Day 1 - Our legislative agenda
Vouchers for low and moderate income students (Rep. Steve Urquhart)
Click [here] and [here] to see some of the comments we have posted on vouchers. We’ll have more information on the financial impacts of vouchers on public school districts.
Differential pay for K-12 teachers (Sen. Howard Stephenson)
Click [here] to read about teacher pay in Utah. Increasing teacher pay is important, but pay increases should be targeted towards those areas where Utah has difficulty finding teachers, such as math, science, and special education. Increasing teacher salaries to the national average would be a lot less expensive than reducing pupil-teacher ratios to the national average.
Transportation corridor preservation
A major cost in highway construction is land acquisition. By purchasing land years in advance, Utah can save a lot of money because land values escalate tremendously as development encroaches on land that will be used for future highways.
We've written extensively on this issue. Click [here], [here], [here] [here], [here], and [here] to read more.
Rails/roads prioritization – Rep. Wayne Harper
The legislature took a major step in transportation reform during the September special session by requiring local governments in Salt Lake County to develop a prioritization process for evaluating road and rail projects with emphasis on cost effectiveness of reducing rush hour congestion. However, some additional tweaks are still needed.
Severance tax trust fund –Sen. Lyle Hillyard
Click [here] to read about this bill. Separately, there will be a proposal to earmark some severance tax revenues for specific projects. We'll have more on that later.
Government assistance report - Rep. Mike Morley
This bill will summarize state expenditures for welfare program such as Medicaid, free and reduced price lunch, general assistance, and many other programs.
Truth-in-Bonding – Rep. Greg Hughes
This bill will require that local governments specifically and clearly state in the ballot language what the impact to property owners will be if a proposed bond is approved by voters.