SALT LAKE CITY — An increase in projected one-time funding this legislative session may spell good news for a local court project, House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart says.
Lockhart said a bump in one-time funds outlined in a financial projection Monday will give lawmakers the chance to invest in building projects, Lockhart said. She cited the Ogden Juvenile Court as a possible beneficiary of those funds.
The increase in projected funds is linked to people selling off their stocks or cashing in their investments, according to several state lawmakers, because of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. All regular ongoing fund projections are done in the same financial projections.
Pressed by the media about how lawmakers might use an added $40 million in one-time funds, Lockhart said it would make sense to consider building projects. She cited the court as one of two projects that would immediately qualify for consideration.
“It (the court) would make sense. It’s shovel-ready, as it were,” Lockhart said.
Earlier this session, officials made a $29.3 million request for funding for the court facility before an appropriations committee. The Top of Utah project is ranked No. 1 on the state capital project list.
The project is shovel-ready, because lawmakers approved $1.6 million for design work for the project last year and in 2008 provided funding to buy property for the new structure.
The current juvenile court building at 444 26th St. was built in the 1980s and is outdated, said Alyn Lunceford, facilities director for the Utah Judicial Council.
One of the challenges facing lawmakers in assessing how to spend the surplus in one-time funds, Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan said, is to avoid using the funds for ongoing expenses.
Hillyard chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees how money is allocated.