Citing "very tight economic times," Gov. Norm Bangerter has told state department heads to resist the temptation to spend what's left of their budgets before the fiscal year ends July 1.

Bangerter made the request in May 2 letter. On May 1 he announced a special session to consider refunding as much as $70 million to taxpayers because state income tax revenues are higher than anticipated.The letter outlined a common practice in government, scrimping to stay well within a budget until the fiscal year is nearly over, then splurging with the remaining dollars on needed items that may not have been budgeted for.

Besides giving administrators a cushion in case revenue projections fall short and cutbacks need to be made, the practice also ensures that they can justify asking lawmakers for the same amount of money for the following budget year.