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Government Specialist Richard Piatt reporting This is an example of how tight and how bitter the budget battle is: This morning, lawmakers voted to cut just more than a million dollars that was meant for trail, river and open space preservation.
It's part of the brutal trimming that's going on, right through this last day of the legislative session, to come up with more revenue.
No one is completely happy here. Public education is slated to get just marginal increases, when it really needs a major infusion of cash.
Today, Legislative Democrats spoke out on those items and more, pointing out their support is often lost to the Republican supermajority.
From guns in schools, to hate crimes to gifts to lawmakers and more, Democrats say polls show lawmakers are out of step with the feelings of the general public.
Representative Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City says, "Unfortunately, time after time in this session, our legislature is clearly not following the will and the interest of the people of Utah."
On the issue of a ban on high level radio active waste--a proposal Republicans voted to study for two years, Representative Karen Morgan of Holladay says, "Democrats have a message for the people of this state that is, we worked very hard on this issue. We were not successful, but we will continue to work."
Out of step or not, the 2003 session is almost done. The only question now is what will be the long term effects of the decisions that were made here.