The governor chose to unveil his $12.9 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012, at Bountiful High School to showcase his emphasis on funding education needs.
Public education would see $111 million in new funds, and $23 million would go to higher education. The money covers anticipated growth in the number of students in both the state's public schools and higher education.
There is also a 1 percent pay increase for teachers and state employees, as well as money to expand early intervention and testing programs, add 20 University of Utah medical school slots and start new charter schools.
Herbert's goal of creating 100,000 jobs by mid-2013 is backed with $20.4 million for economic development initiatives, $11.6 million to provide incentives for job creation and $6 million for tourism marketing.
There are more dollars for the state's Office of Energy Development to further the state's efforts to ease access to energy resources located on federally controlled public lands and develop alternative fuels.
Additional funds are allocated in the governor's budget to hire six new Utah Highway Patrol troopers, create a parole violator center to free up prison space, conduct more health and safety inspections and government audits, keep state parks and liquor stores open, and cover increased Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program costs.
Herbert said his goal of self-determination is met through a budget that is "conservative, fiscally responsible and structurally balanced," meeting needs in critical areas without increasing taxes or dipping into the state's $232 million Rainy Day fund.
That was made possible by projected growth in state revenues for the first time since the nation's economic downturn in 2008.
Last month, the governor announced the state anticipated a $128 million surplus from the current budget year that ends June 30, 2012, plus nearly $280 million in additional revenues in the upcoming budget year, much of it from increased income and sales tax collections.
In a letter to Utahns accompanying his budget, Herbert said he is "pleased with what we see on Utah's economic horizon," citing encouraging signs in many areas of the economy.
"Certainly, challenging economic times remain. But there is good news, as well," he said, promising the state "will continue to take careful, measured steps to position the state to address challenges and seize opportunities ahead."
The governor and GOP legislative leadership are in agreement on the need to do away with the $52 million so-called "structural imbalance" in the budget, created by using one-time moneys to cover ongoing costs.