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Utah Senate committee advances bill clarifying bonding for roads, prison

SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee advanced a bill Monday clarifying that the costs associated with issuing $1 billion in bonds for transportation and another $100 million for the construction of a new state prison are on top of those amounts.

The bonding was approved by the 2017 Legislature, but the sponsor of SB110, Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, told the Senate Transportation Committee there has been some confusion about whether the legal and other costs were included.

"It's not a whole lot," Harper said of the costs. He said during the hearing he understood it would add less than $100,000 to the $1 billion in transportation bonding but need to verify the amount.

The committee did not discuss the impact the bill would have on the bonding price for building a new prison west of the Salt Lake City International Airport before members voted unanimously to send the bill to the full Senate.

The bill removes a cap on costs including issuance, capitalized interest and debt service reserve requirements that were expected to add $5.7 million to the total of $570 million in bonds lawmakers have authorized for the prison project.

UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras said after the meeting that the agency so far has issued $47 million of the amount available for bonding and expects to issue around another $230 million next month.

Braceras said UDOT will use the full $1 billion available over four years.