There is a new resolution in the House that provides a compromise between current legislative funding and the ballot initiative, Our Schools Now. Run by Rep. Becky Edwards, HJR20 Joint Resolution Submitting a Question to Voters is being heard RIGHT NOW in the House Political Subdivisions Committee. The resolution, and accompanying house bill (HB491 Election Law Changes) would allow the November ballot to propose a 10 cent per gallon increase to the cost of gas (about $48 per year to an average driver) to fund public education and roads.
Utahns are tired of our bottom of the barrel per pupil spending and nationwide, and teacher strikes are indicating that education conditions must improve. Because of this sentiment, Action Utah has supported Our Schools Now as one option for citizens to voice their desire for improved public education. But we’d like to ask that you consider these compromise bills as well.
How are the ballot measure and legislative proposals the same?
Both increase funding for public education.
How could the bill package be preferable to the initiatve?
Our Schools Now proposes a change to income tax which is regressive, meaning it takes more from those who make less. While can be countered with various arguments in favor of the initiative, being less regressive is a benefit of the legislation.
What’s a concern to consider?
Our Schools Now was careful to put the choice in the hands of individual K-12 schools how to use their money, and it’s important to most citizens that the resolution, and accompanying bill, do the same.
What can I do?
HJR 20 and HB 491 are expected to get voted on as soon as THIS EVENING.
Write your House Rep ASAP and say you support the compromise bill to fund public education, a brief reason why, and consider adding you’d like your legislator to ensure schools can choose how to use their extra funding.