The Daily Buzz – February 23, 2016

Budget:

The House of Representatives, Senate and the Governor’s Office announced the final budget numbers for the 2016 General Session.

“The Utah Legislature has some of the best fiscal analysts of any state in the country,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “We do estimates in December and February to closely monitor the changes in the economy and our analysts respond accordingly. These combined revenue estimates have remained largely unchanged and give us the framework for completing our budget process.”

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After making adjustments related to increased income tax, lower severance tax and other revenue adjustments, the new consensus estimates provide $400 million for additional ongoing appropriations, $20 million higher than the December estimates. In addition, $150 million is available for one-time appropriations, $30 million lower than December estimates.

  • Utah’s combined General Fund and Education Fund revenue estimates remain largely unchanged from December, the combined effect of healthy increases in individual income taxes, reductions in oil and gas-related taxes, and an abundance of caution concerning the direction of markets. State economists tend to take a cautious approach to revenue estimating, an approach that has served the state well in the past.  Even given this approach, economists expect revenue will increase 4.5% year-over-year in the coming year.
  • State economists project economic growth will be stronger than expected in the fiscal year that begins July 1 (FY 2017), increasing ongoing revenue estimates by $20 million. This increased estimate is driven primarily by healthy increases in household incomes. The State is estimated to $400 million in new ongoing revenue to allocate this General Session. Of this total, $350 million is in the Education Fund and $50 million is in the General Fund.
  • Largely due to the effect of low oil and gas prices and caution related to global economic conditions, one-time FY 2016 collections are now expected to be $30 million (-0.5%) less than previously estimated in December. Even after that adjustment, Utah is estimated to have $150 million more in collections for FY 2016.

Recap:

Copper Hills High School students, Ethan Bastian and Noah Coleman, performed Cabinet Battle for the House Education Committee Monday, February 22. H.C.R. 12 is a resolution that honors Lin-Manuel Miranda for his contributions to art and civics education through his composition of the musical “Hamilton.”

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Congresswoman Mia Love addressed the House Monday morning. Click here to watch her remarks (begins at 12 mins).

The schedule for Tuesday, February 23, 2016:

8:00 AM: House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee CANCELED

8:00 AM: House Government Operations Committee

8:00 AM: House Political Subdivisions Committee

8:00 AM: House Revenue and Taxation Committee

10:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time

12:30 PM: House Rules Committee

2:00 PM: House Chamber, House Floor Time

4:05 PM: House Business and Labor Committee

4:10 PM: House Education Committee

4:10 PM: House Health and Human Services Committee

4:10 PM: House Public Utilities and Technology Committee CANCELED

Top Tweets:

ICYMI:

Legislature honors fallen officer Barney, injured officer Richey [Deseret News]

State Leaders Release Revised Revenue Numbers [Utah Reps]

State Rep. Ivory honors composer of Broadway’s ‘Hamilton,’ which brought him to tears [Salt Lake Tribune]

Rep. Love tells Legislature she looks to Utah to guide work in Congress [Deseret News]