LEHI, Utah (ABC4 News) As Utah’s state revenue reaches record highs, Governor Gary Herbert announced lofty plans on how to use $19 million in the 2020 fiscal year.
More than 40 percent of the budget, $7.7 billion, is proposed to go to public education.
Gov. Herbert proposed increasing per-pupil funding by 4 percent at a press conference Thursday at Silicone Slopes.
Qualifying teachers will receive $30 million in one-time money for teacher bonuses. More than $117 million will be used to strengthen student mental health, including suicide prevention in schools.
“We are going to put a historical amount of increase in our public and higher education, not only have our children go to a safer environment but also get a quality education,” Gov. Herbert said.
Gov. Herbert also wants to spend an unprecedented $100 million to improve Utah’s air quality. By joining the Utah Division of Air Quality, the governor’s administration aims to reduce per-capita emissions by 25 percent by 2026.
“The environmental issues are real and so we’ve done some good things, but that’s not where we need to be.”
Tax reform was also proposed, including a $200 million reduction by cutting sales tax.
The proposal will be discussed by state lawmakers in the next legislative session.