News roundup: At four years old, Obamacare still divisive
At 4 years old, Obamacare still divisive. Hill's diversity likely to shrink with retiring women lawmakers. Caucus attendance down this year.
Happy Monday. It's been four years since President Barack Obama signed his signature domestic legislation: The Affordable Care Act, which conservatives derived as Obamacare. It was a long, strange road to passage of the law and its been under heavy scrutiny and heavy assault ever since. [ABCNews]
Topping the news: Almost a third of female lawmakers are leaving the Utah legislature and it's likely the number of women on the Hill is going to shrink after the 2014 election. [Trib]
-> Caucus attendance was way down from 2012, but still higher than average. [Trib]
-> National Democrats are excited about Utah's new pilot program for same-day voter registration, even if the program benefits Republicans who dominate state politics. [Trib]
-> The Utah Legislature passed the third highest number of bills ever and nine out of 10 of them were GOP-sponsored. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @RealClearScott: "CBS has really upped their game on crying fan reaction shots this year."
Opinion section: Utah Moms for Clean Air founder Cherise Udell argues that industry lobbyists have too much access to lawmakers and the public does not have enough. [Trib]
-> Jamie Kent, president of the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, says that the current balance of resort and backcountry skiing should be kept as it is. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch says Obamacare has been a disaster and he wants to see it replaced. [DNews]
-> Equality Utah Executive Director Brandie Balken, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah CEO Karrie Galloway and Alliance for a Better Utah Executive Director Maryann Martindale say a Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and allowing a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate would lead to discrimination in businesses. [Trib]
-> Topher Horman, a trustee on the Sugar House Community Council, Soren Simonsen, an urban planner and former Salt Lake City Council member Amy Fowler and Dayna McKee, an advocate for urban farming and sustainability, argue in favor of turning tennis courts along the S-Line street car line into basketball courts rather than apartments as Mayor Ralph Becker has proposed. [Trib]
-> BYU political science professor Richard Davis argues that LDS Church leaders should be able to express their personal political views and that church members should not take those views as doctrine. [Trib]
-> Anne McMullin, founder of a charity that supports minority Mormons, and who is not affiliated with the Ordain Women movement, argues that the LDS Church aimed to intimidate members of Ordain Women by publishing a letter it sent to the organization. [Trib]
-> Intermountain Medical Center Breast Care Center medical director and American College of Radiology Mammography Accreditation Program Chairman Brett Parkinson says that recent headlines challenging the effectiveness of mammograms are based on a flawed study. [Trib]
-> George Pyle gives his take on infamous Westboro Baptist Church leader and anti-LGBT activist Fred Phelps who passed away last week and how the First Amendment gave him the right to say what he wanted, even though many didn't like it. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly discusses an ethics reform bill killed by the Utah House. [Trib]
-> Rolly also says Rep. Rob Bishop has a history of blocking legislation as some environmentalists have charged recently. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley pokes fun at arguments against Obamacare. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb give their takes on the impacts left by lawmakers who chose not to seek re-election. [DNews]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says Vladimir Putin isn't Hitler but the Russian leader is certainly following Hitler's playbook on annexing nearby lands. [DNews]
Weekend in review: Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill allowing the use of non-intoxicating cannabis oil for epilepsy treatment on a trial basis. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Herbert also signed a bill proposed by a high school senior at the his high school in Heber. [Fox13]
-> The State School Board is asking Herbert to veto a bill requiring a panel of parents that review test questions to also take complaints about curriculum. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]
-> Without serious changes, Salt Lake City's golf program could be in real trouble. [Trib]
-> Want to meet a member of Congress? Go hang out in Washington, where you'll never know when or where you'll run into one. [Trib]
-> All four of Utah's House seats are rated solid GOP now that Rep. Jim Matheson is leaving. [UtahPolicy]
-> The West Valley City Council is considering allowing people in residential areas to keep chickens in their backyards. [Trib]
-> Interns from Utah abound in Washington. [DNews]
Nationally: A federal judge struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the decision until Wednesday. [DetFreePress]
-> Federal workers' retirement papers are processed in an old limestone mine, almost entirely by hand on paper. And that's decades after proposals to modernize the system. [WaPost]
-> The NSA hacked into a Chinese telecom company the agency viewed as a threat. [NYTimes]
-> Members of Congress met with Ukrainian officials in Kiev and called for the United States to give more help to the country. [WaPost]
-> President Barack Obama ordered an increase of Special Operations forces in Uganda to help find warlord Joseph Kony. [WaPost]
-> A not yet released review into the George Washington Bridge lane closures uncovered no evidence that Gov. Chris Christie was involved. However, the firm conducting the review has ties to the administration and was unable to interview three key people. [NYTimes]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz flies to Washington, meets with Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and votes.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams meets with staff.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a scheduling and budget meetings and a Mountain Accord management meeting.
President Barack Obama travels to the Netherlands and tours The Rijksmuseum before having a bilateral meeting and delivering remarks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. He also holds a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and hits Nuclear Security Summit and G-7 leaders meetings. Later, he has a working dinner with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
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Thomas Burr and Topher Webb Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/topherjwebb