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Utah legislature starts its work with base budgets

Jan 18, 2022, 8:42 AM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 1:03 pm

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The Utah 45 day legislative session starts Tuesday. Photo: Derek Peterson, KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah legislature has seven base budgets to pass as it begins its six-week general session. 

Base budgets take the previous year’s spending as a framework for the upcoming year. Legislative rules require them to be distributed on the opening day of the session. They must be passed within the first ten days.

Utah has a unique process for legislative appropriations. There is an executive appropriations committee, made up of party leaders and a few others who allocate funding to each of seven appropriations subcommittees.

Every member of the House and Senate sits on one of the subcommittees, which sets priorities for spending and looks at each line item in Utah’s $25 billion state budget. The work of each subcommittee is combined into a final document that is debated, amended and passed, typically in the final days or even hours of the session.

Governor Spencer Cox released his budget recommendations last month. Legislators are free to include, change or ignore them as they choose.

Citizens can attend the subcommittee meetings or watch the proceedings online and get detailed budget information through the legislature’s website, le.utah.gov.

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Utah legislature starts its work with base budgets