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Education, health, hospitals and human services get 84 percent of state spending

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By Harold Morgon

“Follow the money,” is the advice. Wander around the top levels of the state’s general appropriations act and you find people are the focus of state government. What the Legislative Finance Committee calls “recurring general fund appropriations,” the product of this year’s legislative session, is $6.16 billion for the budget year starting July 1, which is called Fiscal Year 15 or FY 15.
Our state government does people: kids through high school in the public schools, young adults (mostly) in colleges, and everyone with an emphasis on children in the broad array covered by health, hospitals and human services.
The numbers from the LFC’s “2014 Post-Session Review” show education (public schools, higher and other) with a $3.5 billion appropriation, or 58 percent of the general appropriation. The health function will get $1.6 billion. The combined percentage is 84 percent. The leftover 16 percent includes important functions, such as public safety ($393.9 million) and judicial ($218.6 million).
Transportation,­ as with the Department of Transportation, is the biggest function outside the general fund.


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