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News roundup: Tagg Romney passes on Senate bid

Published February 5, 2013 7:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tagg declines Senate bid. Utah lawmakers kill climate change bill. SL Boy Scouts want to keep gay ban.

Happy Tuesday. Tagg Romney has shot down the idea that he would run for Sen. John Kerry's seat in Massachusetts — an idea that survived almost 24 hours. The eldest son of Mitt Romney emailed the Boston Herald to say, "The timing is not right for me," but that he was flattered by all the talk. [BostonHerald]

-> But there are plenty more Romneys in the wings. The Washington Post's Fix looks at the potential for one of the five sons running for office, noting that Utah's Josh Romney is the second-most likely to throw his hat in the ring. [WaPost]

Topping the news: A bill that would allow state land managers to consider the effects of climate change when maintaining their land — mainly, when preparing against wildfires — was killed in a committee hearing, despite an overwhelming turn-out of supporters. [Trib] [Fox13]

-> A man who threatened Gov. Gary Herbert is headed to prison for five years. [DNews]

-> The Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts says the national group ought to keep its ban on gay members and leaders, at least for now. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @s_en_y: "Sitting in on HB77 committee hearing. I'm perma face-palming"

And from @ppppolls: "Alaskans have a higher opinion of Congress than Sarah Palin."

In other news: Despite the scandal that has embroiled him in the past weeks, Utah Attorney General John Swallow says he's still committed to serving his state. [Herald]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch offers five entitlement reforms that will help bring America back to a sound fiscal course. [Politico]

-> Four states were ranked as more conservative than super-red Utah, according to a newly released Gallup poll. [Trib]

-> Utah's Medicaid overhaul is tough on some families with special needs children, as plans shift under the new changes. [Trib]

-> Peg McEntee gets a laugh out of a mock letter that Rep. Brian King wrote, in response to a constituent complaint about air quality. King followed the letter with his actual response, but first included an exercise in satire. [Trib]

From the Hill: Here's your daily legislative schedule. [Trib]

-> Unmarried, same-sex partners may be able to adopt the partner's kids, thanks to a new bill. [Trib]

-> A committee advanced a bill to prevent sex offenders from running for school board positions, a move prompted by a real life case last fall. [Trib]

-> A group of citizens hit the Hill to plead with lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage, saying that rejecting the additional federal funding for the move would be devastating to patients that rely on the plan. [Fox13]

-> The House voted, by a relatively slim margin, to delay a savings plan down the road.[Trib]

-> After a heated debate, a bill that would incentivize businesses with tax breaks to hire homeless people passed the House. [Trib] [DNews]

-> If you think you got food poisoning from a local restaurant, sufferers can now report their cases to the state Department of Health using a new website. [Trib]

-> Two state senators are pitching campaign finance changes in Utah to add more reporting requirements for PACs and PICs and officeholders. [UtahPolicy]

-> After years of Democrats trying, a Republican is now taking up the cause of pushing to make it illegal for kids under 18 years of age to talk on the phone while driving. [UtahPolicy]

-> Transportation bills were hot in the House yesterday, with three bills passing through and heading to the Senate. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]

-> A bill proposed by Sen. Scott Jenkins to tack on the state's 4.7 percent sales tax to water bills died in a committee hearing. [Trib] [Herald]

-> The Senate unanimously passed a transparency bill that would require school districts to make some financial information available to the public. [Herald]

-> Doctors who use video chats and other technologies to keep in touch with their patients may soon be able to continue the practice with the full backing of the law, thanks to a new bill that passed the House unanimously. [Trib]

Nationally: President Barack Obama hit Minneapolis to continue his call for background checks for all gun buyers — including those who purchase firearms from private dealers and at gun shows. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [APviaTrib]

-> Time looks at the overwhelming focus on Israel over Afghanistan or Pakistan during the recent hearing on Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. And Utah's Sen. Mike Lee is exhibit A. [Time]

-> An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leaked plans for a new Senate bill on firearms to counter a controversial assault weapons ban that Democrats aren't sure will pass. Instead, the new legislation covers most of President Barack Obama's other gun proposals, including extending background checks to private sales and gun shows. [WSJ][NYMag]

-> Obama's green team isn't star-studded with environmentally-conscious big names — instead, it's comprised of policy wonks, ranging from his chief of staff, his new secretary of State, to his deputy climate change adviser. [Politico]

-> As spending cuts loom just less than four weeks away, GOP House members are putting pressure on Obama to do something, saying they've already passed legislation delay the cuts. On the other hand, Senate Democrats are figuring out ways to up revenue to cover the cuts. [Politico] Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that, if they aren't averted, the cuts would be a major blow to the Pentagon. [WaPost]

-> Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will take a two-day tour around the border hot spots of El Paso, Tex. and San Diego. [WaPost] [Politico]

-> In case you missed it, here's a Super Bowl ad, sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, featuring NRA executive Wayne LaPierre calling background checks "reasonable." LaPierre had a change of heart at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, where he opposed universal background checks. [WaPost]

Where are they?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz meets with the Republican Study Committee, hits an Oversight hearing on government spending, meets with the deputy chief of the mission from the Turkish embassy and then sits down with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Gov. Gary Herbert is in Washington, where he testifies before a House Education and Workforce subcommittee, meets with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

AG John Swallow meets with his chief deputy and general counsel.

SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams delivers his State of the County address and attends the County Council meeting.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is debriefed on his city's chronically homeless, speaks at the Ladies Literacy Club, has a conference call with Clean Air Cool Planet's Rafe Pomerance and meets with his economic development director.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder delivers his State of the City address and holds a City Council meeting.

President Barack Obama meets with progressive labor and business leaders, and then meets with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas Burr and Emily AndrewsTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilytandrews