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In 10 minutes, the Utah State Legislature spent more than $25 billion

Budget passage culminates months of work
Posted at 8:00 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 14:44:18-05

SALT LAKE CITY — In about 10 minutes, the Utah State Legislature spent more than $25 billion of your taxpayer dollars.

The legislature's powerful Executive Appropriations Committee, made up of House and Senate leadership, approved the largest budget in state history on Thursday night. It funds a lot of essential government services from roads to education.

"The bank is closed!" Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, the Senate's budget chief told FOX 13 News after the budget was approved.

This year was unusual. The legislature was flush with cash thanks to tax revenues from a booming economy and federal COVID-19 stimulus dollars. Lawmakers were also besieged with requests to fund projects and causes. Still, lawmakers found room to offer tax cuts including small reductions to the income tax and Social Security and earned-income tax credits.

The EAC socked money away into a rainy day fund, in case of economic downturn. They pumped millions into the Great Salt Lake and water conservation measures. Public education saw some big boosts in per-pupil spending, new programs and more support for teachers. Higher education will get spending hikes. More than $1 billion more was throw into transit and transportation projects.

This was a year, however, where lawmakers only partially funded a lot of causes. Affordable housing and homeless issues saw half of the funding they requested.

"Social services this year became the largest portion of the Utah state budget. That’s the fist time in history. It’s always been education to this point. Social services has surpassed education," said Sen. Stevenson.

The full legislature will vote on the budget — known as "The Bill of Bills" — on Friday.

Here's the original appropriations requests:

Read the additional funding requests here: