Lee joins bipartisan immigration reform negotiations. Governor's budget is friendly to education. Romney may be looking to return to Utah.
Happy Thursday. Rep.-elect Chris Stewart appeared on his friend Glenn Beck's radio program to talk about his e-book fiction series (which Beck's company distributes), but the conservative host couldn't help but talk a little politics saying: " I was trying to hire him when he feels he had a higher calling from God to try to fix the problem in Washington. I tried to tell I think that was alcohol, Chris. Somebody might have been drinking around you."
Stewart, a former Air Force pilot, also tells Beck the Republican Party has yet to get over Mitt Romney's loss. "Normally in the military for example you have plan A and if plan A doesn’t work, you go to plan B, and you go down the line. I’m not sure that the Republican Party has a plan B." [GB]
Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert's proposed budget would allocate nearly all of the new money — $300 million — to public and higher education, particularly in areas of science and technology. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [UtahPolicy] [Herald]
-> Sen. Mike Lee is among eight bipartisan senators exploring immigration reform, and the only participant who has never backed a path to legal status for illegal immigrants. [Trib]
-> Will Lee be the next Jim DeMint? [WaPost]
Tweets of the day: From @redistrict: "In my estimation, if every state awarded Electoral votes by Congressional district (a la ME & NE), Romney would have won, 276-262."
In other news: Herbert's budget includes no money for an expansion of Medicaid under federal health reform. [Trib]
-> West Valley City and Sandy fight over Hale Centre Theatre. West Valley City's latest offer ads short term lease agreements to its already-pledged $500,000 in repairs. [Trib]
-> Colorado joins Utah, Indiana and Maine in publishing a state immigration compact. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley shows what happens when Santa goes down the wrong chimney. [Trib]
-> Peg McEntee says the new LDS website is just another step in the Mormon evolution on same-sex attraction. [Trib]
-> Mitt Romney was spotted looking for ranch properties in the Park City area recently. [UtahPolicy]
-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick start their countdown of the top 10 stories of the year. No. 10: The impact Romney's candidacy had on the LDS faith and Utah. [UtahPolicy]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters that the White House's initial fiscal cliff proposal was so bad that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should have resigned instead of deliver it to Republicans. [Politico]
Nationally: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the notion that he is too overweight to become president "ridiculous." [WaPost]
-> Congress would already have a fiscal cliff deal if the female senators were in charge, Maine Sen. Susan Collins told ABC's Diane Sawyer. [ABCNews]
Where are they?
-- Matt Canham and Betsy Blanchard
|1.||Convicted killer Martin MacNeill survives jail suicide attempt|
|2.||Aron Ralston, who cut off arm to escape Utah canyon, jailed in Denver|
|3.||Witness to guide Idaho search for plane|
|4.||Guilt, pain, help and hope — when Mormon missionaries come home early|
|5.||Permits for concealed guns: Utah hits 500K|
|6.||I-15 reopens for motorists stranded near St. George|
|7.||Susan Boyle says Asperger’s diagnosis was a relief|
|8.||Utah State football: Aggies fall bitterly short against Fresno State|
|9.||Slight chance of more snow as icy weather grips Utah|
|10.||Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, receive Kennedy Center Honors|