Wrapping up 2016 means state leaders are busy budgeting and preparing for the 2017 legislative session. According to Senator Kevin VanTassell, a significant amount of bills have already been filed and the state is on pace to exceed last year’s number of bills. This week, the Governor will be releasing his budget. The state is doing fairly well, says VanTassell. The general fund is tight but education funds had good growth that is expected to continue. Efforts on a state level to help the Uintah Basin in economic diversification are slow but in process with additional work on Highway 40 among the more immediate efforts to help. Senator VanTassell also expects an even busier year in his legislative service as he begins a new assignment as the Senate Vice Chair of Executive Appropriations. The 2017 legislative session gets underway next month.