A Romney relative has an eye on the Senate. The Mormon surprise on immigration reform. The Legislature's last four days.
Happy Monday. It looks like the Romneys are not done with politics after all. Mitt Romney's older brother Scott is eyeing the Senate seat that Michigan's Carl Levin will vacate after next year's election. [CBS]
Topping the news: Utah's members of Congress pan President Barack Obama's outline for an immigration bill, but LDS Church leaders have a different take. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to the First Presidency, met with Obama on Friday and afterward said the faith's values are in line with comprehensive immigration reform, which he stressed should focus on compassion. [Trib]
-> The Trib's Brooke Adams explores the temptations and realities surrounding a proposal to move Utah's prison and free up some prime Draper real estate. [Trib]
-> Utah is one of only two states that require lawmakers to vote even on items that directly affect them and their families. A detailed analysis shows that one in five bills before the state Legislature this year raise conflicts of interest for its sponsors. [Trib]
-> Amidst political satire and Washington banter, the Trib's Thomas Burr was presented as a new member of the Gridiron Club -- an elite group of 65 political journalists -- during its annual dinner in D.C. It's been 100 years since the Tribune last had a member of the Gridiron. [Trib]
-> The Gridiron Club doesn't allow cameras in its dinner, but here's a good recap of the jokes told by President Barack Obama, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. [WaPost]
Tweets of the day: From @TheFix: "Is Huntsman in the top 15 candidates likely to win GOP nod in 2016? I don't think so. Might -- emphasis on "might" -- be in top 20."
From @RSSNewsmaster: "While not a believer, I'll thank God and whomever else is responsible for delivering the @sltrib news reporting to me every morning"
Happy birthday: To the National Press Club's Sarahanne Driggs (a Utah native!).
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> As the Legislature begins its last week, lawmakers are close to wrapping up their work on the state's $13 billion budget, with education getting a big boost. [Trib]
-> When it comes to education spending, the key word to get a lawmaker salivating is STEM. [Trib]
-> The Legislature is poised to give another $300,000 to an anti-wolf group linked to Don Peay and his Big Game Forever group. [Trib]
-> The Utah House has more freshman this session than it has in two decades. [APviaDNews]
-> Restaurant-goers may soon be able to have a drink before ordering food, thanks to a new bill that passed the Senate unanimously. [Trib]
-> Utah Moms for Clean Air handed over a list of ideas to reduce air pollution to Gov. Gary Herbert, urging him to create a task force to tackle the inversion issue. [Trib]
-> The statewide anti-discrimination bill meant to protect gay Utahns for housing or employment discrimination appears dead as the Legislature approaches its last four days. [UtahPolicy]
-> A bill that would allow professional hair braiders to work without undergoing the same rigorous training and licensing hours required of beauticians is on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk. [Trib]
-> The state forester will be able to restrict target shooting in areas with high wildfire risk, thanks to a new bill that made it through the Legislature. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers passed a resolution urging federal wildlife officials to refrain from designating some 145,500 acres in San Juan County as protected habitat for the endangered sage grouse, saying that 95 percent of the area is privately owned. [Trib]
-> After merging with the College of Eastern Utah, Utah State's Price campus will now be known as "Utah State University Eastern" thanks to a new bill passed unanimously by the Senate. [Trib]
Opinion section: Paul Rolly says that school voucher proponents and their allies are dangerous to a robust public education system. [Trib]
-> And Rolly says Rep. Mike Noel bullied a witness at an environmental hearing, proving a lot about his character. [Trib]
-> George Pyle blasts the Legislature's rejection of a plan to expand preschool for at-risk kids. [Trib]
-> The publisher of Moab's Canyon Country Zephyr pays tribute to Edward Abbey on the 24th anniversary of the environmental writer's death -- and looks at the 21st century West through his eyes. [Trib]
-> An attorney for Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment says the state refuses to sanction "big polluters" -- instead shifting the blame for Utah's murky air onto citizens.
-> Utah GOP chairman Thomas Wright blasts Rep. Jim Matheson for sponsoring legislation that would ban straight-ticket voting in federal elections, saying Utah's lone Democrat is wasting his time in Congress. [Trib]
-> However, Matheson says the legislation benefits independent voters and those who want to see an end to rabid partisanship. [Trib]
-> Layton's city manager sets the record straight on UTOPIA. [Trib]
-> Sherri Park from Mormons Building Bridges says it's time to welcome LGBT churchgoers into the flock. [Trib]
-> A former Republican legislator says politics isn't about all-or-nothing -- it's about compromise. [Trib]
-> A Salt Lake City blogger says the Postal Service isn't living up to its constitutional duty in a heart-wrenching tale. [Trib]
-> LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli preview the last four days of the winding-down Utah Legislature. [DNews]
-> John Florez says lawmakers are experiencing a disconnect between values and rhetoric when it comes to rejecting SB71, which would expand preschool for at-risk kids. [DNews]
-> A Utah businessman urges lawmakers to support STEM education, saying it builds a stronger, more competitive workforce. [DNews]
-> Former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist applauds state auditor John Dougall's audit of the Utah Retirement Systems. [DNews]
-> Jay Evensen imagines how former President Calvin Coolidge would have approached the sequester. [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says the founders would be appalled at how the Congress has abdicated its responsibility for the federal budget. [DNews]
Weekend in review: Members of Utah's congressional delegation are feeling the sting of sequestration in their offices, with staff cuts and penny pinching. [Trib]
-> Army Special Forces Green Berets nixed plans to do a role-playing parachute exercise in Utah's mountains saying this summer, after some citizens raised concerns about ulterior motives. [Trib]
-> Take a look back at the last 100 years of the Utah State Capitol's history in a new exhibit set up to commemorate the beginning of construction of the iconic building.
Where are they?