Budget Rises to Top of Senate Priority List

(KCPW News) The budget is at the top of the Utah Senate’s priorities.  That’s what Senate Majority Leader said today  in a leadership briefing following opening ceremonies on the Senate floor. He specifically highlighted public education.

“We agree much the same as the Governor that education has gone a couple of years now without some funding that is dearly needed, so education will be high on the screen,” said Jenkins.

Senator Lyle Hillyard, Co-Chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee, says public ed is the most notably underfunded part of the budget, but there are equally strong needs in health and human services.

“We have $312 million of one-time money built in this current budget,” said Hillyard. “If we do nothing about it and we go into 2012 without doing anything about it, we’ll have in effect a 7 percent cut.”

Hillyard says in the first weeks of the session, Senate leadership will be focused on working with the appropriations subcommittees to develop a base budget.

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