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News roundup: GOP targets unruly candidates

GOP goes after unruly candidates. Prosecutors: federal scrutiny of Reid, Lee warranted. Legislature run-down.

Happy Friday. Republicans are usually an orderly bunch when it comes to elections. Heir apparents get the nod, as do high-profile ones and those who can raise the dough. But increasingly, the GOP is turning on their own, going at candidates who may cause trouble:

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-> "National Republicans increasingly feel the need to adopt a get-tough approach. Nearly six years removed from the presidency and often under assault from outside-the-Beltway conservatives, establishment GOP figures are searching out new ways to exert influence over unruly candidates. Cross them, and there's a good chance the candidate won't like what results." [Politico]

Topping the news: Prosecutors investigating former AG John Swallow say they have evidence that merits federal scrutiny of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Mike Lee. [Trib]

-> Some of the hottest issues of the year didn't make it through the Legislature. [Trib] [Herald] (See below for a full wrap-up)

-> Gov. Gary Herbert came out on top this session. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]

Tweet of the day: From @billyhesterman: "And the House Dems have gotten Lockhart an action figure. It is a Wonder Woman doll with Lockhart's face on it."

From @TwitJas: "2 days-3 hours-19 min & 42 seconds: Time spent saying 'I move that under suspension of the rules' during the 2014 session."

Happy Birthday: To Julie Chaffetz, wife of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and on Sunday to state Reps. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, and Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, former state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, and friend of Cornflakes Charlie Luke.

On the Hill: It's over, there is no schedule today. Take a break, read a book, go for a walk.

-> Lawmakers did not reach a deal on Medicaid expansion. [Trib] [KUER]

-> Higher education had a good year on the Hill. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER]

-> This session saw changes to the Utah election system. [Trib]

-> More than a quarter of the Democratic caucus in the Legislature has announced plans to retire. [Trib] [ABC4]

-> The John Swallow scandal helped push ethics reform bills through the Legislature. [Trib]

-> Lawmakers raised the speed limit, but decided not to make you wear a seat belt. [Trib]

-> The Legislature approved $1 million to hire new staff during the non-session times. [UtahPolicy]

-> The Senate approved a study on whether to stick with ye old Daylight Savings Time. [Trib]

-> Lawmakers heard many air quality bills some of which came down to the wire. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Education, the state prison in Gunnison and other programs received increased funding. [Trib]

-> The Legislature passed many bills aimed at helping children and other vulnerable people. [DNews]

-> Lawmakers sent the governor legislation allowing the use of nonintoxicating cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Pat Shea may challenge longtime Sen. Gene Davis for his seat. [UtahPolicy]

-> A proposal requiring insurers to cover autism treatments passed both chambers. [Trib]

-> A fight between Utah power producers and a company building a power line across the state ended in a compromise. [Trib]

-> The House killed a bill to ban "dark consulting" during mid-term elections to replace legislators who resigned. [Trib]

-> A bill to increase transparency of contributions from lobbyists and require lobbyists to wear name tags passed the Senate. [Trib] [DNews]

-> A proposal to make voter registration records more private passed both chambers. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Legislation to create a pilot Election Day voter registration program is headed to the governor. [Trib]

-> Legislation to toughen penalties for cockfighting died on the Hill. [Trib] [DNews]

> A proposal to ban revenge porn is on its way to the governor's desk. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]

-> Lawmakers voted to move the state prison. [Trib] [Fox13]

-> The House passed a proposal limiting what people can do on their cellphones while driving. [DNews]

-> A measure making it easier for bars to have Breathalyzers is on its way to the governor's office. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Legislation allowing law enforcement to collect DNA from suspects booked into jail on felony charges heads to the governor. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Lawmakers passed restrictions on how law enforcement can use drones in the state. [Trib]

-> Legislation allowing judges to consider intentional exposure to pornography as a factor in child custody cases passed the House. [DNews]

-> A proposal broadening the definition of school employees that can be charged with a felony for sexual contact with a student passed the Senate. [DNews]

-> Utah voters will decide if the Utah State Tax Commission should be partisan. [Trib]

-> A bill to temporarily freeze the boundaries in Salt Lake County and study how to best provide services in the unincorporated moves to the governor's desk. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Lawmakers passed a plan to help fund a new convention center hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. [Trib]

-> A bill outlining the right of parents who have kids in school passed both chambers. [Trib]

-> The House passed a bill to help those in need pay for AP tests. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Senate passed a proposal giving $20 million to STEM education. [DNews]

-> A proposal to change how schools are graded passed the House. [DNews]

-> Lawmakers also extended the Education Task Force for another year. [DNews]

-> A bill creating an anonymous school safety tip line in on its way to the governor. [DNews]

-> The Senate passed a bill giving a tax credit to employers who hire a person that is homeless. [Trib]

-> Lawmakers passed a proposal stopping local governments from outlawing specific species of dogs. [DNews]

-> Legislation to study ending Daylight Saving Time passed the Senate. [Trib] [Herald]

-> A resolution asking the EPA, as it considers new standards, to allow coal-fired power plants to operate. [Trib]

-> A proposal allowing police to impound the cars of people driving without insurance passed both chambers. [KUTV]

-> Lawmakers passed a proposal to create a commission to study the needs of women in Utah's economy. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discusses some Abe Lincoln confusion on the Hill and other topics. [Trib]

In other news: The Hale Center Theater is negotiating to stay in West Valley City after announcing last year it would move to Sandy. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the state of the country post 9/11. [Trib]

Nationally: Senate negotiators have made a bipartisan agreement to renew federal unemployment benefits for five months. [WaPost]

-> AG Eric Holder supports a proposal to reduce sentences for convicted drug dealers. He also supports eliminating mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders. [NYTimes]

-> Lawmakers are working on a proposal to end the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' telephone data. [Politico]

-> Marijuana industry lobbyists are working on the Hill to make a more friendly environment for legal marijuana businesses. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz votes, holds staff meetings and returns to Utah.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart hits a members-only meeting on tax reform, votes and flies back to Utah.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert takes a personal day.
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox attends a Cabinet meeting.
  • President Barack Obama holds a St. Patrick's Day lunch with Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny. Later he hosts a St. Patrick's Day reception.

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 Topher Webb

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/topherjwebb



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