Romney blasts 'personalities' who benefit from Olympic spending. Utah lawmaker: Cut of NSA data center water. Congress taps Utah bill to restore military pension cut.
Happy Thursday. Mitt Romney complained this week that Olympic spending is out of control, he also took a shot at those who benefit from it: "Government personalities are promoting themselves and their country with someone else's money." That's interesting, as one columnist points out, since Romney himself parlayed his success with the Salt Lake Olympics into the governor's office in Massachusetts and mentioned it constantly on the campaign trail for president. [TheWire]
Topping the news: Lawmakers unveiled a list of recommended changes to election laws that arose from the House investigation of former AG John Swallow. [Trib] [DNews] [APviaHerald] [KUER] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4] Meanwhile, a confidential draft report on the Swallow probe has been given to committee members. [UtahPolicy]
-> Congress is not as simple as School House Rock led us all to believe. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @SLTribCrimeDesk: "As soon as we get the legal name of the Abraham Lincoln impersonator at #utleg, we will check him for criminal record. Just 'cuz."
From @utpolcapitol: "Lincoln: "A government by the people, for the people, of the people, shall not perish from this Earth...Also, what's Google"
Snow day: The Office of Personnel Management: "FEDERAL OFFICES in the Washington, DC, area are CLOSED. Emergency and telework-ready employees required to work must follow their agency's policies." D.C.'s government, schools and universities are shuttered as well. This time, it's not over Obamacare but some five to 11 inches of snow.
On the Hill: Look, more bills and meetings! Today's schedule [Trib]
-> Lawmakers advanced a bill to create a tax credit for purchasing an electric car. They also advanced a bill raising registration costs on clean fuel vehicles in order to pay for the credit. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Meanwhile, a measure that would have allowed the Legislature to ask for a binding public vote on any tax increase has essentially died in committee. [UtahPolicy]
-> Legislation to prevent conflicts of interest in elections law investigations is headed to the governor's office. [Trib]
-> A House committee advanced a $20 million bill to replace old diesel school buses with alternative fuel buses. [ABC4]
-> Legislation helping protect the rights of unwed fathers in adoption cases passed a Senate committee. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers are working to avoid a fight between Kennecott and Rocky Mountain Power. [Trib]
-> A House panel passed legislation to extend the length of time the state offers certain services to refugees. [DNews]
-> A House committee passed a bill allowing Utahns to make their voter registration records completely private. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers put legislation permitting motorcycles to drive in between lanes in slow or stooped traffic on hold. [DNews]
-> The House killed a proposal to make any online sales tax collection revenue neutral, if such collection were approved by Congress. [Trib]
-> The House passed legislation to clarify the role of local school board members. [DNews]
-> Abraham Lincoln visited the Capitol. Yes, there are photos. [DNews]
-> Bryan Schott, a former Democratic Party official, says Dems are missing opportunities to get their message out this session and need a better media strategy. [UtahPolicy]
-> State Sen. Daniel Thatcher talks to Schott about his education-related bills this session. [UtahPolicy]
-> Count My Vote initiative advocates said direct primaries will empower women voters. [Trib]
-> The Utah JumpStart Coalition held an event in support of legislation to improve financial literacy education in high school. [DNews]
-> Sen. Mike Lee wants to bring back the work for welfare requirements that ended in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus of 2009. [TownHall]
-> Utah farmers say food prices will go up if immigration reform only focuses on enforcement. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley pokes fun at the persecuted rich. [Trib]
Nationally: The Senate on Wednesday followed the House in passing an expansion of the nation's borrowing limit, though the bill had to overcome Sen. Ted Cruz's insistence on a 60-vote threshold. [WaPost]
-> For the first time federal and state health insurance marketplace opened the number of people who signed up for plans exceeded the government's expectations. [WaPost]
-> The Senate also voted to restore military benefits cut in the last budget deal. [WaPost]
-> Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted of 20 federal corruption charges. [TimesPicayune]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Topher Webb
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