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State leaders announced Wednesday Utah will close out fiscal 2018 with a budget surplus of nearly $158 million, according to the Utah Division of Finance.

SALT LAKE CITY — State leaders announced Wednesday Utah will close out fiscal 2018 with a budget surplus of nearly $158 million, according to the Utah Division of Finance.

“Balancing the budget and operating according to prudent fiscal policies are top priorities here in Utah,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said in a statement. “This one-time surplus revenue will help our Legislature lend short-term support to our education system for one-time expenses such as buildings. But we still need a long-term solution to fund excellence in our classrooms.”

The budget surplus includes $8 million in the general fund and $150 million in the education fund.

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"A responsible budget should always spend less money than it takes in and set aside savings for a rainy day,” said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy. The surplus calculations are encouraging, he said, but “we must continue to be conservative when planning the entire state budget to ensure we find the correct fiscal balance."

House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, also applauded the surplus but cautioned “we must remain vigilant as we plan for our future to continue investing in critical areas such as education, transportation, public safety and our rainy day fund.”

During the fiscal year, the division said an additional $6 million went into the general rainy day fund, $65 million into the education rainy day fund, $30 million into Medicaid rainy day fund and $6 million into various other funds.