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The Daily Buzz February 23, 2016

Budget:

The House of Representatives, Senate and the Governor s Office announced the final budget numbers for the 2016 General Session.

The Utah Legislature has some of the best fiscal analysts of any state in the country, said Speaker Greg Hughes. We do estimates in December and February to closely monitor the changes in the economy and our analysts respond accordingly. These combined revenue estimates have remained largely unchanged and give us the framework for completing our budget process.

After making adjustments related to increased income tax, lower severance tax and other revenue adjustments, the new consensus estimates provide $400 million for additional ongoing appropriations, $20 million higher than the December estimates. In addition, $150 million is available for one-time appropriations, $30 million lower than December estimates.

  • Utah s combined General Fund and Education Fund revenue estimates remain largely unchanged from December, the combined effect of healthy increases in individual income taxes, reductions in oil and gas-related taxes, and an abundance of caution concerning the direction of markets. State economists tend to take a cautious approach to revenue estimating, an approach that has served the state well in the past. Even given this approach, economists expect revenue will increase 4.5% year-over-year in the coming year.
  • State economists project economic growth will be stronger than expected in the fiscal year that begins July 1 (FY 2017), increasing ongoing revenue estimates by $20 million. This increased estimate is driven primarily by healthy increases in household incomes. The State is estimated to $400 million in new ongoing revenue to allocate this General Session. Of this total, $350 million is in the Education Fund and $50 million is in the General Fund.
  • Largely due to the effect of low oil and gas prices and caution related to global economic conditions, one-time FY 2016 collections are now expected to be $30 million (-0.5%) less than previously estimated in December.

    Even after that adjustment, Utah is estimated to have $150 million more in collections for FY 2016.

Recap:

Copper Hills High School students, Ethan Bastian and Noah Coleman, performed Cabinet Battle for the House Education Committee Monday, February 22. H.C.R.

121 is a resolution that honors Lin-Manuel Miranda for his contributions to art and civics education through his composition of the musical Hamilton.

Congresswoman Mia Love addressed the House Monday morning. Click here2 to watch her remarks (begins at 12 mins).

The schedule for Tuesday, February 23, 2016:

8:00 AM3: House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee CANCELED

8:00 AM4: House Government Operations Committee

8:00 AM5: House Political Subdivisions Committee

8:00 AM6: House Revenue and Taxation Committee

10:00 AM7: House Chamber, House Floor Time

12:30 PM8: House Rules Committee

2:00 PM9: House Chamber, House Floor Time

4:05 PM10: House Business and Labor Committee

4:10 PM11: House Education Committee

4:10 PM12: House Health and Human Services Committee

4:10 PM13: House Public Utilities and Technology Committee CANCELED

Top Tweets:

ICYMI:

Legislature honors fallen officer Barney, injured officer Richey 14]

State Leaders Release Revised Revenue Numbers Utah Reps15

State Rep. Ivory honors composer of Broadway s Hamilton, which brought him to tears Salt Lake Tribune16

Rep. Love tells Legislature she looks to Utah to guide work in Congress Deseret News17

References

  1. ^ H.C.R.

    12 (le.utah.gov)

  2. ^ Click here (utahlegislature.granicus.com)
  3. ^ 8:00 AM (le.utah.gov)
  4. ^ 8:00 AM (le.utah.gov)
  5. ^ 8:00 AM (le.utah.gov)
  6. ^ 8:00 AM (le.utah.gov)
  7. ^ 10:00 AM (le.utah.gov)
  8. ^ 12:30 PM (le.utah.gov)
  9. ^ 2:00 PM (le.utah.gov)
  10. ^ 4:05 PM (le.utah.gov)
  11. ^ 4:10 PM (le.utah.gov)
  12. ^ 4:10 PM (le.utah.gov)
  13. ^ 4:10 PM (le.utah.gov)
  14. ^ Deseret News (www.deseretnews.com)
  15. ^ Utah Reps] (www.utahreps.net)
  16. ^ Salt Lake Tribune (www.sltrib.com)
  17. ^ Deseret News (www.deseretnews.com)

Dell Inspiron 15 7559 Review and Ratings

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Budget gaming laptop has long been an oxymoron. The deal always has been, if you want to play the latest and greatest games at anything but low detail settings and dialed-back resolutions, you have to spend big bucks for top-shelf hardware.

Dedicated graphics chips that are up to the task of proper gaming at 1080p are the property, almost exclusively, of laptops over $1,000. Even just a couple of months ago, it was hard to buy a notebook for less than four figures that had any kind of credible 1080p gaming performance. But now, it looks like we re seeing the first cracks in that price wall. Dell aims to change the game with a model in its new Inspiron 15 7000 series, specifically, the Inspiron 15 7559. This 15.6-inch powerhouse starts at $799.99 (which was the cost of the model we tested) and includes an Intel 6th-Generation/”Skylake” Core i5-6300HQ processor (the first quad-core mobile Core i5), paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU). The latter is the key differentiator in this unit at this price.

The $799.99 entry price also gets you 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hybrid hard drive, along with a full-HD (1,920×1,080-pixel) IPS display and a backlit keyboard. Dell has even spruced up the design with a catchy red-and-black color scheme. We were enticed by the Inspiron 15 7559 the moment Dell divulged its price and specs, and that feeling didn’t diminish when we opened the box. This is a true gaming laptop that delivers an awful lot for the money. And it throws down the gauntlet to the makers of traditional gaming laptops: So, what can you do for under a grand?

The Inspiron 15 7559’s aggressive black-and-red-accented exterior indicates right away that this isn’t your average consumer notebook… Our review unit was in one of Dell’s three available color schemes for this model. The second is more or less an inverse of ours, with a completely red palm rest and lid, and black instead of red accents. The third, and most somber, comprises a neutral gray without the color accents. The contrasting colors of our review unit won t be for everyone, but they don t have to be, because you have a choice.

The gray model would serve well, for example, as a dual-duty work and play machine. (No one has to know it has GeForce graphics inside, after all.)

The Inspiron is constructed of all plastic, but not to its detriment. Pounding on the chassis in our testing and in play, we found above-average rigidity and strength. We noted little flex of any kind, even when pressing down hard on the palm rest and in the middle of the keyboard. That said, this laptop is also hefty and solid: At 5.7 pounds, it s a good pound heavier than a typical 15.6-inch consumer notebook, and about 25 percent thicker, at a whisker or two under an inch. Nonetheless, it s bulky for a reason. Most 15.6-inch notebooks house a low-wattage, dual-core processor and integrated graphics, not a quad-core processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics. A beefed-up cooling system is required to handle that kind of power.

Dell makes no effort to hide the Inspiron 15 7559’s intimidating twin rear cooling vents, or the equally prominent one on the left side. The cooling fins have a slick-looking red finish. As we’ll see later in the review, this cooling system also operates very efficiently. Flip the Inspiron 15 7559 over, and you ll see a large access panel that covers nearly the entire base of the notebook

Undo the single screw holding the cover in place and pop it off, and you ll find unobstructed access to the two RAM SO-DIMM slots, and much more… One of RAM slots was occupied in our review unit by a single 8GB stick; the other could take a second DIMM up to 8GB.

Also accessible under the bottom lid is an M.2 SSD slot (empty in our test unit); the 2.5-inch drive bay, occupied here by a 1TB Seagate hard drive; the cooling fans; and finally the 74-watt-hour battery pack. This adds even more value to the notebook, since you could purchase the base model and then upgrade it later. Note that the processor and graphics can t be upgraded, as they re soldered to the motherboard, which is standard fare for notebooks these days. But the Inspiron 15 7559 is otherwise about as upgradable as notebooks come nowadays.

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