Everyone’s invited over to our House tonight for a little get together. The theme is “The Road to Recovery, Return to Prosperity” so come dressed appropriately in your favorite Nothing Can Stop Me Now outfit. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. but come early or you’ll be up in the nosebleeds with the press. Actually, everyone’ll be in the nosebleeds unless your job application required voters to mark your name on a ballot. Guest of honor is Gov. Gary Herbert.
* An extremely optimistic Rep. Fred Cox wants to ensure that if we manage to wrestle some land back from the feds that our parks are protected. (Salt Lake Tribune)
“Bryce Canyon or Zion could end up getting trashed,” Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, warned, “so we want to create rules to make [the state] good stewards of the land.”
* You’re going to see a whole lot of “possible” in news stories for the next little while. Majority lawmakers are wrestling with a $313 million structural imbalance they want to eliminate this year and they’re starting the budgeting process with a 7 percent cut. Remember that it’s a starting point. (Salt Lake Tribune)
* With Medicaid chewing up more and more of the state’s budget — second only to education — lawmakers are considering making the program’s director a political appointment. Accountability is the name of the game. (Salt Lake Tribune)
* Rep. Dunnigan gets a bill through the House loosening up Utah’s fireworks restrictions. The “cake” style fireworks could reach heights of 15 feet and more and could cut down on all those Wyoming runs in late June. (Deseret News)
* Democrats from both houses band together to pitch their Common Sense Solutions for the session. (Daily Herald)
“We need smaller classrooms, better pay for teachers, school buildings that are structurally sound buildings and affordable access to secondary education,” said House Minority Leader David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City. “The old cliché that Utah has the best-educated work force can only last so long.”
* And finally, it’s official, Utah will get a fourth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Anyone know anybody interested in running?