Legislative session ends, bond package approved

Saturday, May 24th 2008, 4:37 pm
By: News 9


The state Legislature wrapped its session up late Friday night.

They had passed a resolution to finish by midnight, but the Senate called it quits at 10:23 p.m. The House wrapped just a few minutes later at 10:40 p.m.

In the final minutes of the session, legislators approved a $475 million bond package that provides money from bridge and road maintenance as well as construction on the American Indian Cultural Center.

Most legislators consider the session a success but several have expressed regret over the things they were unable to get done after the session, Governor Henry said.

"I wish we would have been able to fulfill our commitment to teachers and raise their pay to at least the regional average," Henry said. "We simply weren't able to do it because the dollars weren't there."

House Speaker Chris Benge considered it a success.

"The revenue picture really did dictate what happened this year," Benge said. "There were a lot of dynamics out there that could have caused a wreck, and it didn't happen."

Others voiced their regret for not getting to health care, especially bills that would have provided care for children with autism, clinical trials and children without health insurance.

Related Story: Legislators extend last day of session