Romney's ex-campaign chief heads new venture. Lockhart backs ed initiative. Herbert to meet with activists who blocked his door.
Happy Friday. Mitt Romney's former campaign manager is heading a group taking on Democrats, and doing so as a for-profit group, a novel change from the regular efforts by by politically charged firms to hide as non-profits. [BostonGlobe]
Topping the news: House Speaker Becky Lockhart announced her $300 million dollar education initiative. A report obtained by The Trib says the proposal may actually cost $750 million the first year. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [KUER]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert agreed to meet with activists who rallied around his door asking the state to fine Stericycle, shut down its medical waste incinerator and not allow the company to move to Tooele County. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER] [ABC4]
Tweets of the day: From @utcapitol: "Oh appropriations. If we had a nickel every time we heard 'Choose which child you love the most.'"
From @billyhesterman: "The horse disposal bill sails through the house without any naaaaays 69-0"
Happy Birthday: To blogger Bob Aagard and former deputy press secretary to ex-Sen. Bob Bennett, Andrea Candrian Reeve. On Saturday, send your wishes to state Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, and SITLA associate director John Andrews, and on Sunday to AG Sean Reyes.
On the Hill: The weekend is almost here, but there's still lawmaking to do. Today's schedule: [Trib].
-> The lawmaker who led the investigation of former AG John Swallow is proposing legislation to stop abuses by the payday loan industry. [Trib] [KUER]
-> Lawmakers are considering a bill to transfer the state's immigrant crime task force from the AG's office to the Department of Public Safety. [Trib]
-> Hiring more state troopers and raising pay for state attorneys who represent children's interests in court are among the top priorities of the committee over criminal justice. [Trib]
-> The Senate passed tighter restrictions for the residency requirements for candidates and voters. [Trib]
-> Rep. Marc Roberts, R-Santaquin, talks about his bill to cut off water to the NSA data center in Buffdale in "In Their Own Words." [Trib]
-> A legislative committee recommended that per pupil spending be raised 2.5 percent, an amount some day is not enough. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Legislation before a Senate panel would give lawmakers more oversight of USTAR. [Trib]
-> The State School Board voted to support a bill limiting income tax exemptions to two children in order to increase education funding. [DNews]
-> The House passed legislation that if students with severe disabilities have been in high school for more than four years, those students will not impact the grade the state gives the school. [Trib]
-> Legislation giving incentives to purchase less polluting yard equipment passed a House committee. [Trib]
-> The team appointed by Gov. Herbert gave three recommendations to improve air quality: higher budget, expanding public transit and continuing public education campaigns. [KUER]
-> Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, is drafting a bill that may require all bars to have breathalyzers. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4] [UtahPolicy]
-> An amended resolution to attract drone related business to the state passed a House committee. [Herald]
-> An appropriations committee endorsed a request for $2 million to lobby against the federal government listing the sage grouse as an endangered species. [Trib]
-> The same committee put $500,000 to help remove carp from Utah Lake on the priority list. [Herald]
-> Lawmakers put a bill allowing those who are not allowed to carry a dangerous weapon, such as convicted felons, to have archery equipment for recreational purposes. [DNews]
-> A House Committee passed a bill moving the class taken by divorcing parents earlier in the process. [APviaHerald]
-> You know those candy hearts with sappy messages? Pat Bagley has some Utah Legislature-themed candy hearts. [Trib]
In other news: Sen. Mike Lee is co-sponsoring legislation to protect states that define marriage as between a man and a woman from federal attempts to recognize same-sex marriage. [Trib] [WaPost]
-> A parent of a student at Uintah Elementary said the principal is telling parents to quit talking to the media. [Fox13]
-> Utah attorneys asked a federal judge not a change polygamy laws so that the Legislature can make changes itself. [Fox13]
-> Many in the LGBT community are falling into the health insurance coverage gap because Utah has not accepted Medicaid expansion. [KUER]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker signed the Freedom to Marry petition. [DNews]
Nationally: A federal judge struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. [WaPost]
-> An NSA employee resigned after admitting to allowing Edward Snowden to use his computer credentials to access classified information. [WaPost]
-> 20 percent of those that signed up for Health Insurance under the Affordable Care Act did not pay their first premiums on time. [NYTimes]
-> Comcast and Time Warner Cable are going on the offensive to push back possible threats from Washington to prevent the companies from merging. [Politico]
Where are they?
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz continues his trip abroad for the Oversight Committee.
- Gov. Gary Herbert meets with St. George Mayor Jon Pike.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox hits the Governor's Cabinet Meeting.
- President Barack Obama speaks at the House Democratic Issues Conference, flies to California, hits a roundtable with community leaders and tours and speaks at a local farm. Later he has a bilateral meeting and a working dinner with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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