In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 file photo, construction worker Elabert Salazar works on a house frame for a new home.
Be they the ever-changing future of high-tech or the centuries-old art of homebuilding, Utah businesses need educated, well-trained and productive workers and policies that encourage the free market. When families are economically stable, they can more easily turn their attention to teaching values that build a vibrant society.
Gov. Gary Herbert's proposed state budget focuses on bolstering public, higher and technical education with a nearly $300 million infusion of additional money. Congress will play a role in deciding how state tax revenue will be spent. Herbert's goal of having 66 percent of all Utahns earning a college degree or technical certificate by 2020 is expected to be a key issue during the legislative session and part of the funding debate.
The Salt Lake Chamber has listed specific suggestions for lawmakers during the session, including:
- Providing public schools $43.6 million for computer-adaptive testing, ACT testing for every high school student, and science, technology, engineering and math education.
- Giving higher education $20 million for high-growth, high-wage degrees in science, technology, engineering and math and health professions.
- Giving the Utah College of Applied Technology $9.75 million to increase capacity at its campuses to produce 153,000 more certificates by 2020.
- Sustaining the Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) with $3 million of on-going funding and increasing its ongoing research allocation by $9 million annually.
- Funding a life sciences tax credit for medical device, diagnostics, drug delivery and biotech companies.
Follow the Deseret News' ongoing legislative coverage to learn more about the state's economic development and other issues that matter to Utah families.
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