GOP lawmakers defend gay marriage ban. Romney criticizes Olympic spending. Voting twice changes little in state Senate.
Happy Wednesday. Mitt Romney argues that its time to set a cap on Olympic spending, saying the $50 billion Russia plowed into Sochi is way too high. The 2002 Games in Salt Lake cost less than $3 billion. [USAToday]
Topping the news: Why does Utah's Senate vote on bills twice and what is the impact? A BYU political scientists says the practice has little impact. If the Senate passes a bill on first reading it is all but assured to gain final approval on a second vote. [DataPoints]
Tweet of the day: From @TroyWilliamsSLC: "Thnx for the support. Did our protest work? The Gov's office graciously called me this morning. More talks to come."
Happy birthday: to Tribune alum Carol Sisco.
On the Hill: AG Sean Reyes is asking the Legislature for help to pay for the appeal of the ruling striking down the gay marriage pprohibition. [APviaHerald]
-> Reyes also announced the state will appeal a judge's ruling that struck down key parts of Utah's polygamy laws. [ApviaHerald]
-> Rep. Jim Dunnigan is preparing four bill in reaction to the John Swallow scandal. [UtahPolicy]
-> Lawmakers requested more than $7 million for air quality projects. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on second hand smog. [Trib]
-> Legislation giving broad immunity to police officers from lawsuits by suspects injured in police chases passed a Senate committee despite concerns that the bill may encourage reckless behavior. [Trib] [KUTV]
-> Paul Rolly discusses how a bill making revenge porn a felony is a refreshing show of bipartisanship. [Trib]
-> Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, wants to require voters to opt-in for their information to be public rather than opt-out as the law is now. [Fox13]
-> The House Republican Caucus delayed a discussion about moving the state prison in Draper. [DNews]
-> Lawmakers took some electric cars for a spin. [ABC4]
In other news: Utah health officials found higher rates of some types of cancer in areas around Stericycle's medical incinerator. However, the increased cancer rate may not be linked to the incinerator. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER]
-> NSA protesters picked up litter in front of the NSA data center. [Trib]
-> The Davis County Board of Health approved restrictions on the amount on nicotine in e-cigarettes. [Trib]
-> Josh Romney said he would like his dad, Mitt Romney, to run for president again, but it's not going to happen. [Fox13]
Nationally: The House passed a no strings attached debt ceiling extension. All four of Utah's House members opposed the bill. It passed largely with Democratic votes. [WaPost]
-> AG Eric Holder urged states to repeal laws that keep felons from voting. [NYTimes]
-> Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, plans to sue President Barack Obama and NSA officials challenging surveillance practices. [CNN]
-> Check out some picture from the State Dinner for French President Francois Hollande. [WaPost]
Where are they?
-- Matt Canham and Topher Webb
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