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Shurtleff finds budget denies extra funds

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Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says legislative budget recommendations do not include the reimbursement he was promised when he agreed to hire outside attorneys in two expensive cases.

"I am not happy," he said Tuesday.

Gov. Mike Leavitt and Republican lawmakers last year insisted he hire outside counsel for the state's suits against the U.S. Census Bureau and in defense of the new law against state and local government employees having political donations deducted from their paychecks along with union dues.

Shurtleff said has promised his department would be reimbursed $600,000 for the census suit and $185,000 for the paycheck case.

Legislative budget recommendations unveiled in public hearings Tuesday contain no money for the outside counsel contracts. Leavitt's own budget plan released in December included $600,000 for the Census suit, but nothing for the paycheck suit.

Shurtleff said he will be reminding legislators and the governor of their promises, and in the meantime, remains optimistic they are as good as their word.