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(Salt Lake City - KSL News) Governor Mike Leavitt today vetoed more than $7 million in budget cuts approved by Utah legislators during a special session.
Those cuts included $3.5 million to the Department of Corrections, which would have resulted in the release of 400 criminals from Utah prisons; over a million to the Department of Public Safety, which would have removed 130 law enforcement officers from duty; and nearly $3 million in cuts to the courts, which would have eliminated 30 positions.
Governor Leavitt says those cuts are unacceptable and prefers the alternative of delaying highway construction and reducing non-agricultural water subsidies.
"It's very clear to me that this alternative is superior to this alternative," Leavitt says.
The governor also vetoed a bill that would have created a $2 million discretionary fund to the attorney general.
Leavitt said the bill undermines public trust by awarding a contingency fee for successful prosecution.