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Utah lawmakers pull back on plan to do away with money earmark

Feb 25, 2022, 4:47 PM
education earmark...
Senate Majority Whip Ann Millner, R-Ogden, speaks on the Senate floor at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Day 3 of the Utah legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Photo credit: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers scrapped a plan to do away with an income tax earmark for public education. 

Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, needed to persuade her colleagues and the governor to add an amendment to the state constitution. She said it wasn’t going to happen this session.

“Lots of conversations were going on,” Millner told reporters. “We ran into a place where we needed to do some significant modeling to try and get this right. And found that trying to do the budget and the kind of modeling we needed to do at the same time, just wasn’t possible.”

Lawmakers have argued the change is needed to give more flexibility to the budget because sales tax revenue is not growing at the same rate as income tax.

“I want to get this right. I think it’s important. It’s important to the citizens of Utah,” Millner said.

Utah lawmakers are expected to release a budget in the Executive Appropriations Committee on Friday night. 

Despite Millner’s plan to go back for more work, Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, said education will be well funded. 

“You’ll see all kinds of things that make education better for the children,” Stevenson said. 

He also said many programs will be expanded and there will be bonuses for employees.

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Utah lawmakers pull back on plan to do away with money earmark