Governor Mead Makes Recommendations For Final State Budget
Governor Matt Mead’s final recommendations for the budget prioritizes education, local governments, state employees, and public infrastructure.
The recommended expenditures total to $148 Million and resulted from increased revenue identified by the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) in October.
In an effort to aid local governments, Mead has suggested $20 million for a consensus grant fund, $1.5 million for local governments to create local resource plans, and $5 million in additional direct aid.
In regard to education, Mead recommended that money be allotted for additional UW scholarships, the development of UW science programs, and K-12 expenses that include new school construction.
“In recent years we have drained over $500 million from the school foundation’s rainy day account. Through a series of other transfers and redirection of general funds, we have moved approximately $500 million or more to support the school foundation program and school construction,” Mead said in a press release. “This practice avoids the reality of deficit spending to maintain K-12 funding and creates a dynamic in which the general needs of government compete with schools for limited state resources.”
Mead also requested a raise for all state employees, including those working at state-funded colleges.
“The number of full time state employees has decreased by 279 since I took office. State employees have not had a pay raise in over four years,” Mead said. “We are seeing wages increasing in the private sector. As we see turnover rates among state workers increasing, it is important to preserve a strong, knowledgeable, and skilled workforce.”
Among Mead’s other recommendations were a government emergency operations account, funding for the child health insurance program (CHIP), and the restoration of the state cervical and breast cancer treatment programs.