News roundup: The legislative session reaches its big finale
The Legislature's last day. Utah may have nation's longest abortion wait time. Romney prepares for a long stretch in the deep South.
Happy Thursday. And welcome to Day 45, the end of the 2012 legislative session, which may well go down in history as one of the most mundane in state history. Some advice: If you are on Capitol Hill today get the taffy while you can, it will disappear at midnight.
Topping the news: Lawmakers make final calls on Utah's $13 billion budget, wrapping up by spending $47 million dousing off hot spots before the last day of the session. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Utah could soon have the longest abortion wait time in the nation, after a bill breezed through the Senate with little debate that would increase the waiting period from 24 to 72 hours. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Lawmakers are playing chicken with each other's prized bills as the clock continues to move toward midnight. Anything not voted on by that point is dead. [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: From @elforesto: "If you choose not to show up when the work is being done, you don't have much ground for complaint, do you?"
@politicalmath: "In a new court order, half of the iPad 3 pixels will be redistributed to needy Android tablets."
Happy Birthday: To Taylorsville Police Chief Del Craig.
In other news: A change in LDS Church policy has essentially stopped the woman who has made her name finding controversial posthumous baptisms. [Trib]
-> Protesters stake out the Capitol, rallying against recent legislative decisions including the sex ed ban, seizing control of federal lands and discrimination against the LGBT community at what participants dubbed the "Rally to Restore Sanity." [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Pat Bagley takes a stab at the recent legislation banning sex education from discussing contraceptives, saying Utah kids can look to Rush Limbaugh to get their smarts. [Trib]
-> A new nationwide poll shows Americans still aren't sold on nuclear energy even a year after the Fukushima meltdowns, but will readily back other renewable energy sources. [Trib]
-> The White House honors Utahn and nonprofit entrepreneur Emily Niehous as a Champion of Change along with other business leaders for her work building energy-efficient homes for low-income families in Moab. [Trib]
-> SLC chief Chris Burbank testifies before Congress against an immigration bill that would allow police to check the status of drunk drivers suspected to be in the country illegally. He says it would lead to racial profiling. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Despite mandates which encouraged hunters to kill hundreds of wolves last year, packs have actually slightly increased. [Trib]
-> Utahns have enjoyed better-than-average air quality this winter thanks to warmer weather and less snowfall, and environmental groups say the blue skies should inspire action. [Trib]
2012 Watch: Mitt Romney's and Rick Santorum's camps are looking at the same delegate math for the Super Tuesday results but coming up with different answers. [CNN]
-> Despite Romney's winning streak, the next 10 days are bound to pose a hurdle for the former governor in the staunchly conservative south. [ABCNews]
-> Utah doesn't hold its primary vote until June and Romney is a sure fire winner in the state but that hasn't stopped Santorum and Ron Paul from trying to get on the ballot. The Utah GOP has yet to hear from Newt Gingrich. [UtahPolicy]
-> In an effort to pour all his energy into the deep South, Gingrich cancels his campaign events in Kansas, but insists he has no plans of backing out of the race. [WaPost]
-> Ron Paul's disappointing finish on Super Tuesday he remains the only candidate who hasn't won a caucus or primary could have reflected the poor turnout among young voters, but the candidate pledges to carry on. [USNews] [ABCNews]
-> The main super PAC supporting Paul, Endorse Liberty, is rethinking the amount of cash it plans to pour into the congressman's campaign after Tuesday's finish although its leader said support will still continue. [Politico]
The Session: With schools now able to opt out of sex education, the Legislature looks at a bill that would train parents to do the task instead. [DNews]
-> A bill that would stop police from charging a person with disorderly conduct for carrying a gun in public reaches its final vote. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The House agrees to join a health care compact in an effort to break away from federally controlled Medicare and Medicaid programs, seeking to replace them with a state-run system. [Trib]
-> The Senate OKs two bills in Utah's new Sagebrush Rebellion, claiming ownership over 30 million acres of federal lands, but clarifying that the state's five national parks and designated wilderness areas will remain under federal control. [Trib]
-> Hit-and-run boating accidents will soon officially be illegal, under a bill unanimously cleared by the Senate a measure sparked by U. professor Esther Fujimoto's death after being hit by a boat propeller in an Ogden reservoir. [Trib]
-> Warning signs with name placards will replace roadside white crosses to honor fallen Utah Highway Patrol troopers, in a bill that made it through the Legislature. [Trib]
-> A bill on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk would require teachers to take two hours of training every five years to better identify suicidal behavior in kids. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Citizens can take pictures of farm animals and operations as long as they don't sneak in under false pretenses, under a amendment to a bill passed by the Senate. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Senate tweaks a bill that tried to thwart Salt Lake City's anti-idling ban, passing an amended version that allows cities to have their own ordinances but protects cars on private property such as driveways from being ticketed. [Trib]
-> The same senator who opposed a property tax break for military members now supports a bill the Senate endorsed that would allow reservists who are assigned to Utah to pay in-state college tuition. [Trib]
-> Although the U.S. education secretary made clear that states are in charge of their own academic standards, that didn't stop lawmakers from backing a resolution asking the state school board to "reconsider" its adoption of Common Core academic standards. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Senate gave a preliminary nod to a bill that would require those who receive cash assistance to be subject to drug testing, with one senator's comments that welfare recipients "sit around and go fishing." [Trib] [Fox13]
-> A bill that would ensure that landlords who have taken training in one city don't have to re-take it in other cities and would also exempt lawmakers from a "good landlord" program for anyone whose public service touches on real estate issues. [Trib]
Where are they?
Rep. Jim Matheson has a health subcommittee meeting and meets with Utah reps from the National Hemophilia Foundation.
Rep. Rob Bishop attends a public lands oversight hearing, then goes to a meeting talking about the impact of federal lands in the West.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz meets with Larry Echohawk, the head of Indian Affairs, and then goes to a Budget Committee meeting.
Gov. Gary Herbert goes to a Red Cross heroes event at the Salt Palace Convention Center, before he marks the end of the 2012 legislative session.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell joins Gov. Herbert for the ceremonial closing of the legislative session.
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff continues to attend meetings with the National Association of Attorneys General.
SL Mayor Ralph Becker attends the Green Schools Design Institute.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon attends the American Red Cross heroes luncheon and a Sheriff's promotion recognition then goes to a memorial service for Richard Wirick.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder makes a stop at the Valley Junior High science fair.
President Barack Obama hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office to discuss shared objectives in advancing development, and the commercial and economic ties between the two nations.
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Matt Canham and Laura Schmitz Twitter.com/mattcanham