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Special 'housekeeping' legislative session next Wednesday

Published: Friday, July 15 2011 5:57 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has called a special session of the Legislature for Wednesday to deal with what he called "housekeeping" issues.

Missing from the call issued Friday afternoon is legislation dealing with illegal immigration. Earlier this summer, delegates to the state GOP convention passed a resolution calling for the repeal of HB116, a controversial bill creating a state guest worker program.

And some lawmakers have called for the state to quickly adopt legislation based on an Arizona law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court that punishes companies that hire undocumented workers.

But the governor believes such issues need to be dealt with in a general session rather than a special session expected to last only a few hours, said his chief of staff, Derek Miller.

"We didn't rush into this. We're not going to rush into any changes," Miller said. "If there are improvements that need to be made, it'll be during a general session."

He said the governor received "no pressure for anything that wasn't put on" the agenda.

Among the items the governor is asking lawmakers to consider is a concurrent resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Efforts to pass a similar resolution failed in the 2010 Legislature.

Other issues Herbert wants lawmakers to tackle include fixes to alcoholic beverage control legislation passed last session, as well as to how judges are evaluated and to the makeup of a new group charged with looking at relocating the state prison at Point of the Mountain.

"The items on the call are generally minor housekeeping items, some of which are time-sensitive," Herbert said in a statement.

The special session is set to start at 2 p.m. Wednesday, the same day lawmakers are already scheduled to be at the Capitol for interim meetings.

Email: lisa@desnews.com

Twitter: dnewspolitics

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