Gov. Spencer Cox unveils proposed fiscal year budget plans

Local News

UTAH (ABC4) – Infrastructure, education, and most importantly people were all the major focus of Governor Spencer Cox’s fiscal year 2023 budget recommendations on Tuesday morning.

With a scenic Great Salt Lake backdrop at Antelope Island, the Utah Governor laid out a financial plan addressing several key issues in the Beehive State.

One of the biggest is preserving Utah’s water levels, State water officials say Utah continues to deal with record drought.

As a signal to Utahns of how critical the issue of protecting Utah’s wetlands is Cox said “we chose this location very intentionally to signal to Utahn’s that this is a high priority to our administration.”

According to the Division of Wildlife Resources, the Great Salt Lake currently sits 4,190 feet. On average, it sits just over 4200 feet.

The Governor is proposing a budget of $520 million dollars for water infrastructure, with $46 million of that alone going to preserving the Great Salt Lake.

“The Great Salt Lake is an indispensable natural resource and we must protect it and the wetlands around it,” Cox said Tuesday.

The Governor says the Great Salt Lake contributes about 1.3 billion dollars to the state’s economy through recreation and tourism.

But he also says helping Utah families is critical so he’s proposing a $160 million grocery tax cut. As inflation continues and grocery prices surge, Gov. Cox says families still need food on the table and this proposed plan would allow Utahn’s to feed their families with a generous refundable tax credit.

The Governor explains that the plan would “significantly help two-parent and single-parent families. ultimately and this depends on how many kids you have and how much you make, this would really be a benefit to families. For instance, a single mom with two kids would get about $240 and only paying about  $80 in grocery tax” says Cox.

Speaking of families, the governor also is proposing $228 million to affordable housing and $184 million going towards public education. $55 million of that would go towards eliminating curricular school fees for families.

Lieutenant Governor Diedre Henderson says the plan also would allow funding for mental health resources.
“We truly believe all students should have access to the mental health services they need in order to succeed,” Henderson said.

The Lieutenant Governor also shared plans to bump up pay for Government workers, specifically with a cost of living increase.

State leaders say the “One Utah” road map plan is good for the state now and sets up future generations for success down the road.

Henderson adds “we need to continually innovate and improve and this what we’re proposing in this budget,”

For a detailed look at the proposed budget, you can visit gopd.utah.gov.

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