Ann Romney for Senate? Matheson tilts toward GOP on votes. Women dominate one party in Utah House and Senate.
Happy Monday. The Utah Legislature is back for its second week and officials promise us there won't be any 33-minute power outage as they return to the Capitol today. The Utah Capitol has a better power grid than the Superdome or at least we hope that's the case.
-> On that note, Sam Gordon, a nine-year-old girl from Herriman who captured the nation's attention by trouncing the boys from opposing football teams, sat next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the Super Bowl and blogs about her experience. [ESPN]
Topping the news: While Mitt Romney's hopes for the White House were dashed in November, some party leaders in Massachusetts are hoping his wife, Ann, may try her hand at politics and run for the seat being vacated by Sen. John Kerry. [ClevelandLeader]
-> Utah's only Democrat in Congress, Rep. Jim Matheson, voted against his party more than 68 percent of the time, clocking in with the lowest party unity scores of all congressional members. [Trib]
-> For the first time in history, women make up the majority in one party in both the Senate and House. [Trib]
From the Hill: Here's your legislative schedule for the day. [Trib]
-> A bill that would simplify the way lawmakers are paid will level out the system for both rural and urban legislators, according to the bill's sponsors. [Trib]
-> Sen. John Valentine gave his former law partnera returned veterana pat on the back on the Senate floor. [Trib]
-> In an ironic twist, newly-minted Rep. Chris Stewart ripped the federal government in a speech in to the Legislature, calling federal spending "national suicide." [Trib]
-> A bill that would restrict target shooting during wildfire season is on the sidelines at least for the moment, after gun aficionados raised concerns. [Trib]
-> A freshman senator is introducing legislation that would require insurers to cover autism treatment. [Trib]
-> A new bill would raise the threshold for getting an initiative on the ballot, making it more difficult for grassroots efforts. [UtahPolicy]
-> State lawmakers aren't waiting to see what Congress does, they're preparing for a "fiscal earthquake." [UtahPolicy]
-> Kids would have a say in custody agreements starting at age 14 down from the current age of 16 thanks to a new bill that was met with support in a committee hearing. [DNews]
-> When he's not on the floor, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser is an avid outdoorsman. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @hakeemjefferson: "Lip synchs at inauguration. Uses all power at Super Bowl. Shame on you, #Beyonce!"
And from @nhkillion: "Next year's Super Bowl half-time will be all-accordion ensemble."
Happy birthday: Today to state Sen. Luz Robles and Trib intern Emily Andrews. And belated birthday wishes to Reps. Michael Kennedy and Kay Christofferson who celebrated Saturday and to Taylorsville City Council member Larry Johnson and state Rep. Patrice Arent who had theirs on Sunday.
Opinion section: Paul Rolly lauds Sen. Curt Bramble's supposed conversion to the alternative energy movement. [Trib]
-> Former Senate candidate Scott Howell calls out Sen. Orrin Hatch on his last-minute addition to the fiscal cliff deal that benefited a large drug company and donor to Hatch's campaign. [Trib]
-> The founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air airs her disappointment with Gov. Gary Herbert refusing to point a finger at mines and refineries in the dirty air debate. [Trib]
-> A businessman and an immigration lawyer say that reforming the immigration system will be a boon both to the state and national economies. [Trib]
-> An attorney says that making it easier for ordinary folks to represent themselves in court has actually clogged the system, and the Utah Supreme Court needs to do something about it. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on 21st Century life. [Trib]
-> An environmentalist calls on the Republican Party to embrace climate change legislation. [Trib]
-> A Utah teacher urges on lawmakers to not underestimate the value of arts education. [Trib]
-> Two emergency room doctors make a call for action on gun control. [Trib]
-> An enviromental volunteer and community member says that living in a world not tainted by climate change is a human right. [Trib]
-> George Pyle says that if the John Swallow-Jeremy Johnsons scandal smells fishy, it probably is. [Trib]
-> An education industry leader calls for a host of changes for Utah's post-secondary education system. [Trib]
-> A state senator says that a possible prison relocation plan is in the best interest of the public and the government, and that a planning committee dealing with the issue is being transparent and open with their dealings. [DNews]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb translate some of the political talk happening on the Hill. [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says immigration reform offers a great opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to work together and show they can compromise. [DNews]
Weekend in review: The future is here at the Flaming Gorge dam: the Daggett County Sheriff's office recently purchased with funding from the Department of Homeland Security a hovercraft that will protect the dam from terrorist attacks and assist in rescuing stranded ice fishermen. [Trib]
-> Utah County Republicans may integrate immigration reform into their party platform, drawing on concepts from the Utah Compact. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly talks about "predatory" towing in Provo, nixing a bill that would do away with straight-ticket voting, and anti-Obama panhandlers. [Trib]
-> While other lawmakers received $96,000 in donations from the alcohol and tobacco lobby, Gov. Gary Herbert is sending back $1,000 that he received. [DNews]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch joins 39 fellow senators in asking that Obama's NRLB appointees ruled unconstitutional by the courts step down. [DixieOnline]
Nationally: The White House released a photo of President Barack Obama firing a gun, providing proof that he's actually been skeet shooting as he claimed last week. [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> Obama says he'll encourage Congress to patch up tax loopholes. [NYTimes]
-> After the Boy Scouts of America said its considering revamping its policy on allowing openly gay members to participate, Obama showed his support for the organization's change of heart. [WaPost]
-> Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they'd like to see a solid deal on immigration reform, instead of half-baked and unrealized plans like in years past. [WaPost]
-> How to end gun violence is a hot topic in many states, with many different approaches for solutions. [NYTimes]
Where are they?
Representative Jason Chaffetz returns to Washington.
Governor Gary Herbert has his weekly strategy meeting and meets with House Speaker Becky Lockhart and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams has a Cabinet meeting and a staff meeting, meets with Speaker Lockhart, has an interview with Speaking on Business, and prepares for his State of the County address.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker holds a press conference for the Public Safety Building walkway-naming contest, meets with legislators, has his weekly senior staff meeting, and hits the Community Foundation of Utah board meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder prepares for his State of the City address.
President Barack Obama flies to Minneapolis to discuss gun violence reduction.
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Thomas Burr and Emily AndrewsTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews