EDMONTON - Some highlights from the 2014-2015 Alberta budget:
The bottom line: A $1.1-billion surplus on day-to-day operations — the first surplus in six years — but government is borrowing $6 billion this year for schools, roads and hospitals. Total forecasted debt of $21 billion by the end of 2017.
Taxpayers: No new taxes or tax increases and no health premiums. Alberta continues to be the only province without a sales tax.
Law and order: Money for 40 new RCMP officers.
Homeless: Cash to house 2,000 more homeless people.
Health: An overall 3.6 per cent increase to the health budget.
Education: An increase of 3.2 per cent in education spending to make room for 18,000 new students. Funding for 50 new schools and renovations to 70 more — all of those projects have already been announced.
Post-secondary: New money added to that announced last year restores about two-thirds of $147 million cut from post-secondary schools in the last budget. Access fund to make another $50 million available to schools. New money includes funding for 2,000 new full-time post-secondary spaces.
Savings: The government plans to have $26 billion by the end of 2015 in the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, the rainy-day contingency account and new accounts for social innovation, agriculture innovation and future megaprojects.
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