A snowstorm delayed debate Monday morning on a comprehensive piece of legislation to create obstacles against illegal immigrants obtaining jobs and public benefits.

Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George, told the Deseret Morning News that winter road conditions had delayed his trip back to the state Capitol, but that he's still ready to present SB81 for debate. The bill has been rescheduled for the Government Operations Committee meeting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

After Hickman's absence Monday, some in the packed committee room wondered if Hickman's absence was due to a lack of enough votes to move the bill to the Senate floor. But Hickman, said via cell phone, "the actual reason is because I'm in a snowstorm."

During Monday morning's Senate roll call, Senate President John Valentine said Hickman had an excused absence because of the weather.