Conservatives accuse Obama of scare tactics. Sequester results in less state money. GOP slams First Lady's Oscar surprise.
Happy Tuesday. Oscars producers got First Lady Michelle Obama to present the best picture award and at the same time ruffle the feathers of conservatives who saw it as unnecessary and even a bit weird. Here's the story of how it all went down. [LATimes]
-> And some on the right criticized Obama for using members of the military as props in the surprise appearance. [Politico]
Topping the news: The state government anticipates a $36 million revenue drop as a result of the impending federal budget cuts known as the sequester. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13] [UtahPolicy]
-> Jon Huntsman headlines a group of Republicans who signed a brief arguing that gay couples should be allowed to marry, joining three other former governors and two House members, among others. [NYTimes]
-> Republicans say President Barack Obama is resorting to scare tactics as he tries to bully them into yielding on the sequester's indiscriminate budget cuts. Obama heads to the Newport News shipping yard to keep up the campaign. [WaPost] [FoxNews]
Tweet of the day: From @MichaelGrabell: "I think @cspan should take after the @weatherchannel & start naming these budget deadlines. Hester the #Sequester?"
Happy birthday: To KSL's Lee Lonsberry, Juan Diego's Scott "The Barn" Platz and The Tribune's Jeremy Harmon.
In other news: Hale Center Theater plans to move to Sandy and is asking for state funds to help with the relocation to a bigger performance space. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> A federal health program to help high-risk patients blocked from getting private insurance is running out of cash and only accepting applicants until this Saturday, eight months earlier than planned. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee says its time to legalize polygamy among willing adults. [Trib]
-> Rep. Jim Matheson says changes to the immigration system and a renewed emphasis on education are needed to bolster the economy now and into the future. [KSL]
-> State leaders and environmentalists disagree over the main cause of the smoggy air that has choked the Salt Lake Valley this winter. [Trib]
-> Long time Salt Lake County Assessor Lee Gardner plans to resign to serve an LDS mission. [Trib]
Heard on the Hill: "Let me clear up a few misperceptions. This bill does not promote communism or the New World Order. That's the next bill." Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, talking about his SB51S1, expanding college tuition waivers for non-residents.
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> State Sen. Stuart Reid is relying on his experience as an LDS bishop in a poor inner-city church as he tries to craft legislation to break the cycle of poverty. [Trib]
-> The Utah House approved legislation that would require a corporation to identify its sources of cash when it donates money to a political campaign. [Trib]
-> The Utah House passed a bill making it clear that restaurants can bring people perusing a menu an alcoholic drink. The patrons have to at least signal that they intend on ordering food. [Trib]
-> The Senate passes a plan to free up some liquor licenses. [Trib]
-> A new bill would exempt some guns and ammo and a TV from bankruptcy takings. [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah Policy's Bob Bernick argues that liquor bills are facing less resistance [UtahPolicy] and that message bills are on the uptick. [UtahPolicy]
-> State Sen. Curt Bramble releases legislation that would delay Utah's guest worker program for two years, allowing Congress time to work on a broader immigration bill. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The House passed a bill to ban teen drivers from talking on a cell phone. [Trib] [DNews]
-> House conservatives arguing that the endangered species designations have severely impacted property rights. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers continue to push measures to force a federal land transfer to the state. [Trib]
-> A $15 million bill to boost math and science education in elementary schools makes it through a House committee. [Trib]
-> A Senate committee moved on a bill that would encourage pharmacists to include a diagnosis on pill bottles to help emergency responders. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Citizens groups complain that bill would make it too difficult to get referendums before the voters. [Trib]
-> A Senate committee signed off on a bill that would allow people treated for mental illness to petition the courts to reclaim the right to own a firearm. [Trib] [DNews]
-> A bill that would allow police to ticket drivers who are not wearing a seatbelt on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or higher survived a preliminary Senate vote, but is getting some serious opposition from conservatives. [Trib] [Herald]
-> A House committee passes a bill requiring schools to notify parents of bullying or suicide threats. [DNews]
-> A Senate committee sidestepped a bill that would have stopped cities from banning or limiting digital billboards. [Trib]
-> The House rejected a bill that would revive a CPR class for high schools. [Trib]
-> A Senate panel postponed a vote on the prison relocation bill. [Trib] [DNews]
-> A House committee killed legislation that would have capped the class size in kindergarten through 3rd grade, with those in opposition calling it an unfunded mandate. [Trib] [DNews]
-> On a party-line vote, a Senate committee shoots down a bill that would have outlawed tethering a dog for more than 10 hours per day. [Trib]
Nationally: Tea party activists have been pushing for federal spending cuts since the movement started. Come Friday, it looks like they'll finally get their way. [WaPost]
-> Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sidestepped a question about Jon Huntsman urging the GOP to embrace gay marriage, with Jindall saying that focusing on the economy is more important. [RawStory]
-> President Barack Obama has laid out an ambitious agenda one that many of his predecessors have failed to accomplish and the question is: will he be able to complete the list and go down as one of the most successful modern presidents, or will he fail and face the history books' judgement. [WaPost]
Where are they?
Rep. Rob Bishop heads to a GOP conference meeting and hits a Public Lands and Environment subcommittee hearing on state forest management. Bishop later attends consecutive meetings with representatives of the timber industry; KUED's general manager, Michael Dunn; officials from Bear River Mutual Insurance; Sen. Mike Lee; and then a Rules Committee meeting.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz holds meetings with officials from the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, the Utah Association of Elementary School Principles and Utah's public television community.
Gov. Gary Herbert meets with former WSU President Ann Millner, meets with Higher Education leaders, sits down with some state lawmakers and then with House Speaker Becky Lockhart and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser before hitting Rep. Brad Wilson's Constituent Dinner.
AG John Swallow attends the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, meets with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and later sits down with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker holds a meeting on Community Development Block Grants, meets with state lawmakers, hosts a delegation from St. Paul, Minn., and attends the Wasatch Mountain Project Executive Committee meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with District Attorney Sim Gill and conducts a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council.
President Barack Obama goes to Newport News, Virginia to talk about the potential impacts of the sequester, pressuring Republicans to bend on the issue.
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Matt Canham and Thomas Burr Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/thomaswburr