Hacker posts Romney's credit report. Habemus papam. BYU grad to Libya.
Happy Thursday. Continuing a trend that's hit celebrities and the powerful, a hacker has posted information on Mitt Romney's credit report, showing the former presidential candidate has a $25,000 balance on a credit card, though holds on to a good credit rating. The hacker, who targeted First Lady Michelle Obama and Tiger Woods earlier, also posted Romney's Social Security Number, superimposing it over a picture of President Barack Obama asking, "You mad bro?" [NYDailyNews]
Topping the news: Welcome, Pope Francis: As white smoke rose from a makeshift chimney above the Sistine Chapel, Roman Catholic cardinals elected a new successor to Pope Benedict XVI -- tapping Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentine known for "simplicity and conservatism." [WaPost] [NYTimes] [APviaTrib]
-> It's a big move for the church, as Francis is the first non-European pope in history and the first Jesuit. For Latino Americans, it's a surge of energy for their faith. And as Catholic shift towards the global south, it's a smart move for the church. [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> BYU graduate and veteran diplomat Deborah K. Jones was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Libya, replacing former Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the Benghazi consulate last year. Jones previously served as ambassador to Kuwait, and is currently a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington. [Trib]
-> After scandal embroiled Attorney General John Swallow, lawmakers are quickly patching up a bill that would change who can probe campaign finance violations. Currently, only the attorney general can do so -- but the bill would give the same power to a special prosecutor. [Trib] UPDATED
Tweet of the day: From @gopTODD: "My bill to elect a new pope just got sent back to Rules in the House."
In other news: Rep. Chris Stewart says Obama missed a chance to change his tune on issues like the budget and the national debt as he spoke to House Republicans yesterday. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, however, applauded the president for opening the dialogue. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee applauds lawmakers for adopting a ban on teenage cell phone use while driving. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley goes after the GOP's love for guns and anger toward Obamacare. [Trib]
-> Three of Jon Huntsman's daughters are joining a group calling for same-sex marriage. [Politico]
-> Blogger Holly Richardson connects the dots between the current controversy over a $300,000 appropriation officially designated to lobby the removal of wolves from the endangered species list and the John Swallow/Jeremy Johnson scandal. The apparent link is well-paid lobbyist Tim Rupli. [HollyontheHill]
Heard on the Hill: "This is my first time back to the Capitol since the end of session a few years ago and it's a little strange to be back here, I guess, as a nobody." - Former state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem.
From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]
-> Senate lawmakers passed a cocktail of alcohol bills mixed into one larger bill -- although without a provision to tear down the Zion Curtain, the mandated 7-foot barrier between drink mixing and dining areas in restaurants. [Trib] [Herald] [Fox13]
-> A controversial gun bill that would allow gun owners to conceal and carry without a permit is expected to face a battle in Gov. Gary Herbert's office, as groups ranging from the Catholic Diocese of Utah to newly-formed group Utah Parents Against Gun Violence are lobbying the governor to veto it. Senate lawmakers passed the bill by a vote of 21-7.
[Trib] [DNews] [Herald]
-> House Speaker Becky Lockhart chided her caucus yesterday that members better pass Senate bills if they want to see House measures get through. [UtahPolicy]
-> After public outcry and a nearly-certain veto from Herbert, Senate lawmakers amended a bill that would ban the state from accepting a Medicaid expansion -- allowing instead for the governor to decide whether or not to accept the expansion, but only after a cost study is completed. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]
-> Despite indications yesterday that the bill was dead, Senate lawmakers resurrected a ban on teenage cell phone use while driving -- and passed it 17-12. Sponsor Sen. Lyle Hillyard said that some supporters were previously absent from the vote. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]
-> House lawmakers rejected a plan that would privatize the Utah State Prison, with Rep. Mike Noel raising concerns that allowing private contractors to operate the prison could turn inmates into commodities. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]
-> In a GOP-sponsored event geared towards bridging the divide between Republicans and Latinos, former state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom says he's had a change of heart regarding immigration issues -- even calling for a bill of his to be axed. [Trib]
-> Gun owners will soon be able to voluntarily surrender their guns for 60-day periods at police stations if they feel they may be a threat to themselves, thanks to a new bill that passed the Senate. [Trib]
-> While it may be dead this session, proponents of a bill that would ban discrimination in housing and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity statewide rallied at the Capitol to show their support. [Trib]
-> An attempt by Rep. Patrice Arent to redirect $300,000 in anti-gray wolf lobbying funds into educational and environmental programs failed. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers have approved about $500 million in one-time spending this session, despite complaints that there just isn't enough cash sitting around. [UtahPolicy]
-> Taxpayers will soon have the option of checking off a box on their tax forms to donate to either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, thanks to a hotly debated and revised bill that the Senate advanced. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers gave a final nod to a bill that limits the authority of federal law enforcement officials who enforce local laws, giving more power to county sheriffs. [Trib]
-> House lawmakers tacked on an additional $150 million for education funding in a revised budget -- the largest increase to the state's school coffers in years. [DNews]
-> A bill that gives Utah cops more resources to fight against human trafficking is on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk after passing the Senate unanimously. [Trib]
-> After waiting 90 seconds and making sure traffic has cleared, motorcyclists and bikers may soon be able to turn left on a red light, thanks to a new bill that the Senate passed unanimously -- although with a one-year provision to give the change a test drive. [Trib]
-> Senate lawmakers passed a bill that would require state agencies to figure out ways to reduce pollution and report their findings. [Trib]
-> Data that is stored in "black boxes" in cars, such as driving speeds and seatbelt usage, will be solely owned by car owners, under a bill that passed the Senate unanimously.
-> STEM education will be getting a major boost from lawmakers, who voted to funnel $10 million towards science, technology, math and engineering programs. [Trib]
-> Forty new seats may soon be added to the U.'s medical school, under a bill that is moving through the Senate after clearing the House 70-4. [Trib]
-> Senate lawmakers gave a final nod to a bill that reorganizes the Department of Veterans Affairs. [Trib]
-> Utah may soon join 30 states that require a full FBI background check for childcare workers, in addition to a state-level check. [DNews]
-> Senate lawmakers gave a nod to a House bill that sets up a pilot program that would provide hearing aids for children from low income families. [DNews]
-> A bill that creates a commission to plan for federal funding cuts passed the House by a 59-14 vote. [DNews]
-> Despite narrowly clearing the House, a bill that would create a state-wide online access point for parents and teachers to track individual students' progress passed the Senate, and is now headed to Herbert's desk. [DNews]
-> Lawmakers moved to give tax breaks to hotels and gyms to avoid a double-tax that could occur when equipment is purchased. [Trib]
-> House lawmakers swept through two Senate bills that add another court to the struggling 8th District -- which covers Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties. Currently, the district uses the 7th District courts to assist with their heavy caseload. [Trib]
-> What does a balloon show on Antelope Island, the Youth Turkey Show and a children's museum in Ogden have in common? They're all recipients of a few extra bucks that lawmakers scraped together at the last minute to fund economic development projects.
-> Senate lawmakers passed a finalized resolution asking Congress to name a new Salt Lake City federal courthouse after George Sutherland, the only Utahn to have served on the Supreme Court. [Trib]
-> As the Legislature comes to a close, here are 10 things that ABC4 veteran Chris Vancour doesn't miss about covering the session. [YouTube]
Nationally: The sequester cuts are making strange bedfellows in Washington as lobbyists team up to help keep their issue off the cutting block. [NYTimes]
-> First Lady Michelle Obama is on the cover of the upcoming edition of Vogue. [Politico]
-> Boston-native Scott Prouty outs himself as the man who filmed the infamous "47 percent" video at a Florida fundraiser. [WaPost]
-> As the reelection excitement wears off, Obama's approval rates are waning -- dropping to about the 50 percent mark, according to a new poll. [WaPost]
Where are they?