State auditor worried about spending, warns Utah may be depending too much on federal money

Jun 11, 2021, 9:53 AM
utah federal money...
Utah State Capitol. 1/27/20 (Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)
(Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s state auditor says the state may be relying too much on federal money after seeing how much of it Utah spent during the pandemic.

John Dougall’s new report says Utah spent a lot of federal money during the pandemic, and that might be a problem in the years to come.

Utah spent more than $6.7 billion dollars in federal funds during the pandemic. Dougall predicts Utah will start to have even more dependency on federal money over the next five to ten years as more stimulus comes here.

He’s urging caution with the ongoing spending built on an allotment of one-time money, because what do you do when that money stops?

The federal funds Utah spent in 2020 represented more than 25% of the total fiscal year 2020 expenditures. Most of that funding was the Unemployment Compensation program.

Auditors also were concerned about weaknesses they saw in the budget office’s monitoring how local governments spent COVID-19 relief funds.

Read the full audit here.

The Office of the State Auditor released two charts to show the spending information.

The first graph shows the historical percentage of Utah expenditures from federal transfers.

The second graph illustrates the historical growth of total state expenditures and of federal transfers. State expenditures are shown in blue on the left axis of the graph in billions of dollars, and federal transfers received by the State are shown in red on the right axis.

“The magnitude of the ongoing federal subsidy is troubling, due to Congress’ complete disregard for any sense of fiscal responsibility, said Dougall in the report. He also noted “the increasing dependence of state and local governments on federal subsidies, and the heightened economic and inflationary reactions from the magnitude of irresponsible federal spending.”

Today’s Top Stories

All News

President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 202...
Donald Judd, CNN

President Joe Biden officially cleared to emerge from isolation following rebound Covid-19 case

 President Joe Biden was officially cleared to emerge from isolation Sunday after a second negative Covid-19 test, his physician announced.
12 hours ago
Curt Gresseth

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

The 2022 Subaru Outback outscored six other midsize sedans in an updated side-crash test, which more accurately reflects real-world conditions than the previous test.
12 hours ago
dead fish at a small tributary of the Klamath River, near Happy Camp, California, on August 5, 2022...
By Raja Razek and Christina Maxouris, CNN

Thousands of dead fish are washing up along a California river. It’s because of a massive wildfire and flash floods, the Karuk Tribe says

"Tens of thousands" of dead fish have washed up along the Klamath River in the area of Happy Camp in northern California this week.
2 days ago
salt lake flooding...
Simone Seikaly

UPDATE: Flooding, road closures, and power outages in SLC

Rocky Mountain Power reports that more than 3,490 customers are without power in the 84115, 84106, 84105, and 84119 zip codes.
2 days ago
Weather advisory....
Waverly Golden

UPDATE: Flood advisory for portions of Salt Lake Valley and Davis County

NWS reported that these storms historically produce minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas. 
2 days ago
Image of the scene where a man stole an excavator and broke a water line (Photo courtesy of Ray Boo...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: Man steals excavator and starts ripping up the ground, breaks water line

A water line broke by a Smith's parking lot earlier after a man stole an excavator and began ripping up the ground. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

State auditor worried about spending, warns Utah may be depending too much on federal money