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Money is always a core issue when the legislature convenes. This year, though, the task of figuring out how to distribute the state’s limited resources is especially daunting. We don’t envy those who have the responsibility to do it.
A top priority during the annual legislative session that begins Monday will be finding a way to adequately fund education. It won’t be easy. But, KSL believes a well-educated workforce is key to the state’s economic future. Regardless of the dire fiscal outlook, Utah’s students must not be shortchanged!
Therefore, in building the budget important questions need to be asked.
How important is it to build new highways now and keep those already in use in good repair? To what extent should the state’s general fund subsidize water development?
In short, in view of the limited resources available currently, aren’t children more important than new roads and low interest loans to water companies?
And what of mandated government programs such as Medicaid and a variety of human services and public safety issues. For example, is the populace prepared to have hundreds of prison inmates turned back onto the streets for lack of money to keep them behind bars?
As we said, deciding where the money will go is a daunting task. But it is a job lawmakers can accomplish successfully if they can somehow forsake their political whims and focus intently on the long-term impact of their decisions.