Tag Archives: legislature

The Guv’s Fiscal 2012 Budget Recommendations

Governor Herbert’s Fiscal 2012 Budget Recommendations can be viewed in their entirety here:

Links to more information, reviews and articles on the Budget Recommendations can be found at this Google Search Engine Page.

I will be posting on select budget items throughout the legislative session.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Micro-managing school budgets vs. the real issues

The two fundamental problems in our educational system in Utah are (1) not enough per pupil spending (Utah is last in the nation) and (2) top heavy spending in the school districts (administration, etc.) for what benefits students are actually receiving.  #1 is by far the greatest issue.  Yet some legislators are choosing what I consider to be minor issues on which to focus in the budget of Utah’s already suffering school system.

Yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune posted the piece Utah to reevaluate who pays for school supplies .


Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, is sponsoring a resolution that would amend the constitution so schools could ask students to voluntarily provide their own school supplies.

Powell is quoted as saying the teachers “are afraid to ask students” to bring any materials to class, resulting in teachers paying out of their own pockets.

I do not know of any teacher who is “afraid” to ask the parents of students if they can bring materials in to class.  I think this statement is a generalization based on deductive reasoning that has no statistical basis.


His proposal is one that’s drawn vocal opposition from some state school board members who fear the proposal is one that would allow the state to shirk its financial responsibility when Utah already spends less per student than any state in the country.


“The idea of financing our education system by parents and children bringing in their own supplies _ that’s a diversion from what is really supposed to be happening _ that is the school system in this state is supposed to be financed by the Legislature,” said board member Leslie Brooks Castle, who represents Salt Lake City.


“It’s really a relinquishment. It really is a way to discriminate against people who don’t have as much.”


Utah is 14th in median household income.  This means that there are 36 states with lower median household incomes spending more per pupil in public education.   Wyoming is 19th in median household income and yet spends double what Utah does in per pupil spending.  Idaho is 37th in median household income and 49th in per pupil spending.  Mississippi is last in the U.S. in median household income and is 6 ranks above Utah in per pupil spending.  Why is it that Utah is last in per pupil spending?  There is definitely something wrong with this picture.  Micromanaging the education budget with things like who spends what for supplies is a mockery in light of  the real budgetary issues facing Utah’s educational system.

(statistics garnered from Wikipedia the Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics).

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Poverty in Utah – It ain’t pretty and it ain’t improving

A report on poverty in Utah recently released publishes this information:

  • 14% of Utahns have no net worth
  • People are working more than one job and those jobs aren’t paying enough for families to make ends meet
  • Utah’s poverty rate has gone from 9.4% to 10.2% in the last five years
  • The uninsured rate among low-income Utah children grew by more than 90% in the last five years
  • Utah renters earn an average of less than $10 per hour while the average one-bedroom apartment requires a wage of nearly $11 per hour

The legislature recently announced a budget surplus.  While the governor and others would like to see that money go to teachers – and no doubt some of that money should – it is clear that there are other areas that are in dire need of attention.   Human services need top priority.

HIll Happenings

Articles appearing in today’s News about Utah Legislature

Salt Lake Tribune
Huntsman vetoes 3 more bills: Measures potentially unfair, unconstitutional, he says
Breaking: Huntsman vetoes bonding, parental control bills (includes links to other articles about the governor’s bill-signing)

Deseret News
Huntsman nixes 3 bills, 4 budgetary line items: The vetoes include road funds, parent rights bills
Stadium-funding options limited? Legislature wanted hotel tax funds used, Horiuchi says

HIll Happenings

Articles appearing in today’s News about Utah Legislature

Salt Lake Tribune
With guv’s signature, Lori’s Law now official–In honor of murder victim: It upgrades minimum for first-degree felony murder from five years to 15 years
Huntsman stalls on big bills: He leaves many controversial bills until last, as clock ticks

Deseret News
Huntsman to decide fate of 30 bills today
Utahns fail quiz on own legislators
Utahns support Huntsman tax plan, removal of the food tax
Veto of lands bill sought
Huntsman signs bill to reduce food tax

Utah’s Budget

Today’s Deseret News reports that legislators have been able to get an official preview of Utah’s budget proposal in approrpriations subcommittee meetings on Tuesday.
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