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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Surplus Challenge

Glen Warchol addresses the growing budget surplus in Surplus cash brings cheers and groans.

Dig into the legislator quotes and you can grab a thumbnail education on the current budget landscape in the Utah State Legislature.

John Valentine:
Senate President John Valentine points out that most of the $172 million surplus at the 2006 session and the $351 million now, is generated by income taxes that are earmarked for education alone.

"We are going to see significant pressure for increased spending in education and that's a good thing," he says, but, "We are very concerned the general fund is not growing."

The general fund, mainly made up of sales tax revenues, pays for all other government services.
Curt Bramble:
"In my six years in the Legislature, we have not seen near the acrimony and contention as in the last session," Bramble says, "In many ways it was driven by the [surplus] money...."
Greg Hughes:
"We can invest in education or we can invest in transportation, or - more importantly - we can return it to the taxpayer," says Hughes, chairman of the Republican Conservative Caucus. Hughes and his colleagues warn that gleeful spending in times of surplus means inevitable painful cuts in times of deficit.


Blogger Natalie said...

As a taxpayer, I would rather see the increased tax revenue invested in education and transportation. During times of deficit, promises are made to make up the shortages and cuts when money isn't so tight. Now that money isn't so tight, I hope the legislature will keep those promises. I'd also like to see some pro-active planning for the future. How much remediation money will we save later if we put more reading specialists in the lower grades, and if we offer voluntary all-day kindergarten at Title 1 schools?

8/03/2006 3:54 PM  

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