Lawmakers Grapple With Budget Cuts

Lawmakers Grapple With Budget Cuts

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(Salt Lake City- KSL TV) Utah Lawmakers are halfway through their session this year and they still have several big decisions to make, the biggest of which is balancing the state budget.

A panel of state and private economists will release tax revenue projections today. That may force lawmakers to make deeper budget cuts.

Kimberly Houk reports.

The state budget has been a huge headache for lawmakers this year. It's been what you'd call a "bad budget" year. And that's forcing legislators to take some drastic measures to keep from raising taxes.

They are asking state departments to carve another 2 percent off their budgets, in case the decrease is needed to balance the state budget.

This is in addition to the $99-million lawmakers have already taken from state agencies and programs starting next fiscal year.

One of the state programs affected is Utah's comprehensive Health Insurance Pool. It's a program that makes it possible for Utahns who can't get private health insurance to be covered by the state. More than 300,000 people will lose their coverage.

The decisions are going to be rough, but legislators expect to leave this session with a balanced budget.

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