News roundup: Obama's gun stat may be off target
Ex-presidents unite. Colbert goes after Utah's Earth Day contest. Herbert signs 40 bills.
Happy Wednesday. President Barack Obama and his wife will be on hand for the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library along with all the living presidents (Bush, Clinton, Bush and Carter) on April 25 in Texas. It's a customary thing, but with one interesting exception.
President Jimmy Carter said scheduling conflicts kept him from the opening of President Richard Nixon's library. The conflict? He was in Salt Lake City touring Temple Square. [TIME]
Topping the news: One of Obama's regular arguments for expanding background checks on gun purchases is that 40 percent of sales now avoid them, but that stat may be old and misleading. [FoxNews]
-> The Colbert Report picked up on Utah's Earth Day poster contest, "Where would we be without oil, gas and mining?" comparing it to a celebration of President's Day by dressing up like John Wilkes Booth. [Colbert]
-> The Associated Press is dropping the term "illegal immigrant" from its highly followed style guide, arguing that the term is clumsy. The news giant says people can't be illegal but their actions can be and it now prefer descriptions such as "people who are in the country illegally." [AP]
Tweet of the day: From @jasoninthehouse: "CBP just apprehended 9 Romanians crossing the border about 3 miles. This is the USA-Mexico border"
Happy birthday: To state Rep. Marie Poulson and our buddy Jon Clifford.
In other news: With a deadline ahead, Gov. Gary Herbert signed more than 40 bills into law, including one that delays Utah's guest worker program in hopes that federal officials figure out immigration reform first. [Trib] [Herald]
-> Herbert signed a bill repealing Utah's blacklisting laws. [Herald]
-> A pharmaceutical company is asking Attorney General John Swallow to drop a Medicaid rule that is allowing competitors to make and sell one of its drugs for far less than they want to. [Trib]
-> A Utah veteran experienced the long delays before Veterans Affairs determined his disability status and he's joining groups that are pushing for federal action to reduce the backlog. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake County Council voted once again to delay a decision on relocating the district attorney's office â a project that's estimated to cost up to $51 million. [Trib]
-> Utah's "Tax Freedom Day" â marking the amount of time since Jan. 1 that Utahns would need to work to pay all of their taxes â will be celebrated five days later than usual on April 18. [Trib]
-> Utah County lawmakers fared better with the conservative Sutherland Institute than with the state's top education lobby, the Utah Education Association based on report cards issued by the organizations. [Herald]
-> It looks like Park City's mayor will not seek re-election. [Trib] [ParkRecord]
-> Some of the Democratic study items were left off the list parceled out by the state Legislature for summer review. [UtahPolicy]
-> The Autism Council of Utah is in a last-minute scramble to encourage supporters to buy their customized license plates, lest they be axed by the Legislature next year. [Fox13]
-> Sen. Mike Lee argues against universal background checks for gun purchases in an editorial. [DNews]
-> Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch says the Tribune editorial board mischaracterized his attitude towards immigration reform, emphasizing he wants to see all bills undergo a thorough process of debates and amendments â which he says aren't roadblocks. [Trib]
-> Hatch isn't the only one who wants to see a more in-depth review process for immigration reform â other members of Utah's delegation say they aren't ready to embrace a "quick and easy" plan yet. [DNews]
-> Paul Rolly writes about a woman who had the U.S Capitol Police called on her for trying to contact Hatch. [Trib]
Nationally: With the Senate set to roll out their bipartisan immigration plan sometime next week, a plan being drafted by eight House members is said to include three paths to citizenship, especially for young immigrants brought in as children and for agricultural workers. [NYTimes]
-> The GOP is clinging to the support of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to keep a bipartisan immigration reform deal going. Without Rubio, insiders say the plan could easily unravel. [Politico]
-> Only 35 percent of self-identified Republicans support a path to citizenship. [WaPost]
-> Top Republicans â while not backing down from their own stances â are accepting that the party will "inevitably" embrace same-sex marriage. [WaPost]
> Meet the seven Senate Democrats who are holding out â at least for now â on endorsing same-sex marriage. [WaPost]
-> President Barack Obama unveiled a $100 million initiative to map the human brain, an idea that he says will advance medicine and provide a boost to the economy. The president even joked that the project could decipher what goes on in the minds of members of Congress. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico] [APviaTrib]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz tours the U.S.-Mexico border with border patrol agents in Nogales, Ariz.
Gov. Gary Herbert has his weekly update with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and reviews bills.
Utah AG John Swallow meets with assistant attorneys general for Salt Lake and Utah counties.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams holds a public hearing and hits Art & Soup at the Salt Palace.
President Barack Obama flies to Denver, Colo. to talk gun control and then flies to San Francisco, Calif. for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event.
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Matt Canham and Emily Andrews Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/emilytandrews
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