Gov. Herbert says budget surplus will help one-time education expenses, but ‘long-term solution’ still needed

Royalty-free stock image via Pixabay, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY – State leaders announced Wednesday that the state of Utah will close out the prior fiscal year with a budget surplus. This announcement comes as the state Division of Finance wraps up its yearly analysis.

Under the division’s current calculation, it will deposit $107 million into state reserve accounts and the Industrial Assistance Fund. After accounting for these transfers, the division estimates there will be nearly $158 million in additional, one-time revenue available from FY 2018. This budget surplus includes $8 million in the General Fund and $150 million in the Education Fund.

“Balancing the budget and operating according to prudent fiscal policies are top priorities here in Utah,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert in a press release.

This one-time surplus revenue will help our legislature lend short-term support to our education system for one-time expenses such as buildings. But we still need a long-term solution to fund excellence in our classrooms.

Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said a responsible budget should “always spend less money than it takes in and set aside savings for a rainy day.”

“These surplus calculations are encouraging and reflect our growing economy,”  Niederhauser said, “but we must continue to be conservative when planning the entire state budget to ensure we find the correct fiscal balance.”

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes also pointed to the state’s “robust economy” as a cause of the revenue surplus numbers.

“I’m encouraged by them,” Hughes said. “However, we must remain vigilant as we plan for our future to continue investing in critical areas such as education, transportation, public safety and our rainy day fund.”

As mentioned above, Utah made significant deposits into rainy day reserve accounts during FY 2018. An additional $6 million went into the general rainy day fund, $65 million into the education rainy day fund, $30 million into Medicaid rainy day fund and $6 million into various other funds.

These numbers may slightly change as the state Division of Finance finalizes its calculations, officials said in the press release.

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  • jpff October 20, 2018 at 10:21 am

    May I suggest that a large part of this surplus could go into the medicaid fund, which will be needed fairly soon if we pass the proposition to include more people in the program?

  • tazzman October 20, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    So they run a surplus and yet the governor still wants a gas tax hike? Oy.

    • DRT October 20, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Oh yeah, seems he was not exactly thinking about what he was saying. They probably had to call the medics to help him get his foot out of his mouth. ?
      We don’t need any tax increases. All they need to do is bring in one of the big lotteries, and legalize marijuana, tax the heck out of both of them, and watch the money roll in.
      Of course even THAT wouldn’t satisfy the greedy bastards in the state house.

      • HerePliggyWiggy October 21, 2018 at 8:06 am

        Oh I can all but guarantee they are figuring out a way to legalize the marijuana without looking like a bunch of hypocrites. Remember Coka-Cola?

  • KR567 October 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Wow. you just referred to a group of people from a certain religion as ( greedy bastsrds ). considering they dont recognize the separation of church and state ..and that religous group runs the state and has total and complete free will to do whatever they want, I’d say you hit the nail on the head

  • HerePliggyWiggy October 21, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Teachers Union has him firmly in their pocket.

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