(KCPW News) Democrats in the Utah Legislature were united in their opposition to the 2012 public education base budget approved in both the Senate and House this morning. It increases funding to accommodate more students, but as Senate Minority Whip Karen Morgan pointed out, it eliminates several educational programs.
“Those programs are adult education, transportation funding, K-3 reading program, school nurse funding, USTAR centers,” said Morgan, describing a few of the programs. She also said: “I believe that there’s some smoke and mirrors going on here.”
Morgan also noted that the budget plan would cut education spending by 11.2 percent, which goes beyond the 7 percent cut Republicans were initially looking for.
But Republican Senator Lyle Hillyard said later on in the session, lawmakers will restore some of the programs that were cut in this budget blueprint.
“I think what it did is it funded the growth that we wanted to do, and now we can zero in on those other programs that have been put in to see which ones we want to keep and how far we want to fund them and handle them,” said Hillyard.
In the Senate, the vote split strictly along party lines, with Republicans supporting it and Democrats rejecting it. In the House, one Republican joined Democratic lawmakers in opposing the base budget.
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