Colorado congressman invites Obama, Reid on pot tour. Herbert to push for Medicaid expansion. Becker: State leaders are thwarting clean-air efforts.
Happy Friday. Colorado Rep. Jared Polis has invited President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take a pot tour with him. "The war on marijuana has failed," Polis says, "and I am confident that if they can see, firsthand, how new regulations can reduce crime, help fund education and keep drugs out of the hands of children, they will recognize that lifting the federal marijuana prohibition is the right thing to do." [HuffPost]
Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert said he has a duty as governor to defend Amendment 3, just as he would any other Utah law. However, civil unions and a law barring housing and employment discrimination are not off the table. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]
-> More people are moving to Utah than are moving out for the first time in years. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @hcraighall: "Looked at schedule for the first week of the Session. First thought: There are hours and hours and hours where nothing is scheduled."
Happy Birthday: To state Rep. John Knotwell and Rep. Jason Chaffetz's daugher Ellis.
In other news: Gene Schaerr, the outside counsel hired to help with the state's defense of Amendment 3, will also be doing contract work for the conservative Sutherland Institute. Gov. Herbert is not concerned. [KUER]
-> State Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, is sponsoring three bills in response to Judge Robert Shelby's overturning of Amendment 3. The bills are still in drafting, but they would protect a person's religious conscious rights, mandate religious freedom instruction in schools and create a non-discrimination law without "sexual politics." [DNews]
-> Lawyers for Jeremy Johnson's online company iWorks are pushing for a denial of the FTC's request for a summary judgement in its case against the business. [DNews]
-> Utah ranks last in the country for providing free breakfast to poor students. Only one-third of Utah students who qualify for free breakfast as school are receiving the free meal. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said Utah lawmakers are getting in the way of efforts to clean the state's air. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the issues lawmakers face as they get set to gavel into session. [UtahPolicy]
-> A study by the Utah Foundation found that smoke from solid fuels such as wood and coal are a larger problem than previously thought. [KUER]
-> Environmental groups are challenging a state permit that would allow the opening of the country's first commercial oil shale operation. They say the state did not adequately assess the threat to ground water or if the capsule will work as designed. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley pokes fun at the LDS Church's realtionship with the state Legislature. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly discusses the role of bars storing patrons' information, the 2016 governor's race and other topics. [Trib]
-> Taylorsville appointed city engineer John Taylor as the new city administrator. [Trib]
-> ABC4 sits down with Gov. Herbert's new education adviser Tami Pyfer. [ABC4]
-> SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams helped two South Jordan teens sell their camping product at the Outdoor Retailers show. [Trib]
-> Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says President Barack Obama has missed a chance for reconciliation in Washington by not meeting with the GOP ahead of the State of the Union, and that for progress to happen, the two sides need to meet. [WaPost]
-> Meanwhile, Huntsman's daughter Mary Anne played at Carnegie Hall last night. [DailyCaller]
Nationally: Former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell turned down a plea deal that would have spared his wife from any charges. [WaPost]
-> The largest liberal Super PAC has started fundraising for Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign. Clinton has not said if she is running for the office. [NYTimes]
-> U.S. attorneys have filed subpoenas for documents related to the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. [Politico]
-> Denver, Columbus, Kansas City and New Orleans pulled out all the stops -- and all the goodies -- to try and woo Republicans to choose their respective city for GOP's 2016 national convention. Denver handed out Coors, Las Vegas gave alcohol, too, and Columbus' mayor promised Ohio for the GOP's column. [Time]
Where are they?