a new wing commander. [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly offers his predictions for the coming year. [Trib]

Nationally: Chief Justice John Roberts says the judiciary branch needs more money and more judges or it'll have to start cutting back on services. [Reuters]

-> Billions in aide for victims of Superstorm Sandy was in jeopardy as the House was set to adjourn without taking up the measure. [NYTimes]

Where are they?

Utah Governor Gary Herbert presents the radon awareness poster awards and meets with staff.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker gets an update on the Sugar House streetcar, meets on the Jordan River Parkway, sits down with community liaisons and chats with Housing Authority Executive Director Bill Nighswonger.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder holds open-door meetings for constituents.

President Barack Obama arrives in Hawaii for vacation.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas

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