Christie heads to Boston. LDS Church backs anti-discrimination bill. Bagley birthday.
Happy Friday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, is invading Mitt Romney's territory by heading to Boston for a fundraiser. Romney and Christie may not be the best of friends after the NJ guv threw some nice comments to President Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy and right before the presidential election. No word on whether Romney will attend, but it's highly doubtful. [Globe]
Topping the news: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is said to be in on talks to support a legislation barring sexual orientation discrimination -- a rather large deal after years of such measures falling to the wayside. [Trib]
-> Rep. Jim Matheson wrote a letter to the FTC on embattled businessman Jeremy Johnson's behalf, although the congressman claims that it's a standard procedure and that he didn't take sides. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @Patbagley: "Speed limit in Utah raised to 80mph, which means we can all go 86!"
From @chriskamrani: "First rule of ... RT @RobertGehrke: Speaker Lockhart: "There's no such thing as Fight Club."
Happy birthday: On Saturday to Dave Hultgren, and on Sunday to Trib cartoonist Pat Bagley.
In other news: Spring City debates the concept of requiring every home to own a gun. [Fox13]
-> Western voters in six Rocky Mountain states rallied behind public lands in a new poll, with 74 percent saying that such open space is critical for recreation and the economy.
-> Starting in May, Salt Lake City will be temporarily shutting down some streets to open them up to joggers, bikers, yogis, break dancers and families, and city officials want your input. [Trib] [ABC4]
-> Avenues dwellers rejected a proposal to expand the existing Lindsey Gardens dog park. The 104-63 vote now goes to the City Council, which will determine the next step.
-> Utah educators are rolling out a new accountability system, which will rate Utah K-8 schools in two categories, and three categories for high schools. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly writes about an enterprising UHP trooper, a wifi snaffu at the state Capitol, Carl Wimmer's oustanding success in a Facebook contest and the Highland City Council's stand against the feds. [Trib]
-> Jon Huntsman's daughters sit down with Fox13 to discuss life on the campaign trail and afterwards. [Fox13]
-> About 600 teenagers participated in a mock hearing at the Capitol over bullying.
-> Some state employees aren't keen on switching healthcare plans over to shopping on Avenue H, the state's business health exchange. [Trib]
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> A bill that would keep sex offenders from running for school board passed the House.
-> The public may be able to access government documents deemed to be in the "public interest" without paying steep fees, thanks to a new bill. [Trib]
-> A measure that would allow inmates to donate organs is headed to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk after passing the Senate unanimously. [Trib]
-> Herbert will also receive a bill banning some chemical ingredients in synthetic drugs like spice and bath salts. [Trib]
-> Gun rights are so paramount on Capitol Hill that even a bill about trespassing on college campuses required a note that carrying a gun wasn't a reason to be removed. [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah Policy's Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss gun control, air quality and the state budget in their weekly videochat. [UtahPolicy]
-> No one likes parking tickets -- but especially Sen. Todd Weiler, who introduced legislation that would bar cities from writing parking tickets for license plate problems that aren't already in state law. [Trib]
-> Weiler also scrapped a bill that would require motorcyclists to wear helmets after it failed to generate enough supports to be voted through. [Trib]
-> Despite some Republican pushback, a bill that would allow voters to temporarily "affiliate" with a party during primary elections passed through the Senate. [Trib]
-> Kids as young as 14 would have a say in divorce and custody proceedings, thanks to a bill that passed the Senate. [Trib]
-> The House voted unanimously for a bill that would require cops to file reports with a prosecutor in car crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured. The move will make it more difficult for drivers who are at fault for a death or injury to escape prosecution. [Trib]
-> The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would allow hospitals to continue collecting a "sick tax" that came out of the recession as a means to raise revenue. [Trib]
-> A resolution calling for protection of the Greater Canyonlands area was shelved in a Senate committee hearing. [Trib]
-> Rep. Dixon Pitcher wants to give gun owners who are experiencing a rough patch a way to voluntarily give their guns up for safe keeping for a 60-day period. [Trib]
-> Families who adopt special needs kids aged 5 through 18 could receive a tax credit under a new bill. [Trib]
Nationally: CIA nominee John Brennan was peppered with questions about the legality of drone strikes against American citizens at a Senate confirmation hearing. Brennan defended the strikes, but conceded that it's better to detain terrorists than kill them. At one point, the hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building was cleared out to weed out Code Pink protesters who interrupted the hearing with shouting and banner-waving.
[WaPost] [NYTimes] [Politico]
Where are they?