SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert thanked senators Thursday night for getting through what he said many believed "was going to be an impossible session."

He addressed the Senate at 10:30 p.m., shortly before the end of the 2010 Legislature.

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The governor said that despite the challenging economic times, lawmakers were able to come up with a responsible budget that protected education and still "empowered the private sector to grow the economy."

He said the education community had already let him know how pleased they are with the education budget. "They appreciate what's been done here and are sending a lot of 'thank yous' and kudos to all of you," Herbert said.

Noting this was his first session as governor, Herbert said he appreciated "the support and the warm welcome you've given me."

— Lisa Riley Roche