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Keeping track of all the moving parts that figured in the just-concluded regular session of the Utah Legislature is not a job for the faint of heart or the easily confused. But a few basic themes emerge.

Money talks. In fact, it drowns out just about everything else.

Coal has clout. So does the LDS Church.

But, as a great man once sort of said, the problems of the people who want to live in a cleaner and more humane Utah — who worry about the poor, the sick and the victimized — don't amount to a hill of beans in this one-party state.

The best news out of the 45-day marathon of political log-rolling and back-scratching is that lawmakers found enough money to boost spending on education by even more than the school-centric Gov. Gary Herbert had sought.

This core function of government, in which Utah has long trailed the nation in funding, will receive a basic 3 percent boost, worth an additional $80 million. It's barely enough to keep up, but this year the Legislature seemed eager not only to up the governor's ante but also to provide the money with a minimum of the kind of strings and restrictions they have been wont to attach in years past.

But it could be argued that the hike in school funding was completely in keeping with the Legislature's eagerness to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted, as school funding is increasingly sold in this state as something the mainstream business community supports.

Meanwhile, lawmakers granted money and power to the not-soon-enough-to-decline coal-based economy that, even with this government interference in free market trends, is well on its way out.

The Legislature agreed to a $53 million money swap that will subsidize the expansion of a deep-water port in Oakland, Calif., as a possible exit point for the Utah coal that finds an ever-smaller market. It's a move opposed by many in Oakland, people who were complaining that the company that stands to profit most from the project, Bowie Resource Partners, has lavished campaign contributions on Utah lawmakers and the governor.

Also getting its way on the energy front was Rocky Mountain Power. A bill the electric monopoly wanted to supposedly open up its options for developing multiple sources of power for the future, but which critics say will unfairly burden ratepayers to the benefit of investors even as it subsidizes dirty coal and discourages clean solar, won approval.

The bill was killed in the House Thursday afternoon, only to be resurrected and passed later that evening. Such a flip-flop is hard to explain other than as an example of how a rich and powerful special interest is able to blatantly throw its weight around in the state Capitol.

The Legislature also kicked $4.5 million into a planned lawsuit that has as its utterly impossible goal forcing the federal government to sell or give up 31 million acres it owns in Utah. It's a down payment on a scheme that would cost taxpayers at least $14 million. To, almost certainly, no avail.

And it set in motion multi-million-dollar slurry of funds out of the already overwhelmed transportation fund and into another account that is intended to be used, at least in part, for water-piping boondoggles that include construction of a giant pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George and various dam projects along the Bear River.

But for the poor and the barely making it, lawmakers had zilch. The so-called Medicaid expansion plan it approved leaves hundreds of millions of federal health care dollars on the table in the hope that the state can get away, legally, politically and morally, with extending help only to some of the homeless, the recently imprisoned and a tiny number of others among the least of these. It blocked even a modest allowance of the use of medical marijuana for otherwise incurably sick people. It refused to pass a true hate crimes statute. It did far too little to clean up the air. It kept the death penalty.

In other words, if you were doing well in Utah before the Legislature convened, you are still doing well today. If not, well, that's supposed to be what elections are for.