Rep. Blaze Wharton, D-Salt Lake, has come up with the most innovative excuse for missing a committee meeting thus far into the session. Wharton was supposed to attend the House Business and Labor Committee meeting Wednesday to introduce a bill he was sponsoring.

An army of bill proponents and opponents showed up at the meeting, but Wharton did not. After waiting, the committee put the bill on hold and went on to other matters.When confronted later, Wharton said he had let his dog wander outside for a few minutes before he came up to the hill. A passing motorist ran over the dog, scooped the animal up and rushed him to a veterinarian.

Wharton jumped into his car and followed the motorist to find out where he was taking his injured dog. The dog will recover and Wharton's bill - the legislative one - will be discussed at a later meeting.

No word yet on the vet's bill.