Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, told state senators Monday his annual report to lawmakers would be different than in past years because "there's a different situation in Washington."
The Democratic takeover in Congress, Bennett said, has put in jeopardy some funding for the state, including for agriculture-related programs at Utah State University and for scholarships at the University of Utah.
The decision by the new Congress to continue spending at current levels, the state's junior senator said, "means that new initiatives will disappear ... quite frankly there will be some problems in the state of Utah as a result of that."
He said he will attempt to try to add the programs to the continuing resolution on spending, but that could be tough because of a new recontinuance to earmark funds.
In response to questions by senators, Bennett said he's still hopeful there might be action on a Washington County lands bill. He decried what he called the "hypocrisy" of Congress approving a similar bill to allow the sale of public lands in Nevada while not taking action on the bill he sponsored.
He said, too, there could be action on a comprehensive immigration bill. Immigration, Bennett said, is "not on the top list that the Senate and House leadership has laid down, but I think they would all agree it's something they want this Congress to address."