Tight budget concerns Sen. Hillyard

A lot of what decisions are made by the Utah Legislature this session hinges on final revenue figures expected to be released Tuesday. As co-chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee, Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, has his work cut out for him.Hillyard says that he’s greatly concerned about overhauling the state’s expensive retirement system and there are other worries, too.”We’ve identified about $300 million in ongoing programs that need to be funded,” Hillyard explains. “For example, our retirement has taken a real hit; unless we do something significant with that, we’re going to be unfunded with our retirement. “We have growth in public education and that’s going to be about $75-$80 million. That’s for about 11,000 new students at last year’s level. We haven’t funded anything, the governor hasn’t funded anything for health insurance costs.”Hillyard says he’s hoping Medicaid will not be expanded as part of a national health care reform plan because that would end up hurting the state financially.

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