Hillyard: some agencies proactively scaling back ahead of tight budget

On January 25 the 2010 session of the Utah legislature will begin and as co-chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee, State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, is looking for the best way to deal with another huge revenue shortfall.Hillyard says a lot of people seem to think they’ll get all the money they need if a small tax increase is imposed. He says to meet expectations it would take such a large tax increase that people would rebel.”Obviously it’s not a good time to even talk about tax increases as people aren’t making as much and incomes are down,” says Hillyard. “So it’s going to be a very difficult situation. “The things I really like are there’s a few agencies that have come forward and say, ‘We really have been able to streamline and re-focus how we deliver our service and we think we’ll be able to do about the same with a lot less money.’ And that’s been very healthy and encouraging for me.”Sen. Hillyard has been especially concerned about the high Medicaid costs. A legislative audit has found Utah’s Medicaid program has been providing insufficient oversight of its managed care program leading to unnecessarily high program costs. A report released Tuesday found up to $19 million in potential savings for the program which Hillyard says will help.

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