Gov. Spencer J. Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson unveiled their 2022 budget priorities, featuring major investments in education, infrastructure, open space and a tax decrease.
The $21.7 billion budget includes $250 million to assist the state’s public health partners, households, businesses and schools affected by the coronavirus; $125 million for an upskilling initiative focused on helping those out of work or needing a better job; $350 million to double-track FrontRunner; $50 million to improve transportation in the Wasatch canyons; $125 million for open space and trails; $125 million for rural infrastructure including expanding broadband access; and $112 million for educator bonuses.
The proposal also includes an $80 million tax cut.
As a result of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, lawmakers cut back and tightened spending last summer.
That prudence has resulted in substantial available revenue, with the state projecting $728 million in ongoing additional education/general fund revenue and $1.268 billion in one-time revenue available.
This creates a unique opportunity to make strategic investments that will improve the quality of life for generations of Utahns, according to the governor’s office.
“Conquering COVID is our number one priority at present, but we must also look toward a bright horizon,”Cox said. “These long-term investments in our children and our infrastructure will help us now and long into the future. We look forward to working with the Legislature as we find the best ways to serve Utahns and this budget is the start.”