2022 Legislative Update: Week 1

January 18-21, 2022

2022 Session Overview

Legislative leaders estimate an additional $930 million in new revenues for FY23 due to a record amount of tax fund collections. Governor Cox and lawmakers are exploring several options to reduce taxes, including a food tax credit and an income tax cut. Projected FY23 revenue growth as of December 2021 is:

  • General Fund (Sales Tax): $245 million
  • Education Fund (Income Tax): $685 million

Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee (HEAS) held its first hearing with a presentation from the Utah System of Higher Education. Commissioner Woolstenhulme reviewed the Utah Board of Higher Education’s Strategic Plan, emphasizing System priorities: access, completion, affordability, workforce alignment, and research. In addition, the subcommittee was given a review of the past year’s efforts regarding student affairs, equity, diversity and inclusion, technical education, and academic affairs.

The subcommittee also received a Financial and Performance Summary for all USHE institutions from Juliette Tennert, USHE’s Chief Financial Officer, as of January 3, 2022. The Commissioner and Tennert also presented the Board’s Systemwide Unified Budget Priorities. Below are the details regarding this request: 

  • Technical Education Institution Priorities
    • $9,350,000 for technical program growth and capacity
    • $5,000,000 one-time for technical education equipment
    • $1,666,800 for Snow College and SLCC technical institution parity
    • $522,000 for custom fit
    • $743,000 for operation and maintenance
  • Degree-Granting Institution Priorities
    • $35,000,000 for performance funding institutional priorities
    • $4,992,000 for growth funding
    • $685,600 for operation maintenance 
  • Systemwide Priorities
    • $5,000,000 (one-time) for statewide advocacy and awareness campaign
    • $3,500,000 (one-time) for shared services implementation
    • $3,000,000 for mental health
    • $1,000,000 for a statewide online education program

Capital Development

Commissioner Woolstenhulme and Tennert also presented the Board’s Capital Development priority rankings to the Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. The presentation, including the rankings, is available here.

Upcoming Appropriations Subcommittee Meetings: 

  • Monday, January 24, 8:00 AM Agenda | Virtual Link
  • Wednesday, January 26, 8:00 AM
  • Friday, January 28, 8:00 AM

Legislation of Interest:

HB 71 – Financial Education and Savings Plan to Benefit At-Risk Children by Sen. Fillmore — creates the Parental Coaching to Encourage Student Savings Program that would provide financial training to parents of children experiencing intergenerational poverty, encourage the parents to save money for their child’s higher education expenses, and offer a financial contribution to a my529 savings account.

SB 32 – Utah K-12 Reading Clinic by Sen. Millner — codifies the Utah K-12 Reading Clinic at the University of Utah. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

SB 42 – Higher Education Performance Funding Goals by Sen. Millner — codifies five-year performance goals for the Utah System of Higher Education and each institution of higher education. This bill has passed in the senate and is currently with the House Education Committee.