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Members Present: Sen. Howard Stephenson, Co-Chair

Rep. Marda Dillree, Co-Chair

Sen. Karen Hale

Sen. Bill Hickman

Sen. John Valentine

Rep. Doug Aagard

Rep. Duane Bourdeaux

Rep. Judy Ann Buffmire

Rep. Glenn Donnelson

Rep. James Ferrin

Rep. Tom Hatch

Rep. Brad King

Rep. Karen Morgan

Rep. J. Morgan Philpot

Rep. John Swallow

Rep. Glenn L. Way

Staff Present: R. Michael Kjar, Legislative Fiscal Analyst

Jonathan Ball, Legislative Fiscal Analyst

Ben Leishman, Legislative Fiscal Analyst

Patrice Shaffer, Secretary

Public Speakers Present: Mr. Steven O. Laing, Superintendant, Utah State Office of Education

Mr. Lee W. Robinson, Supt., Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

Mr. Blaine Peterson, Director, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation

Mr. Steve Peterson, USSA/USBA

Visitor List on File

Committee Co-Chair Dillree called the meeting to order at 9:28 a.m.

  • FY 2003 budget discussion. Mr. Jonathan Ball, Fiscal Analyst, explained options for balancing the budget including cuts in public education affecting the State Office of Education, the State Office of Rehabilitation, and the School for the Deaf and Blind. Mr. Ben Leishman, Fiscal Analyst, explained options affecting Fine Arts and Sciences. Mr. Mike Kjar, Sr. Analyst, explained options affecting the Minimum School Program and the School Building Program.

Rep. Dillree referred to the handout explaining the incremental options for balancing the budget holding public education harmless and the impact it would have on other agencies. Reference was also made to a handout of Majority Part Joint Leadership Balanced Budget - FY 2003. Most of the discussion pertained to page 11 of this Budget that dealt with public education.

Sen. Stephenson suggested considering the option of reversing funding for High-tech Charter High schools listed on page B3 of Options for Balancing the Budget Including Cuts in Public Education. No schools are on line for this program at the present time. A concern was expressed that not funding this program at this time might effect a $6,000,000 grant provided by the Gates Foundation. Research is underway to determine the details of the grant.

The committee discussed how cuts in District Administration disproportionately affect rural districts. Sen. Stephenson suggested looking at consolidating smaller districts to reduce the disproportionate cuts in those areas.

Mr. Steven Laing from the State Office of Education responded to the budget changes listed in the Majority Party Joint Leadership Balanced Budget - FY 2003, page 11. He suggested that cuts be given to districts across the board based on weighted pupil units.

Mr. Blaine Peterson, from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation explained how the proposed changes would affect his agency. He responded to questions regarding duplication of services and consolidation of Utah State Office of Rehabilitation with Workforce Services.

Mr. Lee Robinson from the school of Deaf and Blind responded to the proposed changes. Discussion was held on nonlapsing funds.

Mr. Steve Peterson from USSA/USBA explained the impact of cuts on rural school districts. He responded to questions on where to make alternative cuts.

MOTION: Rep. Way moved to have the Utah State Office of Education, Utah State Superintendents Association, Utah School Board Association, Utah Educator's Association, and anyone else who is interested provide suggestions on how to deal with budget cuts and have them to the committee by Monday.

Motion passed unanimously with Sen. Hickman, and Rep. Swallow absent for the vote.

Mr. Laing expressed concerns about the Utah Skills Basic Competency Test. He suggested delaying these tests and indicated that the delay can save $500,000 - $800,000.

MOTION: Rep. Hatch moved to delay the implementation of the Utah Skills Basic Competency Test.

Motion passed unanimously with Rep. Swallow absent for the vote.

Sen. Valentine moved to adjourn.

Rep. Dillree adjourned the meeting at 11:58 a.m.

Minutes reported by Patrice Shaffer, Senate Secretary.

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Sen. Howard Stephenson, Co-Chair Rep. Marda Dillree, Co-Chair