Gov's Budget Would Boost Air Funding
Air quality initiatives to address Utah's air pollution would receive critical funding under the governor's proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2015. Governor Herbert's budget recommendations include a one-time appropriation of $1.8 million for air quality research, $1.3 million for grants to help small businesses reduce their emissions, and $14.3 million to convert aging school buses and state fleet vehicles to cleaner models.
"I'm very pleased with the Governor's budget proposal," said executive director Amanda Smith. "Governor Herbert has directed DEQ to make air quality a priority and this budget proposal reflects the ability to do that."
The governor's $13.3 billion budget also includes $600,000 to increase energy efficiency in state buildings and $50,000 for the Division of Radiation Control's Radon Program. Ongoing funding proposed for water monitoring in Snake Valley would help track water drawdowns that could contribute to fugitive dust transport into Wasatch Front nonattainment areas.
Top priorities for the governor include education ($8.3 billion), transportation ($1.1 billion), Medicaid and other social services ($865 million) and the corrections system ($550 million). The proposed budget also includes a modest across-the-board pay increase for state employees (1 percent).
Sources of funding for DEQ's proposed $58 million operating budget include:
$13.1 million from General Funds
$18.6 million from federal funds
$8.8 million from dedicated credits
$13.3 million from restricted and trust funds
$4.2 million from other funds
The Legislature will finalize the 2015 fiscal year budget, which runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30 2015, during its 45-day session beginning in January 2014.