Utah State Legislators will come together as early as this week in a Special Session to vote on state budget cuts necessitated by revenue shortfalls from the coronavirus. Appropriation subcommittees met last month and provided their suggested 2020 and 2021 cuts to the Executive Appropriation Committee, which is scheduled to meet this Wednesday at noon to take a vote before presenting their final budget cut recommendations to the entire legislature. Cuts of 2-10% and hundreds of millions of dollars are being considered, threatening many social services, including housing programs.
During the 2020 Legislative Session, SB 39 appropriated $5 million for housing preservation and $5 million to compliment private activity bonds to build affordable housing in Utah – an important and cost-efficient start to addressing an affordable housing shortage of 53,000 units and growing.
However, this hard-won $10 million is now at risk of being eliminated during budget decisions happening this week. Advocates are calling for the state to dip into its $1.7 billion rainy day fund to prevent cuts to housing, social services and public education spending. Now especially, when housing is critical to safeguarding health during a pandemic, funding for housing should be prioritized, not eliminated.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please write to the members of the Executive Appropriations Committee before Wednesday, June 17th, and ask them to not defund the SB 39 Affordable Housing Amendments.
Simply scroll down and click “Start Writing” to send your letter to the Committee.