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State revenues up, as are requests. Lawmakers to Congress: Give us public lands. Obama, Huntsman nearly tied for Utah funds.

Happy Wednesday. Remember Pastor Robert Jeffress? The Texas mega-church leader and then-Rick Perry supporter made headlines last fall for calling the LDS Church a "cult." Well, now he's backing Mitt Romney. Sort of. Jeffress said on MSNBC yesterday that he'll "hold his nose" and vote for Romney in the upcoming Texas primary. (Jeffress still maintains that Mormonism doesn't fall within "historic Christianity"). [USAToday]

-> Good news, bad news: Utah's economy continues to climb north, with revenues increasing $14 million in December projections. But state lawmakers caution that with other surging demands, the money won't go far. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [UtahPolicy]

Topping the news: A House committee passes a bill that demands Congress hand over federal lands to the state by 2014 — a measure, that if approved, will undoubtedly bring about a lawsuit. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]

-> The House approves a bill that allow citizens to openly carry guns, despite fears that it could hamper police from stopping potential threats. [Trib] [Herald]

-> President Barack Obama and Jon Huntsman are neck and neck in Utah fund-raising highs, but Romney is still the contribution king in the Beehive State. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @RobertGehrke: "Rep. Jim Dunnigan to caucus: 'Can I have two minutes? Give me one minute and I'll LaVar it into two minutes.'"

Happening tonight: The Republican presidential candidates debate in Mesa, Ariz., at 6 p.m. Mountain Time on CNN. (Politico's Mike Allen notes in Playbook, it's Ash Wednesday, and two of the four candidates are Catholic. Will they have ash on their foreheads?)

New Appointments: Gov. Gary Herbert appoints BYU adjunct professor Chyleen A. Arbon to the state's Board of Pardons and Parole [APviaABC4], and the ACLU appoints John M. Mejia as its new legal director. [Trib]

In other news: Pat Bagley offers his take on Mitt Romney's Michigan problem. [Trib]

-> A new Gallup poll says Mormons and Jews share the view that their religions lead to better health. [Gallup] [ABC4]

-> Paul Rolly notes that Sen. Orrin Hatch has a penchant for saying off-the-wall things in largely-conservative southwestern Utah. [Trib]

-> The Hinckley Institute's Kirk Jowers says Utah is leading the way in voter reform. [KSL]

-> Rep. Jim Matheson sponsors a bill that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to review its regulations that impede energy development, encouraging the development of alternative energy. [APviaStandardEx]

-> A Provo Municipal Council voted to put an ordinance on the March 6 agenda that would allow a license for exhibitors to sell beer at convention center events. [Trib]

-> Here's your weekly roundup of issues being tackled in local city councils, school boards and other government entities. [Trib]

2012 Watch: Poll: Romney clings to a narrow lead in Arizona, with Rick Santorum nipping at his heels. [WaPost] [LATimes]

-> Santorum plays up his steel-town roots to contrast himself against Romney, calling himself not a "manager," and not a "visionary." [CNN]

-> Super PACs reveal their big-time donors, letting the public in on the power players of the 2012 presidential race. [WaPost]

-> The ins and outs of Romney and his father, George, get broken down by Bloomberg's John McCormick. [BusinessWeek]

-> Huntsman, now a member of the Ford Motor Co.'s board, gets a pay increase. [FreePress]

-> Santorum defends his statements that the U.S. is most in danger of spiritual warfare than any other. [NYTimes]

-> Newt Gingrich defends his remarks that defeating Obama is a matter of "national security," ripping the president for his policies of "appeasement." [TheHill]

-> A Santorum-backing super PAC returns a $50,000 donation from London, because the contribution violates a U.S. law against foreign cash in American political campaigns. [WaPost]

-> A new Ron Paul ad bashes Santorum, branding him a faux fiscal conservative. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [CNN]

Heard on the Hill: "I sure do appreciate what you're doing back there and wish I could vote for you again," Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay, to U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, who decided to run in a new district following redistricting. Matheson's response: "I wish I could vote for myself."

The Session: The House cleared a bill that would outlaw Internet gambling, ensuring it remains illegal in Utah even if Congress allows online bets in other states. [Trib] [Herald]

-> Protesters smoking hookahs outside the state Capitol didn't seem to help their cause in fighting a ban on the product, as the House voted to outlaw the practice indoors. [Trib] [ABC4]

-> This year's GRAMA bill advances through a Senate committee, with recommendations including the appointment of an ombudsman to manage all citizens' records requests. [DNews] [Fox13] [Herald]

-> Rep. John Dougall carries legislation for a local newspaper editor who was concerned about city leaders going behind closed doors to fill top vacancies in city government. [UtahPolicy]

-> Fallen UHP troopers could get remembered by roadside safety warning signs with a placard instead of a white cross under a bill advanced by a House committee. [Trib]

-> A bill that would let motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles run red lights was stalled in a committee to give time for a compromise, after opposing groups fought to have their way. [Trib]

-> A measure that would mandate parental supervision for minors to use tanning salons advanced, proponents citing adverse health effects including melanoma. [Trib] [StandardEx]

-> A new resolution expresses support to forge an interconnection between all seven of Utah's ski resorts, arguing the move could bolster tourism and safety. [Trib]

-> A bill gained initial approval that would give Utahns the option of donating to elementary schools after filing their income tax returns, giving the schools the option to direct the funding where it's needed most. [Trib]

-> Judges would be allowed to consider spousal abuse and infidelity as a basis to award alimony, under a bill passed through a House committee. [Trib]

-> Matheson makes a stop at the Utah Legislature, decrying the lack of bipartisanship in Congress, blaming in part the state election systems that make voters feel as if their vote doesn't count. [Trib] [UtahPolicy]

-> Teachers will soon have the legal right — but not demand — to send home requests for school supplies, after another bill was cleared through both houses. [Trib]

Where are they?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz heads to Arizona to campaign with Romney and attends the Republican presidential debate.

Gov. Gary Herbert meets with university presidents, goes to Realtor Day at the Legislature, attends the Utah all-state high school art show then meets with Robert Spendlove for a National Governors Association briefing.

Lt. Gov. Greg Bell meets with health industry leaders to discuss tort reform laws in Utah, speaks at the Freedom Festival luncheon at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City and meets with Sen. Jenkins and Rep. Dee.

SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon goes to a debt review committee meeting and then meets with Pam Sanders of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker has no public events.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder goes to a cottage meeting in Riverton.

President Barack Obama speaks at the construction site of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture set to open in 2015, afterwards hosting a reception in honor of the museum breaking ground.

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— Thomas Burr and Laura