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Romney to reportedly endorse Rubio. SLC to host a debate March 21. Poll: Rubio leads among Utah Republicans.

Happy Monday. The Huffington Post is reporting that Mitt Romney will endorse Marco Rubio for president, a move that could help coalesce Republicans around the Florida senator who has long been thought of as the establishment candidate but still losing contests to Donald Trump. Romney's endorsement could go a long way in helping Rubio break out from the pack, though Trump is sure to poke fun at it. [" target="_blank">HuffPost]

-> A new poll shows Marco Rubio leads with 24 percent of support among Utah Republicans, Ted Cruz has 22 percent and Donald Trump captures 18 percent. Some 11 percent say they're undecided. [" target="_blank">UtahPolicy]

-> Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson isn't an elected politician, but he plays a pivotal role in state politics. Some call him the state's "unelected governor." [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> State lawmakers will mandate an audit of the University of Utah athletic program in light of its decision to suspend rivalry games with BYU. [" target="_blank">Trib]

Tweets of the weekend: From">@BenWinslow: "Tourists, a political protest and a bridal shoot. Friday in the ">#utleg."

From" target="_blank">@imillhiser: "The people who thought investing in Jeb! was a good idea are managing your retirement plan."

From">@MMFlint: "The final word on Jeb! For President: '">@rpmusgra: Summing up: a Bush spends fortune to lose war against extremists.'"

From ">@KhaledBeydoun: "74% of South Carolina primary voters support banning Muslims. But Islamophobia isn't a real thing though."

Tune in: Utah Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka, Lola Britton of the Utah League of Women Voters, Libertas Institute's Connor Boyack and Joshua Kanter of Alliance for a Better Utah join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk issues and bills in the legislative session's second half. Watch Trib Talk live at 12:15 p.m. MT on" target="_blank">

Opinion section: Claire Geddes, a consumer advocate and Cottonwood Heights resident, says that Utah senators in support of SB115 are treating Rocky Mountain Power the way they should treat constituents. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Todd Macfarlane, an attorney who frequently represents ranchers in conflicts with the federal government — including the LaVoy Finicum family, as well as a rancher, writer and political activist — believes the government and the Tribune are using scare tactics to get ranchers to back away from important issues. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Taylorsville Sen. Wayne Harper feels that out-of-state and special interest groups opposing a potential Internet tax aren't thinking of what's in Utahns' best interest. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Scott Hymas, CEO of RC Willey, feels that a required Internet sales tax for Utah evens the playing field for businesses. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Fernando Rivero, a veteran fire captain and paramedic with the Unified Fire Authority and currently the education committee chair of the Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force, says the term "child prostitute" puts the blame on victims. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Shilo Platts, a member of the Utah chapter of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, explains how the vaping industry shares Utah's goal for reducing teen tobacco use. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Ronald B. Scott, a former reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News before joining Time magazine in New York City as well as novelist and author of a 2011 biography on Mitt Romney, says the 2012 GOP presidential nominee is still an option for this year's race. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Brian Zehnder, a family physician from Magna and former president of the Utah Academy of Family Physicians who is the current Utah director for the American Academy of Medical Ethics and medical director for Exodus Healthcare Network, says physician-assisted suicide puts more than the patient in danger. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman, who has served at Salt Lake County's Congregation Kol Ami since July 2010, believes that supporting a stronger hate-crime law will expand empathy throughout the state. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> SLC Rep. Marie H. Poulson believes that test scores aren't an accurate way to evaluate teachers. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Abby Huntsman explains how she felt the day her father, former GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman, dropped out of the race. [" target="_blank">Glamour]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the LDS Church's stance on Rep. Stephen Urquhart's medical marijuana bill. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Paul Rolly says Sen. Orrin Hatch's claim that his position that President Barack Obama should not appoint a new Supreme Court justice is absolutely political. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb share their thoughts on Utah's senators and the idea of nominating a new Supreme Court justice. [—LaVarr-Webb-Supreme-Court-nominations-and-Utah-delegates.html" target="_blank">DNews]

From Capitol Hill: State senators gave preliminary approval to the more conservative of two marijuana bills, while the other gained some support previously considered unlikely. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">DNews] [" target="_blank">KUTV] [" target="_blank">Fox13] [" target="_blank">KUER] Sen. Mark Madsen discussed his bill on Sunday. [" target="_blank">Fox13]

-> Sen. Daniel Thatcher says he will bring back the hate crimes legislation if it doesn't pass this year. [" target="_blank">UtahPolicy]

-> Some of the state's most contentious issues are peaking as the Legislature heads into the second half of the session. [" target="_blank">APviaTrib]

-> Utah's Rep. Jason Chaffetz called out three federal agencies before the state Legislature on Friday. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">KUER] He also expressed a desire to introduce a bill in Congress to legalize cannabidiol in states where it's approved for patient use. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Lawmakers in a House committee advanced a bill outlining how Utah would manage 31 million acres of federal public lands if the state could take control. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">DNews] [" target="_blank">APviaKUTV] [" target="_blank">KUER]

-> A state legislator says the federal government can afford to reimburse Utah for the time its national parks were closed due to a 2013 government shutdown. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> A proposal for the state to skirt around recognition of same-sex marriage has yet to be heard in committee. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> A proposal changing up voting methods for the next generation advanced to the full House. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> A bill for Utah to seek a constitutional convention to limit the federal government's power advanced after a House committee voted 6-3. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> A House committee unanimously endorsed the removal of an "unfunded mandate" for arts grants. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> A proposal dealing with the use of body cameras among Utah's police force was approved by a committee and will next appear before the full House. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Lawmakers from a House committee favored a resolution that would ask the BLM to "restore ... safe high-speed-racing conditions" to the Bonneville Salt Flats. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> A bill eliminating the need for Utahns to wait two weeks to hear official elections results is on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert for approval. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> A plan to give the board managing the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund flexibility to award grants for housing initiatives was endorsed by a committee. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Two bills expanding kindergarten hours advanced Friday to be heard by the full Senate. [" target="_blank">DNews] [" target="_blank">APviaKUTV]

-> Lawmakers are requiring further study for a bill that would give tax exemptions for military retirement payments. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Legislators are grappling with the question of whether parents should be held responsible for a child's absence from school. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> The bill proposing to tear down "Zion Curtains" shielding the preparation of alcoholic drinks from public view failed to gain committee approval. [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> Lawmakers approved a bill opening special hunting permits for 12-year-olds. [" target="_blank">APviaPKUTV]

-> Here is today's legislative committee schedule. [" target="_blank">Trib]

Weekend in review: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who has publicly endorsed GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, attended an event for challenger Ted Cruz in an attempt to expose his flaws. [" target="_blank">TIME]

-> Utah is one of at least seven states that has residents challenging Cruz's citizenship. [" target="_blank">ABC]

-> Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Saturday that the Oregon occupation could have ended much differently and thanked local leaders and residents for not supporting the protest. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Gov. Herbert has called for an end to the nation's opioid epidemic at the NGA meeting this weekend. [" target="_blank">ABC4]

-> A BYU law professor participated in Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral. [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> A new report recommends that money go to fixing existing national parks rather than constructing new ones, [" target="_blank">DNews] including Utah's own Canyonlands. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski plans to take a second look at the city's fire chief after potential conflicts of interest have been brought to her attention. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Dr. Vaughn R. Cook has emerged as the second Democrat planning to run for governor. [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> Sandy City will hold public hearings on five potential annexations of unincorporated islands. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Some of SL Co.'s new townships are struggling to find candidates to serve in office. [" target="_blank">Fox13]

-> Terry Tempest Williams, who with her husband bought energy rights on public land in southern Utah from the BLM oil and gas auction, explained why they chose to take action last week. [" target="_blank">KUER]

-> The Utah State Board of Education decided Thursday to promote Scott Jones to the new position of deputy superintendent of operations. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Most school districts around the state are facing shortages of bus drivers. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> The concept of religion further complicates the debate of medically-assisted suicide. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Utah's two largest newspapers are cutting back on rural delivery. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> The new owners of SLC's downtown Gateway mall have revealed a $30 million plan for upgrades. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Taylorsville has recently been experiencing an economic boom. [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch helped unite a family that was separated because of challenges with getting a visa from Morocco. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> A Utahn composed and acted in the Grammy-winning Broadway production, "Hamilton," and has gained fans in the Legislature. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush dropped out of the race Saturday night after the results of the South Carolina primary election were announced. [" target="_blank">AP] [" target="_blank">Politico] [" target="_blank">WaPost] [" target="_blank">Slate] Where will Bush's backers go? The race is on. [" target="_blank">NYTimes] GOP challenger Marco Rubio is soliciting Bush's donors, [" target="_blank">USAToday] and has already picked up support from some. [" target="_blank">WSJ] Meanwhile, GOP front-runner Donald Trump said Bush would have won the nomination four years ago. [" target="_blank">TPM] [" target="_blank">TheHill]

-> President Barack Obama addressed governors at a National Governors Association dinner this weekend, telling them that bridging the partisan divide is a noble goal. [" target="_blank">AP]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason" target="_blank">Chaffetz campaigns for GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio in Nevada and celebrates his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, Julie.
  • Gov. Gary" target="_blank">Herbert spends the day with the NGA in Washington, meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He also participates in a roundtable on rural poverty with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer" target="_blank">Cox meets with a Washington County youth group and with local elected officials. He also eats at the Utah Association of Realtors luncheon.
  • State Auditor John Dougall heads to meetings with LeGrand Bitter of the Utah Association of Special Districts, interim State Superintendent of Public Instruction Syd Dickson, the Division of Finance, various legislators and others regarding legislative issues.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben" target="_blank">McAdams speaks at the Utah Association of Realtors event.
  • President Barack" target="_blank">Obama receives his daily briefing with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers remarks and takes questions from the National Governors Association at the White House and has lunch with Biden.
  • Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at" target="_blank"> If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [" target="_blank">Trib]

    — Thomas Burr and Mariah Noble" target="_blank"> and" target="_blank">