Utah state budget
Lawmakers approved the $13 billion Utah state budget for FY2013 on March 8, 2012. It increases spending from the prior year by approximately $440 million. In December 2011, Gov. Gary Herbert proposed a $12.9 billion budget for FY2013, which would increase funding for K-12 education and higher education.
Utah operates on an annual budget cycle. The state's fiscal year begins July 1.
Utah has a total state debt of approximately $24,582,129,000 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Unemployment Trust Fund loans, and the budget gap.  The FY2013 state debt is slightly lower than the prior year's approximate debt total of $24,792,086,000.
Utah's total state debt per capita is $8,725.66.
According to a 2012 study by 24/7 Wall Street, Utah is the fourth best run state taking into account debt per capita, budget deficits, unemployment, median household income, and the percentage of the percentage of the population below the poverty line. The best run state is North Dakota and the worst run state is California. 
A new Fraser Institute report on economic freedom ranks Utah 10th in economic Freedom. Delaware ranks 1st and New Mexico ranks 50th. The study examines the impact of economic freedom on both the level of economic activity and the growth of economic activity. According to the study, the freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying upon personal choice and markets to answer basic economic questions. More governmental restrictions on those choices curbs economic freedom. The study looks at three major categories per state – size of government, taxes and regulations. 
Federal Aid to State Budget
The chart below represents how much of the state’s budget comes from the federal government. The number is the corresponding ranking in relation to the rest of the nation (if #1, the state receives the highest percentage of federal funding in the nation):
|Utah||26.33% (#36)||30.02% (#36)||33.06% (#38)||31.55% (#39)|
Figures are calculated by dividing each state’s intergovernmental revenue into its general revenue. Data is available at in U.S. Census.
FY2014 State Budget
In the governor's proposed budget, $297.6 million of the projected additional state revenue, approximately 2/3 of revenue, goes to public and higher education. That includes $26 million for the weighted pupil unit, in which school officials wanted to see a 2 percent increase, while Herbert recommended just more than 1 percent increase.
FY2013 State Budget
Lawmakers approved the $12.81 billion Utah state budget on March 8, 2012. It increases spending from the prior year by approximately $440 million. State revenues are projected to increase by more than $360 million.
The budget does not raise taxes.
The total state debt will drop about $130 million under the plan. Still, the state has about $1,200 in debt for every Utahn.
Highlights of the budget include:
- a 1 percent raise for state employees, including higher education employees and lawmakers set aside money for school districts to give K-12 teachers 1 percent raises;
- $87 million more funds than FY2012 for Medicaid to address the increase of Utahns enrolling in the program;
- $110 million in new funds for public education, including the $41 million the governor requested to cover an enrollment increase of 12,500 students.
Of the total budget funds, 27 percent come from the federal government.
Governor's Proposed Budget
- $2.5 billion would go to K-12 public education with $111 million in new funding, including $41 million to help cover an enrollment increase of 12,500 students during the next school year;
- $93 million more in higher education funding.
The budget spends $160 million more than FY2012 on Medicaid, with enrollment in the program expected to grow by 39,000 individuals.
A budget summary released by Herbert shows that state revenues are climbing to $5 billion from a low of $4.2 billion two years ago. The plan does not include any tax increases. The governor asked lawmakers to cut unemployment insurance tax rates for the state’s 85,000 employers, “and allow them to create more jobs and hire more people.”
Lawmakers will discuss the governor's proposed budget when the legislative session opens Jan. 23, 2012.
FY2012 State Budget
State lawmakers first created the FY2012 state budget with 7% across the board cuts budget based on revenue projections made in December 2010, but the February 2011 projections showed that the state would have more revenue would be higher than expected. Lawmakers then restored money to the base budget that was originally cut.
The $12 billion budget FY2012 is essentially flat, with an additional $50 million proposed for public education and about $37 million for Medicaid growth.
State parks lost $4 million in ongoing funds, but it was replaced with $4 million in one-time money. While lawmakers said they were working to find ongoing funds, it likely won’t be the full $4 million.
Medicaid cost the state $1.8 billion, which is approximately 9 percent of the state budget.
A summary of the budget prepared by the state can be found here.
The structural imbalance in the FY 2012 budget is approximately $52 million, down substantially from $313 million in FY 2011.
The Legislature found a way to fund K-12 public education higher than the governor asked, with an increase of $50 million, and it also funded the growth of students in the system, more than 14,000 of them. The budget cuts funding to higher education by 2.5% but said that colleges and universities could make up the difference in raising tuition fees for students. The increase of $50 million includes $34.5 million ongoing and $15.6 million in one-time funds.
Governor's Proposed Budget
Gov. Herbert's proposed $11.9 billion FY2012 budget addresses $313 million structural imbalance resulting from the end of federal stimulus funds and other one-time sources of revenue primarily by relying on economic growth. The Executive Appropriations Committee cut $329 million, which is 7%, from the Governor's proposed budget.
The proposed budget provides almost $3 billion public for K-12 education budget. It also includes a proposed change in income tax collections for the self-employed, expected to generate $130 million.
Governor Herbert said his FY 2012 budget recommendations reflected five key goals:
- Increase funding for public education
- Protect critical functions
- Reduce the structural imbalance
- Retain a responsible balance in the budget reserve accounts
- Balance the budget without tax increases
In 2008, the Utah State Legislature passed SB 38. The bill proposed the availability of public financial information on the Internet. Additionally it modified notice requirements of the Open and Public Meetings Act.  As noted below, Utah's spending transparency website was launched in May 2009.
|State Database||Searchability||Grants||Contracts||Line Item Expenditures||Dept/Agency Budgets||Public Employee Salary|
Although this database does not list information about Utah's contracts, that information has been made available here.
- See also: Evaluation of Utah state website
Multi-Measure Budget Transparency Profile
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois has created a multi-measure transparency profile for Utah, which measures state transparency as of September 2011 using indicators from a range of organizations, including Sunshine Review. These indicators measure both website transparency and other recognized facets of governmental transparency. In addition, IGPA presents four unique indicators of non-transparency based on the observation that transfers or reassignments between general and special funds can obscure the true fiscal condition of a state.
Utah's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. Every year the state's agencies submit budget requests along with past expenditures and allocations. Usually by December the Governor develops a budget recommendation which is then delivered to the Legislature. Following a series of hearings and discussions the Senate and the House make any necessary changes before approving the final bill. Once the appropriations bills are debated and the Legislature as a whole passes them the bills are signed by the Governor. 
By law, the Governor, within three days after the convening of the Legislature in the annual general session, submits a budget for the ensuing fiscal year. However, at least 34 days before the submission of any budget, the Governor delivers a confidential draft copy of his proposed budget recommendations.
John Nixon is Executive Director of the Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB). The Budget section under the direction of Phillip Jeffery, provides budgetary analyses, reviews program plans and budget details, and prepares budget detail for the annual Governor's Budget Recommendation to the Utah State Legislature. At the conclusion of each general session, analysts summarize appropriations and monitor expenditures throughout the year.
The Utah Office of the State Auditor is responsible for state and local audits. The Financial Audit Division is responsible for auditing all state departments, agencies and colleges and universities. The Local Government Division ensures uniform accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting by Utah's local governments. Audit reports for the current year and two prior years are available online. Older reports not listed on their Web site may be obtained by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Auston Johnson has been State Auditor since July 1995 and was re-elected for a four-year term starting January 1, 2009.
The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rates Utah “Timely” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – The annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states timely, 22 states tardy, and 6 states as worst. IFTA does not consider Utah's CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis does not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care. Utah's CAFRs are a publication of the Utah Division of Finance (DAF), a division within the Utah State Department of Administrative Services (DAS). Kimberly K. Hood is Executive Director of the DAS, and John Reidhead is the Director of the Division of Finance, Utah's chief fiscal officer and responsible for exercising accounting control over state departments and agencies except institutions of higher education. DAF responsibilities include:
- Procedures for the approval and allocation of funds
- Accounting control over fund assets
- Approval of proposed expenditures
The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) was created by the Forty-fourth Legislature in March 1981 with passage of the Administrative Services Act. This action was a result of an organizational study of state administrative services by the Governor's Committee on Executive Reorganization (Agency #357).
Utah has received $1.5 billion in federal funding.
According to 2008 Census data, the state of Utah and local governments in the state employed a total of 179,899 people. Of those employees, 112,162 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $445,209,194 per month and 67,737 were part-time employees paid $60,442,587 per month. More than 60% of those employees, or 108,104 employees, were in education or higher education.
- State Budget Solutions, Utah
- The Sutherland Institute
- Utah Waste Busters
- Utah Taxpayers Association
- Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
- Local government budget reports
- Model transparency legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council is available at this link.
- Department of Finance, Utah Budget
- [Department of Finance, Utah Budget 2009-2010]
- Utah State Legislature
- Utah State and Local Spending 1992-2010 Charts
- Utah: State and Local Government on the Net
- National Center for State Courts: Budget Processes for State Budgets 2009
- US Census Bureau: State and Local Government Finances (Utah)
- Utah State Archives Catalog
- ↑ The Daily Herald "Mostly quiet Legislative session concludes March 9, 2012
- ↑ The Salt Lake Tribune "Budget grows as state shakes off recession" March 9, 2012
- ↑ Businessweek "Utah governor unveils $12.9B budget proposal" Dec. 12, 2011
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting" April 2011
- ↑ Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' third annual State Debt Report shows total state debt over $4 trillion" Aug. 28, 2012
- ↑ State Budget Solutions “Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion” Oct. 24, 2011
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "State debt more than $37,000 per private worker, $13,000 per capita" Oct. 2, 2012
- ↑ Yahoo, The Best- and Worst-Run States in America, Nov. 27, 2012
- ↑ Fraser Institute, Economic Freedom of North America 2012
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 The Desert News "Education gets top priority in Gov. Gary Herbert's $12.8 billion budget plan" Dec. 12, 2012
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Utah FY2012-13 Appropriations Report by the Legislative Fiscal Analyst May 2012
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 The Daily Herald "Mostly quiet Legislative session concludes March 9, 2012
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 The Salt Lake Tribune "Budget grows as state shakes off recession" March 9, 2012
- ↑ KOAMtv.com Aug. 23, 2012
- ↑ The Denver Post "Costs of big wildfire season hurting some states" Aug. 23, 2012
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Businessweek "Utah governor unveils $12.9B budget proposal" Dec. 12, 2011
- ↑ Businessweek "Governors Seeking Jobs Offer Tax Breaks as Budget Woes Ease" Jan. 31, 2012
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 The Daily Herald "State budget done, cuts not as deep as once expected" March 11, 2011
- ↑ Washington Examiner "Utah budget mostly flat, won't tap reserves" March 5, 2011
- ↑ KCPW.org "Higher Ed, Parks Lose Funding in Latest Budget Plan" March 8, 2011
- ↑ The Salt Lake Tribune "Utah’s Medicaid not the budget-buster you might think" Aug. 24, 2011
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 The Deseret News "2011 Legislature: Budget, immigration biggest legislative issues" Jan. 23, 2011
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Deseret News "Utah legislative leaders slash 7 percent from state budget" Jan. 25, 2011
- ↑ State of Utah, "Performance Elevated," retrieved April 7, 2009
- ↑ Governor's Office of Planning and Budget,"Budget Process," retrieved April 7,2009
- ↑ National Association of Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States," 2008
- ↑ Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget Web site, retrieved November 16, 2009
- ↑ Utah Office of the State Auditor Web site, retrieved November 16, 2009
- ↑ Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
- ↑ Utah State Department of Administrative Services Web site, retrieved November 16, 2009
- ↑ Utah State Department of Administrative Services Web site, retrieved November 16, 2009
- ↑ State of Indiana, “State Credit Ratings-as of June 24, 2009"
- ↑ Recovery, "Stimulus Spending by State"
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 35.2 2008 Utah Public Employment U.S. Census Data