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News roundup: Obamacare forces small business changes

Small businesses look to avoid Obamacare mandate. Utah House huddles on Swallow. Hatch backs Cordray.

Happy Wednesday. A survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that small businesses are planning to cut workers or, at least, their hours as the pending Obamacare deadlines approach. Even with a delay in the mandate for small businesses, companies are looking to avoid the health care law's impacts. [Examiner]

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Topping the news: The Utah House is tasked with a tough challenge: Start an investigation into AG John Swallow's conduct while appearing nonpartisan and open. [Trib]

-> House Speaker Becky Lockhart will name the committee today that will investigate Swallow and the split is expected to be 5-4 GOP vs. Dems. [UtahPolicy]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch voted in support of President Barack Obama's nominee Richard Cordray as part of a deal to avoid the "nuclear option." [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @ktumulty: "Between Facebook and the U.S. Senate, the word 'friend' has lost all meaning."

From @awestabrams: "family history of shooting their friends RT @nwpapas Good to see Liz Cheney bringing the circular firing squad back to the old west."

In other news: A private email that Rep. Jason Chaffetz sent a congressional staffer has cropped up in NYT Magazine reporter Mark Leibovich's new book This Town after recipient Kurt Bardella forwarded the message to the author. [Trib]

-> It's all systems go for Summit, a visionary team of entrepreneurs, whose contracts for mixed-use development on Powder Mountain were approved by Weber County commissioners on Tuesday. [Trib]

-> Utah Democrats have some big concerns with how much the Utah Legislature is spending to combat the gray wolf. [UtahPolicy]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the argument between Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Mitch McConnell over planned changes to the filibuster rule. [Trib]

-> The Utah House's panel that will lead the investigation into AG John Swallow will have to negotiate a difficult path between openness, to help restore public trust, and the need to conduct parts of the investigation in private. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly talks about a mayor coming to the rescue of a betrothed couple, the Twinkie race and Utah's support of its cops. [Trib]

-> A Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation administrator has been charged with stealing between $3,500 and $5,000 in registration fees from Amateur Athletic Union events. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The United Effort Plan, a multi-million dollar trust for the FLDS church that holds much of the property in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, is having trouble finding enough willing volunteers to fill its governing board. [Trib]

-> Although there are several important issues on the agenda, legislative officials are expecting little debate at Wednesday's special House session. [DNews]

-> The potential problems facing states reliant on the Colorado River were thrust into the spotlight Tuesday as Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources took their first look at a study which projects a 3.2 million acre-feet of water shortfall by 2060. [DNews]

-> A partnership between Goldman Sachs, J.B. Pritzker and the Salt Lake County Council will fund a new preschool program for an additional 600 at-risk children in the Granite and Park City school districts. [DNews] [Fox13]

-> Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, believes that compulsory education laws are causing a disconnect between parents and children and unfairly burdening schools with the task of being all things to all people. [DNews]

Nationally: Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced yesterday that she's challenging Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi for his Senate seat in a Republican primary next year. [Politico]

-> Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have come out in support of Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to remove the military chain of command from sexual assault cases, inching Gillibrand toward the 51 votes she hopes will be enough to force debate on the issue. [Politico] [WaPost]

-> Senators reached a deal to preserve the filibuster in exchange for confirmation of five of President Barack Obama's stalled nominees. The other two - NLRB nominees Richard Griffin and Sharon Block - will be pulled and replaced by nominees recommended by organized labor and confirmed before the end of the month. [NYTimes] [Politico] [WaPost]

-> A group of Native Americans has filed a case against Montana's Democratic Secretary of State and county administrators, fighting for better access to voter registration records. Increased voter turnout by the estimated 50,000 eligible Native American voters in Montana - who, traditionally, vote Democrat - could help to secure the seat which will be left open by retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. [TheHill]

-> NSA leaker Edward Snowden has finally filed for temporary asylum in Russia with a cleverly-crafted application designed to woo President Vladimir Putin. [NYTimes]

-> President Barack Obama held interviews with four anchors from America's biggest Spanish-language television networks yesterday in a bid to reach Latino voters. Reporters from Univision and Telemundo talked with the president, walked around the White House and were briefed on immigration and health care in the West Wing. [NYTimes] [Politico]

-> Senate Republicans and Democrats in favor of immigration reform have teamed up with big business to target House Republicans in an effort to ensure that a bill has a chance of passing. [Politico]

-> Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., thinks a great way to get back at Russia if they end up offering asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden would be to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will take place in the Russian city of Sochi. [TheHill]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz holds a hearing on border security, attends the American Meat Institute's annual hot dog lunch and joins a postal reform hearing.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart hits the weekly GOP caucus meeting, joins a Natural Resources Committee hearing, attends a House Water and Power Subcommittee oversight hearing, sits down with House Speaker John Boehner and other freshman members and meets with Sen. Orrin Hatch.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams tours the SL Co. Children's Justice Center and then the Draper prison.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder chats with Stephen Dark of the City Weekly.
  • President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the confirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and lunches with Vice President Joe Biden.

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 Isobel Markham

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham



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