Last night Governor Jon Huntsman, House Speaker Greg Curtis, and Senate President John Valentine met to discuss budget cuts and decided to spare the budgets of three state agencies. The Department of Corrections, Health and Human Services, and Higher Education will likely be protected from cuts by the House and Senate. Representative Ron Bigelow says the legislature needs to be careful when considering cuts to these departments.
"There were some issues that were done when you go across the board with a cut, you pick up everything, and some of those are more critical than others, the individuals who are impacted, and so some of those we went back and said, look, these are serious issues and we do need to perhaps be a little more cautious than across the board," Bigelow said.
Bigelow says the legislature faces more budget challenges in the upcoming general session. He says other agencies that have just cut three percent may have to cut more.
"We have done kind of the broad based items, and those are pretty easy. Now we need to look at, okay if you go in now you need to be more careful because you start cutting some programs more the impact magnifies significantly. In other words, that extra one percent or two percent that you might cut has a very dynamic effect and starts to really hit issues," Bigelow said.
All budget cuts will likely be finalized by this evening.
(An earlier version mistakenly identified Representative Bigelow as Representative David Clark.)