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House speaker: Time running out for action on prison relocation

Published: Wednesday, March 6 2013 4:00 p.m. MST

 Utah State Prison cells Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.  (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Utah State Prison cells Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said time is running out to deal with a bill creating a board to oversee the possible relocation of the Utah State Prison.

SB72 finally passed the Senate late Tuesday after a number of significant changes, including eliminating a six-month timeline for accepting bids to build a new prison and specific finance options for the project, estimated to cost between $550 million and $600 million.

The bill now gives the Prison Relocation and Development Authority, which has already endorsed moving the prison from Draper, the authority to evaluate bids and make recommendations to the Legislature.

With just over a week left in the session, Lockhart said Wednesday she had some concerns about how long it has taken the bill to get to the House and suggested it might be better left at this point for interim study and possible action in a special session.

Division Director Steve Turley walks through the razor wire at the  Utah State Prison  Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.  (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Division Director Steve Turley walks through the razor wire at the Utah State Prison Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

"The Senate has had this piece of legislation for quite a while. They've been going over it and over it and over it," the speaker said. "It's a big commitment, and we try our best to have those big issues have as much time and as much input as possible."

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