SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson introduced her proposed budget priorities for the 2024 fiscal year, which include several of what she called “investments in quality of life” for Salt Lake County residents. But some cuts are also on the table.

The good news

According to Wilson’s office, for children specifically, the budget would provide Salt Lake County children free rec center passes and eliminate library late fees.

“The budget recognizes the critical role of recreation centers in enhancing children’s well-being, both physically and mentally,” said a spokesperson for Wilson’s office. The proposal reportedly aims to remove financial barriers to activities and learning resources.

For Salt Lake County employees, the proposed budget would provide a 2.75% salary increase for general employees as well as additional pay for sworn officers. A round of “employee recognition pay” is also included.

The not-so-good news

The investments don’t come without a cost, however. Wilson said the proposed 2024 budget faces multiple challenges, including a slowdown in tax revenues, inflation, and increased healthcare costs.

To combat these challenges, Wilson proposed a hiring freeze for at least six months across Salt Lake County positions, with some undisclosed exceptions. The County will also restrict personnel expenditures, restrict the program budget by 2%, and reduce travel expenses county-wide by half.

The proposed budget would also reportedly deny 90% of new general fund requests, approving only in critical areas and fulfilling contractual requirements.

Before the proposed budget is finalized, it will go through a series of budget hearings before the county council. A vote for the final budget will be held on Dec. 5, 2023.