SALT LAKE CITY -- Extended hunting on Antelope Island and new road construction near the Falcon Hill development were both topics Wednesday in last-minute state budget negotiations.
Legislative language allowing more hunting on Antelope Island was added to the budget bill, while new road construction on I-15 failed to make it, as lawmakers head into the final day of the 2010 legislative session.
Both items could live or die by the end of today as lawmakers lobby for the final budget bill.
The controversial Antelope Island proposal would allow limited hunting of deer and bighorn sheep as a way to bring in an estimated $200,000 or more in hunting fees.
The proposal has the support of the Utah Department of Natural Resources. The Davis Chamber of Commerce and Davis County Commissioners are against the plan.
The Executive Appropriations Committee, at the request of Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley City, voted Wednesday to allow the hunt by adding it to the nearly finished budget legislation.
Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, proposed transferring money allocated within the county for improvements on the State Route 193 interchange to improvements at State Route 97 near Hill Air Force Base.
The move would speed up the road project for use near Falcon Hill, a private-public business development project, and delay the other.
"This would further facilitate the Falcon Hill project ... to keep it on pace." said Liljenquist.
The $5 million transfer from one project to another was questioned by Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Provo.
"This is quite unusual," said Lockhart, who described it as circumventing the regular process for choosing transportation projects.
The joint appropriations committee voted down the proposal, but Liljenquist vowed to try again before the session ends today.