Obama's agenda could hurt red-state Ds. Utah to delay immigration work pending feds. Dixie State keeps its name.
Happy Thursday, and happy Valentine's Day. Red-state Democrats who face tough 2014 re-elections have cause to be extra worried about being linked by an all-guns-blazing GOP to President Barack Obama's plans on gun control, immigration, gay rights and climate change. Those issues may be generally popular in America but can be politically disastrous in some areas. [Politico]
Topping the news: In light of President Barack Obama's call to action on immigration reform, lawmakers say they'll delay the start date of Utah's guest worker program by a year or two. [Trib] [Herald]
-> Texas Rep. Lamar Smith says the GOP needs to be careful not to fall into the "immigration trap," especially one that hands citizenship to 11 million immigrants. [Politico]
-> Dixie State got a revamping to its name -- the school will now be titled as a university, instead of a college. Lawmakers are keeping the Dixie moniker, despite criticisms that the name is racially insensitive. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13]
Tweet of the day: From @lwhitehurst: "Learned many things at the #utleg from @RobertGehrke today. One I found out on my own? Cinnamon taffy is gross."
Happy birthday: To blogger Bob Aagard and Andrea Candrian, former press secretary for Sen. Bob Bennett, now working for Sen. Pat Roberts.
In other news: Sen. Mike Lee was tapped by Sen. Pat Toomey to be vice-chariman of the Senate Steering Committee, a caucus that works on conservative legislation.
-> Lee is also teaming up with Rep. Jason Chaffetz to push legislation that would do away with visa caps, allowing more highly-skilled people to immigrate. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers a "spoiler alert" in the ongoing saga with AG John Swallow. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee profiles a 10-year-old Utah girl who just wants her two moms to be happy on Valentine's Day. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert can do more to clean up Utah's gunky air, according to environmental activists who have taken to protesting at the Capitol and even in the governor's office. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Council is still tweaking the financing plans for a new performing arts center downtown, while implementing a new funding mechanism. [Trib]
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> Modeled after a similar law in Idaho, a new bill would allow river users like boaters and anglers to access stretches that flow over private land. [Trib]
-> Under a new bill sponsored by Rep. Derek Brown, welfare recipients wouldn't be able to spend their funds at liquor stores, strip clubs or casinos. State officials say that hasn't been a problem but they need to comply with a new federal rule. [Trib]
-> Veterans would have a direct line to administrators in state agencies to help the veterans access services, thanks to a new bill. [Trib]
-> UDOT unveiled to lawmakers a new kind of intersection -- sometimes called a Super Street, or J-turn -- that they want to implement on a road in Provo. [Trib]
-> A bill that would create a nine-person task force to take a look at Utah's transportation passed through a Senate committee. [Trib]
-> Instead of picking a candidate selected by the Utah Transportation Commission, the governor would merely have to consult with the panel when choosing a new head for the Department of Transportation, under a new bill. [Trib]
-> A bill that would help elections continue to function in times of emergency is on it's way to the governor's desk. [Trib]
-> More people would be able to get protective orders against their cohabitants under a new bill that cleared a House committee. [Trib]
-> Utah Highway Patrolman Rep. Lee Perry is pushing legislation that would bar teenage drivers from texting or calling while driving. [Trib]
-> People -- especially illegal immigrants -- caught using Social Security numbers belonging to someone else will face tougher consequences under a new bill. [Trib]
Nationally: President Barack Obama took the show on the road yesterday as he traveled to a factory in North Carolina to plug the resurgence of American manufacturing. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico] [APviaTrib]
-> Treasury Secretary nominee Jacob Lew was peppered with questions at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee -- on which Sen. Orrin Hatch is a ranking member. Lew also urged Congress to avoid the $85 million automatic spending cuts looming on the horizon. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Robert Kennedy, Jr. -- son of RFK -- and actress Daryl Hannah, along with 46 other activists, were arrested for attaching themselves to the White House gates in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline. [Politico]
Where are they?