Pope Benefict XVI to resign. Gun lobbyist profiled. New pro-Swallow website debutes.
Happy Monday. Pope Benedict XVI will resign from his post on Feb. 28, the first pope to leave the job voluntarily in six centuries. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger says his advanced age has left him unable to perform his duties. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
Topping the news: The White House says it likes the homegrown Utah Compact as a solution to immigration reform. [Trib]
-> David Montero profiles "the gun lobby:" Clark Aposhian and his iron grip on Utah laws affecting firearms. [Trib]
-> A new website is standing behind embattled Attorney General John Swallow, urging viewers to rationally look at Swallow's take on the events with businessman Jeremy Johnson that embroiled him in scandal. [Trib]
-> On the national scene, the Navy Seal who shot Osama bin Laden details what it was like to fire those three shots and how it's personally affected him. [Esquire]
Tweets of the day: From @chucktodd: "Shouldn't we lock Congress up in the Capitol and not let them out until they send smoke signals to us that budget crisis is averted?"
Happy birthday: To state Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, Mary Anne Huntsman and Department of Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke.
From the Hill: Here's your legislative schedule for the day. [Trib]
-> The House voted unanimously to allow for elections to be changed as needed in times of emergency. [Trib]
-> Two bills swept through the House that would allow drivers to cross double yellow lines to avoid cyclists. [Trib]
-> Juvenile Justice Services is asking for more funding from the Legislature, which is needed to prevent the program from making severe service cuts. [Trib]
-> A colorful pit of 18,532 plastic balls -- each representing a kid in Utah who is autistic -- was set up in the capitol rotunda to keep the dialogue open about a bill that would mandate that insurance carriers cover autism treatment. [Trib]
-> Fines for companies that dump too-hot radioactive waste in EnergySolution's dump could double, thanks to a new bill. [Trib]
-> Despite a favorable reception in a Senate committee, a bill that would make cockfighting a felony is being put on hold. [DNews]
-> Bob Bernick says that the House Rules Committeee is holding on to some 65 percent of the bills that are ready to head to standing committees. [UtahPolicy]
-> Six students took their concerns about tobacco to the Hill on Friday. [DNews]
Opinion section: Peg McEntee decries the deep divide on gun issues in the Utah Legislature. [Trib]
-> The Utah Citizen's Council says that in Utah's dirty air debacle, everyone's responsible. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly theorizes that the Utah Republican Party will soon drop their organizing conventions. [Trib] He also talks about transparency in the legislature, his thoughts on Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, and understanding bullying. [Trib]
-> A teacher from the Nebo School District says that teaching "digital citizenship" should be required in schools. [Trib]
-> A writer compares the Utah Legislature to a circus. [Trib]
-> An award-winning teacher calls on the Legislature for longer preparation time for teachers and smaller class sizes as long-term education investments. [Trib]
-> A children's book writer describes her new life in Utah. [Trib]
-> A teacher and writer laments cultural violence. [Trib]
-> George Pyle says that although good-faith, voluntary actions on the part of citizens to reduce air pollution are honorable, those moves don't cut real change. [Trib]
-> An energy professional calls out Utah's antiquated home energy efficiency standards.
-> A co-founder of Utah waters blasts a bill that could potentially strip public water rights. [Trib]
-> A former Republican legislator calls on his past colleagues to accept a Medicaid expansion, saying they have a moral obligation to do so. [Trib]
-> The director of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration calls for compromise on conservation and leasing. [Trib]
-> LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli take a look at the variety of issues before the Utah Legislature. [Trib]
-> Here are Jay Evensen's winners and losers for this week. [DNews]
-> John Florez says we need to look at the root of immigration issues, and acknowledge them as economic problems. [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett asks whether the tea party is over -- and notes that eventually brush fires burn themselves out. [DNews]
Weekend in review: Even though half of them aren't gun owners, Utah's congressional members are still big gun-rights proponents. [Trib]
-> Gun ranges are a hot spot for political fundraisers both in Washington and back in Utah. [Trib]
-> Jared Whitley offers some advice for politicians aspiring to crack wise in speeches. [UtahPolicy]
-> For Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, it's the Year of the Bike, heralded in with some major upgrades to the city's cycling infrastructure. [Trib]
-> Rep. Rob Bishop, a former high school teacher, may be hit hard by no-budget-no-pay.
-> The Utah Air Quality Board wants your input on pollution-causing cosmetics. [Trib]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz warned of cyberattacks and inefficient and out-of-control spending in a speech before the Utah Legislature. [Trib]
-> UTA's building frenzy will be tapering off for a bit, with an emphasis on expanding service. [Trib]
Nationally: A New York Times contributor says the Obama administration has been "selling America the beautiful." [NYTimes]
-> President Barack Obama is weighing executive actions on housing, gay rights and other issues to bypass congressional inaction. [WaPost]
-> Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm doesn't plan to join Obama's Cabinet. She was a possible choice for Commerce secretary. [DetNews]
Where are they?