Governor Gary Herbert released his proposed budget for fiscal 2012-2013 on Monday, giving Utah’s Medicaid and education funding a boost.
Herbert wants Utah schools to get an additional $111 million and $156 million for the state’s growing Medicaid costs. Higher education would see an additional $23 million, and the budget includes more than $20 million in economic development incentives and $11.6 million for job creation.
Herbert also wants more than $26 million in tax cuts in unemployment insurance contributions for businesses and 1 percent pay raises for teachers and other state employees. Utah has an extra $400 million to spend, with $128 million in one-time tax surpluses and about $280 million in tax revenue growth due to the state’s economic recovery.
With the governor facing another election in 2012, he is aiming his budget at conservative voters by cutting taxes for businesses to promote growth, and families by focusing on funding education. Utah is expecting 12,500 new students in its over-crowded and under funded system next year. The budget does not address construction or large class size. Utah spends less per student than any other state in the nation.