Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced their priorities on Monday for the fiscal year 2022 budget ahead of the upcoming legislative session. According to Cox, the $27.1 billion budget was made with the goals of enhancing opportunities for all, looking for long term solutions and improving the efficiency of government services.
Increasing education equitability in the state is one of the governor’s priorities in the budget, and some of the policy proposals included creating a weighted pupil add-on for both students at-risk of academic failure and students in rural communities. The proposal also included $112 million in educator bonuses.
Some of the other budget items are $250 million in coronavirus aid, $125 million for an upskilling initiative for those who are unemployed or underemployed, and $125 million for rural infrastructure including expanding broadband access. The budget also includes a proposal for an $80 million tax cut.
Although the governor creates a budget proposal before the legislative session each year, ultimately, the state legislature sets and passes the final state budget.