For several years trust administrator Bruce Wisan, his attorneys, accountants and other employees, have been working to unravel the complex FLDS joint holdings in Hilldale, Utah; Colorado City, Ariz.; in Texas and other places in attempt to take over the church’s assets.
Wisan hasn’t been paid for the work, and a court recently held that Utah state’s portion of the bill is $5.6 million.
House and Senate GOP leaders were briefed by their own attorneys on the issue Thursday morning.
If the Legislature decides to pay the settlement – and leaders are still talking about it – the money will come out of one-time surpluses this fiscal year, now estimated to be around $112 million.
There are other demands on that cash, however, and legislators don’t like the idea that the state should have to pay the bill – hoping that church trust assets could be sold to pay the administrators’ costs.
“We haven’t decided anything yet,” said House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Washington Terrace.
But the interest on the settlement grows daily. And it’s likely that some kind of decision must be made by legislators in this general session.
State law says that any court settlement against the state above a certain cash level must be approved by the Legislature; that’s why lawmakers must make this decision.