As the clock on the wall of the Senate chambers neared midnight, the Senate was prepared to reject amendments to a state bonding bill that had been "gutted" by the House of Representatives.
But the witching hour came before the body could vote. The 1991 Legislature ended without a capital projects bonding bill.Gov. Norm Bangerter said he will call a special session so the Legislature can consider a bonding bill. "We'll discuss it when we're not all so tired," the governor said early Thursday morning.
The Senate passed a bonding package Tuesday afternoon that included funding to renovate the Coliseum at the Utah State Fairpark and study the Antelope Island Causeway.
The bill, which earmarked more than $60 million for building projects, and no more than $20 million each for water and transportation projects, was not considered for final vote by the House until the waning minutes of the Legislature.
When the House returned the bill to the Senate for reconsideration, it had removed the transportation funding and rejected the Coliseum and Antelope Island projects. The House cut water bonding from $20 million to $15 million.
What began as a nearly $100 million bonding package had been reduced to a $70 million bill, which prompted some Senate members to cry foul.
"We have just bowed far enough to members of the other body," complained Sen. Chuck Peterson, R-Provo. "I don't think we should bow down to the pressure. There's no reason to reconsider it with 45 seconds left."
Sen. Stephen J. Rees, R-Salt Lake, said the bill had been in the House most of the day Wednesday and yet the House "completely gutted it away from the Senate's intentions" in the 11th hour of the session.
Bangerter appeared resigned to handle the matter later this year. "I think we're going to need a bonding bill but we're not going to worry about that tonight."