News roundup: Romney argues enthusiasm is overrated
The session's gaveled closed. Lawmakers pass a divorce waiting period. Dougall latest legislator to retire.
Happy Friday. The 2012 Legislative session has reached its conclusion, with lawmakers dolling out $440 million in new spending the most in years. The big theme continued to be state sovereignty focused, with the fight focused on public lands. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [UtahPolicy]
We have all the action from the last day, plus a look back at the Legislature's actions over the past 45 days, but first, here's some images from the last night: [Trib]
Topping the news: Thousands have signed an online petition asking Gov. Gary Herbert to veto the recently passed sex education bill, but some lawmakers question its credibility. [Trib] [Fox13] [ABC4] [KSL]
-> After facing a veto threat, legislators remove an exemption for elected officials from the landlord bill. [Trib]
-> Mitt Romney is arguing the debate over voter enthusiasm is overrated, and the focus should be on which candidate can get the delegates to become the nominee. [WaPost]
Moving on: State Rep. John Dougall announced his retirement from the Legislature in the waning hours of the session, joining Senate President Mike Waddoups, House Democratic Leader David Litvack and a host of others. [Herald]
Congrats: The Daily Utah Chronicle was named one of the best all-around newspaper in its region by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Memorial: The funeral for Todd Taylor, the sage of the Utah Democratic Party, will take place Monday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center starting at 1 p.m. A viewing will be held on Sunday starting at 6 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary. The Taylor Family is trying to start a scholarship fund for Utah students interested in supporting Democrats, donations will be accepted by the state party.
Happy Birthday: to the National Press Club's Sarahanne Driggs, who celebrates on Sunday.
GOP hits Matheson: The National Republican Congressional Committee is out with a new advertisement in Utah this week a $20,000 buy on cable television that slams Rep. Jim Matheson as President Barack Obama's biggest Utah supporter. "What's happened to Jim Matheson?" the ad voice intones. "He's changed." [YouTube]
-> The Tribune piece cited in the ad is an editorial from The Tribune endorsing Matheson in the Democratic primary: "Before booting a five-term congressman out of office, Democrats should consider this: While Matheson's bona fides have been called into question, he still votes the Democratic party line the vast majority of the time. [Morgan] Philpot won't."
Tweets of the day: From @joshloftin: "Breaking! The #utleg apparently is mad at the federal government. Verifying now."
@governorherbert: "@SenatorSteveU's beard is now on my veto list."
In other news: The Legislature put the finishing touches on a bill that would require a 90-day cooling off period before a couple could get a divorce. [Trib]
-> Legislative interns help keep the Capitol running. [KSL]
-> The Salt Lake County Council signs off on the new money needed to build the district attorney's office space. [Trib]
-> Former Gov. Olene Walker said women should get as much education as they can and should attend the state's political caucus meetings. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the culmination of the Utah legislative session. [Trib]
The Session: State workers got a tiny raise and more troopers will patrol the highways as part of the new budget. [Trib] [UtahPolicy]
-> The Legislature passed legislation that would require women to wait 72 hours to have an abortion, up from the current 24. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers threw out a series of transportation-related bills, saving one that would reduce the frequency of auto inspections. [Trib]
-> LGBT-related anti-discrimination bills won't see past the House floor walls after getting tabled for the fifth year in a row. [Trib]
-> Two additional members will officially be added to the state's alcohol board as well as a watchdog independent audit committee to prevent future ethics scares. [Trib] [DNews]
-> This year's GRAMA bill were non controversial, creating an online training for public-records officers statewide and an ombudsman to help the public file records requests. [Trib]
-> Legislative leaders decided the had enough of immigration related bills last year, squashing any proposals on the topic this time around. [Trib]
-> Despite a local-control mantra repeated throughout the session, there were three bills on electronic billboards, vehicle idling and historic districts voted on to provide state oversight. [Trib]
-> The proposed open-carry gun law failed in its final vote, but the measure will be studied by a committee until next year. [Trib]
-> Schools got some more money, but the debate wasn't just budget based as lawmakers delved into teacher accountability. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Lawmakers passed a steeper bounty on coyotes from $25 to $50 with a goal of exterminating 20,000 of them to protect deer herds. [Trib]
-> Recipients of welfare will soon be asked to complete a questionnaire and if answers create suspicions that an applicant is using drugs, they would be required to take a drug test and seek treatment if they test positive. [Trib]
-> Two bills give attention to less represented groups, including unwed fathers and drug-using aid recipients. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers changed the make up of the state's environmental boards, which critics say will boost the conflicts of interest. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers allocated $3 million to county jails to house more state prisoners and to fund county jails. [Trib]
-> The Senate gave final passage to the "Lonnie Johnson" bill, mandating that mentally incompetent sex offenders are committed to a mental institution instead of being set free. [Trib]
2012 Watch: Romney calls the primaries in southern states "an away game." [CNN]
-> Despite a widely publicized election with the help of social media, GOP voter turnout remains lower than the primaries in both 2000 and 2008. [CNN]
-> Endorse Liberty, a Ron Paul super PAC headquartered in Salt Lake, releases its latest video: a choose-your-own-adventure showing the future State of the Union addresses from the remaining presidential candidates. [YouTube]
-> A former outreach coordinator for Jon Huntsman says in a Guardian piece that America has moved beyond the concerns about Mormonism. [Guardian]
-> Rick Santorum continues to cut himself short on delegates, after failing to appear on the ballot in Virginia and a few districts in Ohio, and the coming months could prove problematic in such locals as Washington, D.C. and Illinois. [ABCNews] [WaPost]
-> A Santorum-backing super PAC is buying between $500,000 and $600,000 worth of ads in Alabama and Mississippi, bashing Romney and Gingrich. [CNN]
-> Ron Paul decries the media for portraying his Super Tuesday results incorrectly, and vowed to stay in the race. [AJC]
-> Newt Gingrich's campaign could be in danger of bottoming out on Tuesday, with two polls in Alabama showing him trailing. [FoxNews]
-> Santorum supporters go country in a music video campaign ad, singing "Santorum is our man" and making references to God, the constitution and Ronald Reagan. [TIME]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz goes to an election filing and a town hall meeting in Draper.
SL Mayor Ralph Becker attends the Green Schools Design Institute.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon speaks at the Valley Health Department's annual meeting
WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with executives at Deseret Digital Media.
President Barack Obama travels to Virginia, later attending two fundraisers.
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Matt Canham and Laura Schmitz Twitter.com/mattcanham
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