From: The Salt Lake Tribune
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Political Cornflakes
Date: Thu Feb 27 13:20:26 MST 2014

Political Cornflakes | By The Salt Lake Tribune

Biden: I won't go quietly into the night. Same-sex couples argue marriage ban discriminates. House panel gives nod to $200M school boost but questions remain.

Happy Thursday. Though all the attention seems to be focused on Hillary Clinton as the Democrats' 2016 White House nominee, Vice President Joe Biden isn't ruling out his own bid. A Politico magazine story notes how Biden responded to a friend suggesting the vice president let it go. Biden's back-at-ya: "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." [Politico]

Topping the news: Attorneys for the three same-sex couples who challenged Utah's ban on same-sex marriage filed a brief with the 10th Circuit court arguing that the prohibition affects almost every part of their lives, excludes them from benefits and the "common vocabulary of family life and belonging." [Trib] [DNews] [KUER] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]

-> LGBT community members and supporters met with lawmakers to share their experiences with discrimination in the state. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]

-> A House committee advanced the $200 million dollar proposal to put more technology in schools, despite concerns over where the money will come from. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13]

Tweet of the day: From @SpencerJCox: "My @RadiofromHell selfie. On the air in 5 mins. (Note to self: Don't get fired)."

Happy Birthday: To state Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, and Rob Miller, a veteran of the Utah Democratic Party.

On the Hill: Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any more meetings, here is today's schedule. [Trib]

-> With two competing plans to expand Medicaid and a third on the way, lawmakers are still deciding what to do. [DNews]

-> A Senate committee passed legislation to amend the Utah Constitution to say that political parties ability to nominate candidates "may not be infringed." [Trib]

-> Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, talks about his bill to reform how candidates are selected on The Trib's "In Their Own Words." [Trib]

-> A bill allowing counties and some cities to put on the ballot a sales tax hike for mass transit passed a House committee. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Under a new bill, Utah drivers could still talk on their phones while driving, but they would have to pull over to dial a number. [DNews] [UtahPolicy]

-> Legislation allowing private companies to photograph license plates with automatic plate readers passed a Senate committee. [Trib]

-> A House panel advanced three bills aimed to assert Utah's dominion over public lands. [Trib] [Herald]

-> A proposal assigning criminal penalties for damaging natural features in state parks died in committee. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Clean air advocated discussed shutting down the Stericycle medical incinerator with Gov. Gary Herbert. [KUTV]

-> A lawmaker is proposing legislation to give agriculture producers who participate in a state environmental stewardship program a shield against some regulators and lawsuits when it comes to water quality. [Trib]

-> The drive to clean up Utah's air may be losing steam with the nice weather. [KUTV]

-> A bill allowing public and charter schools to replace up to four school days for teacher preparation and professional development is on its way to the governor's office. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley explores two differing points of view on the value of education. [Trib]

-> Lawmakers passed an anti-suicide bill that would give rebates to those who buy gun safes. [Trib]

-> A Senate panel advanced legislation to allow judges to consider intentional exposure of children to pornography as a factor in child custody cases. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Legislation allowing people to try hunting with an experienced hunter before taking  education courses is on its way to the governor's office. [Trib] [Herald]

-> A House committee put a bill requiring Utah to treat distilleries the same as wineries and breweries on hold. [DNews]

-> Bryan Schott says Speaker Becky Lockhart's position of power -- from which she may launch a gubernatorial bid -- comes to an end March 13 when the Legislature adjourns. [UtahPolicy]

-> March 7 will be Diversity Day at the Capitol. [DNews]

In other news: SL Co. will study how to make Emigration Canyon safer to bicycles and cars. [Trib] [ABC4]

-> Some Utah leaders are not pleased with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's proposed cuts to the armed forces. [DNews]

-> The Salt Lake School District has dropped plans to hire a PR firm to deal the Uintah Elementary School lunch scandal, instead choosing an apology and cupcakes. [Trib]

-> The AG's office filed a brief to dismiss the ACLU's lawsuit against the state for not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in the Utah during the short period it was legal. [Fox13]

Nationally: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation that would allow religious reasons to deny gays services at businesses. [FoxNews]

-> A federal judge overturned Texas' ban on same-sex marriage. [DallasMorningNews]

-> President Barack Obama proposed a $302 billion plan to reinvigorate the country's transportation system. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz conducts a hearing on a military helicopter crash in Afhganistan and meets with the Utah Wing of the U.S. Air Force Civil Patrol.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart hits a Family Research Council reception, an Appropriations Labor Subcommittee Oversight hearing on Biodefense, meets with the National Treasury Employees Union and with the Utah Wing of the U.S. Air Force Civil Patrol. He also speaks on the House floor, meets with the Utah Travel Association, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga, and attends the Republican Appropriations Member Meeting.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert goes to a weekly legislative leadership discussion, interviews a candidate for the State School Board District 1 seat, meets with Lt. Gov Spencer Cox and interviews judicial candidates for the Second District Court.
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox also attends the legislative leadership discussion.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams hits the Conference of Mayors, the Wasatch Front Regional Council Executive Committee meeting and meets with Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is interviewed on KCPW, goes to the Salt Lake Valley Conference of Governments, the Wasatch Front Regional Council and the National League of Cities/Department of Education Community Conversation: Education.
  • President Barack Obama meets with business leaders to discuss his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative and later sits down with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at 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 and

Read by political insiders from the Utah Capitol to D.C.'s Capitol Hill, Political Cornflakes is the go-to source every weekday morning for all the news you need to know. Your tips and suggestions are always welcome at

Political Cornflakes is compiled by The Salt Lake Tribune's Washington bureau. Photo by Scott Sommerdorf; Cartoon by Pat Bagley.

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