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The Utah State Budget Report for FY16-17

  • Author(s): Ball, Jonathan
  • Tennert, Juliette
  • Robinson, Jennifer
  • et al.
Abstract

Formulation of Utah’s $15.1 billion FY 2017 budget as usual reflected the state’s characteristic fiscal conservatism, however this year featured two notable changes – recognition of the state’s commitment to education, and a long-sought compromise on Medicaid expansion.  As usual, a big share of new funding – more than two thirds – supported public and higher education.  The total amount – $446 million – was 15% less than new money provided in the previous session.  However, the Governor and Press praised legislative efforts this year, whereas last year’s appropriations were met by public protest. The debate about Medicaid Expansion, a hot topic in Utah, finally reached a compromise. The plan is not considered “full expansion” under the Affordable Care Act, but it does provide medical coverage to the neediest individuals experiencing poverty.  Other notable budget changes include reversal and redirection of several transportation tax earmarks, and funding to challenge the federal government over control of public land.

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