State Senator Lyle Hillyard says a mistake in a transportation funding bill that has greatly reduced the money Cache County and all its cities, including Logan, would get needs to be corrected.
Hillyard says he has offered to help to make that happen and he believes the State Association of Cities and Towns is working on the issue as well.
Hillyard says he has been told by Logan Mayor Craig Petersen that Logan is out about $300,000 in transportation money because of the error.
“It’s all part of a Hold Harmless provision,” Hillyard explains.” When we change the tax allocation we want to make sure no one loses money. The theory is that everyone gains money but by changing the basis we make some errors in that.
“They are still working through it. If they can get an agreement I think the governor would be interested in putting that in a special session. It’s easy to do if it’s an agreed-to solution.”
He says if there is not that agreement, the issue will probably have to wait until the legislature meets in January.
Hillyard was also recently in Chicago where he talked about Utah at a National Association of State Legislators conference. He says he was part of a panel on rural America where he talked about what can be done in rural areas to help people find jobs.
He says that is important because when our children in rural areas graduate, if they can’t find jobs in those areas then small cities will get smaller and large cities larger.
“Secondly, our state also developed a program we called COBY,” Hillaryd says. “That allows every legislator, and now the public because it’s all on the internet, you can look at every state agency and look at their budget for the last five years, see how they spent the money, what the programs are.
“For example, you could look at the Natural Resources Department, break it down to state parks and look at Hyrum State Park.”
He says that makes it possible for legislators on committees to see very clearly what the incomes and expenses have been over the last five years.