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Most of largest state budget in history going toward education

(FILE) The Utah State Captiol on the opening day of the state legislative session 1/27/20 (Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers put together the largest state budget in history: A $20 billion budget, and it’s driven mostly by new growth in the state.

“It’s a lean year for programs other than education,” said House Speaker Brad Wilson. “We have to try to find that balance, but I think we are going to be okay.”

Lawmakers gave the Weighted Pupil Unit a 5% increase — the biggest one-year increase to that unit of student spending in a while.

The budget also gives state workers a 3% raise, with some employees getting an additional 2%, like in Human Services, prison workers and at state liquor stores.

Wilson told KSL Newsradio’s Dave and Dujanovic show, based on the information they have now the state budget is great.

“But economic conditions can change,” he said. “They can get better, they can get worse, they can stay how we are forecasting. We will see.”

He acknowledged that the legislature may have to meet in a special session later to make tweaks to spending.

The session ends Thursday at midnight. As of Monday morning, 230 bills remain on the table and 210 have passed.

Dave and Dujanovic asked Wilson about the vaping bills. He said those, and others with fiscal notes attached, were waiting until the budget was in place. Now they should advance.

Wilson would also still like an income tax cut for Utahns.

“We have some money set aside for tax relief, or putting it in a rainy day fund. We have some rain out there, so we’ll have to decide what to do this week,” he said.



Gov. Herbert makes state budget recommendations for next fiscal year