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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to representatives from Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 in New York. Fellow Republicans are assessing the damage of new allegations that Gov. Christie knew about a traffic-blocking operation orchestrated by top aides. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
News roundup: The odd interplay between Christie and Mitt Romney

Security holes at the Capitol. A megahotel may be coming to Salt Lake City. Board says prison should leave Draper.

Happy Thursday. The strange world of politics where Chris Christie is falling and Mitt Romney is on the rise. The two have a complicated relationship, but Mitt is still backing the New Jersey governor. [WaPost]

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Topping the news: A state audit found gaping holes in security at the state Capitol. [StandEx]

-> The bill to ban housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is officially dead. [Trib] [DNews] [APviaHerald]

-> Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, called for the resignation of Gene Schaerr, the outside counsel hired by the state to help with Utah's defense of Amendment 3, because of his professional association with the Sutherland Institute. [Trib] [Fox13]

Tweet of the day: From @JeffFlake: "Sandra Fluke decides not to run for Congress. Dang, there goes the possibility for a Fluke-Flake bill..."

From @utpolcapitol: "Fiscal analysts recognized on Senate floor. @SenLyleHillyard: 'If I say your name wrong, blame your parents."

On the Hill: The legislating goes on, today's schedule [Trib]

-> House Speaker Becky Lockhart supports a bill funding a new megahotel in downtown Salt Lake City, after Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams came up with a plan that will a marketing plan to allow the hotel to benefit the whole state. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER] [Fox13] [KUTV]

-> After her opening day speech criticizing Gov. Gary Herbert, Lockhart received over 40 emails and letters in response. One writer said if she were the Speaker's mother, she would wash Lockhart's mouth out with soap. [Herald]

-> UDOT officials told lawmakers there have been no fatal accidents in 80 mph speed zones when actually there have been at least 16 deaths in the past three years. [Trib]

-> Legislation to legalize the sale of non-intoxicating cannabis oil would likely be found unconstitutional, according to legislative lawyers. [Trib]

-> Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, will serve as chairman of the advisory board of directors for a Las Vegas company aiming to help medical marijuana companies with business challenges. [Trib]

-> Democratic lawmakers want to see more funding for education and teacher training. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, is sponsoring legislation to create a school safety hotline to deal with suicide prevention, bullying and school violence. [DNews]

-> Lawmakers have proposed 80 bills to improve education this session. [KUER]

-> Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, wants to cap wage garnishment for student loans at 10 percent. [Trib]

-> The Senate showed support for legislation requiring the state fleet to use high-efficiency, low polluting vehicles. [KUER]

-> Rep. Steve Eliason is proposing a bill to lower suicide deaths by offering gun owners incentives to buy a trigger lock or gun safe as well as expanding suicide prevention education. [Trib]

-> The House passed a bill restricting the use of carbon monoxide chambers to euthanize animals. [Trib]

In other news: Cuts to food stamps passed by Congress this week are not likely to affect Utahns. [Trib]

-> Sen, Mike Lee discussed the federal role in education, increasing the minimum wage and raising the debt ceiling. He also said in order to win more races, the Republican Party should "encourage [candidates] not to say stupid things." [USAToday]

-> The prison relocation committee once again voted in favor of relocating the state prison in Draper. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]

-> Residents shared their views on the future of the central Wasatch Mountains and canyons at the Mountain Accord open house. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Utah's federal court will have an opening for two new judges after two sitting judges take senior status. [Trib]

-> Federal health officials visited the state and encourage advocates to sign more people up for health insurance on heathcare.gov and push for Medicaid expansion. [KUER]

-> UTA will give away 5,000 free one-week passes in order to promote using public transportation in order to help clean the air. [Trib] [Fox13]

-> Utah's state website has won two more awards, bringing the total to 17. [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley pokes fun at Vladimir Putin and the Sochi Olympics. [Trib]

Nationally: House Speaker John Boehner proposed extending the government's borrowing authority for one year in exchange for restoring benefits to military families that were recently cut. [WaPost]

-> Although the debate on whether undocumented immigrants can become citizens or gain legal status is garnering the most attention, a guest worker program may pose more problems for passing immigration reform. [Politico]

-> Mitt Romney is adamant that he's not running for president in 2016. [CNN] Neither is John Kerry. [CNN] Al Gore?

-> A list of VIP donors left at a hotel gives a look into the conservative Koch brothers political operation that put $400 million into the 2012 election. [MoJo]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Chris Stewart hits a meeting for LDS members of Congress, meets with the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership, is interviewed on the Mike McGary Show, meets with Rep. Rob Bishop, flies back to Utah and speaks at Salt Lake County Lincoln Day Dinner.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert goes to the McDonalds legislative breakfast, hold the weekly legislative leadership discussion, meets with the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund, then with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, and later with Ogden School District superintendent Brad Smith, Utah National Guard Adjutant General Major General Jefferson Burton, his chief of staff Derek Miller and general counsel Jacey Skinner.
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at the Higher Education Staff Association, hits the Salt Lake County Lincoln Day Dinner and the Salt Lake Chamber's Legislative Reception.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams attends a Mountain Accord meeting, meets with Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn, attends the Council of Governments meeting and meets with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker hits the Mountain Accord NEPA workshop, lunches with Community Council chairs, meets with Kim Gillian of the Department of Health and Human Services for Region VIII, then goes to the Access Wasatch meeting, meets with SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams and drops the tournament puck at the PAC-8 hockey championships.
  • President Barack Obama eats and speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast and meets with Haiti President Michel Martelly.

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]

-- Matt Canham and Topher Webb

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/topherjwebb



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