EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Hotly debated school choice bill to be heard by Utah Senate

Jan 23, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: 12:08 pm
Rep. Candice Pierucci , who is sponsoring the school choice bill, is pictured...
Rep. Candice Pierucci, R- Herriman, speaks about her bill during a House Education Committee hearing on HB215 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. The bill would create the Utah Fits All Scholarships, which would link a teacher salary increase to a “school choice” program. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A school choice bill that passed the Utah House Friday, will be heard in a state Senate committee today.

The bill passed the House with a referendum-proof majority.

If that also happens in this Senate, then the measure would be referendum-proof by law. That means it’s not possible for people to organize a petition to get it repealed.

Anonymous sources close to the Utah Senate tell KSL NewsRadio that it is believed that’s what will happen.

20 senators would need to vote in favor of the bill for it to be referendum-proof. There are no signs that Gov. Spencer Cox will veto, which will make the law unable to be subject to repeal by voters.

The bill creates a school choice scholarship and raises teachers’ salaries. Critics call it a voucher bill and say the teacher increases are being held hostage.

The bill will be heard in the state Senate Education Committee at 2 p.m. Monday.

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Hotly debated school choice bill to be heard by Utah Senate