On Day 31 of the 2021 Legislative Session, Senator Stevenson shared the newest projected revenue numbers and estimates for the fiscal year on the Senate Floor. Projections show that the Legislature has almost $1.4 billion in extra cash to spend this year. The breakdown of that surplus from one-time and ongoing is as follows:
- $315 million increase in one-time money
- Approximately 1/4 from the General Fund and 3/4 from the Education Fund
- $112 million increase in ongoing money
- Approximately 1/3 from the General Fund and 2/3 from the Education Fund
However, economic uncertainty remains – While Utah is in a much better place compared to other states, job growth has not kept up. With the anticipation of COVID-19 vaccines becoming widely available by the end of May, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic. Governor Spencer Cox echoed this sentiment in a press conference held on Friday the 19th, “There still could be some headwinds coming, but we feel really good about where Utah is right now and where we’re headed for the rest of the session.”
Senator Stevenson made note that while there is more cash on hand this Legislative Session, in relation to bills, there is $1.3 billion in new money and one-time money but there is $2 billion in requests. Ultimately, there will still be “a lot of cuts between now and the end of the session.” There was hope that there would be even more money available with federal stimulus checks helping Utahns to spend more during the pandemic, but that did not happen. Sen. Stevenson did guarantee that the budget would be balanced in the end.