SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Voters have a big decision to make this election on funding for Utah Education; it’s all the way down at the bottom of your ballot: Amendment G. ABC4 started this conversation last week with a look at the argument for Amendment G, now a look at the argument against.
Amendment G proposes changing the Utah constitution. Currently, 100% of income tax is earmarked for public and higher education; the amendment proposes income tax be allowed to be used for education and “children and individuals with a disability”.
Representative Carol Spackman Moss said, “This is the wrong policy at the wrong time. This is really another form of tax reform which you know was rejected by the voters.”
Spackman Moss says in the spring session, she voted to put G on the ballot, but now feels it’s worded in a way that is misleading for the public.
“Who doesn’t want to help fund programs for children and people with disabilities? But it doesn’t say that you’re going to take it from public and higher education,” she explained.
Amendment G does come with a promise bill: HB 357. This bill is already passed and will go into effect if Utah voted yes on G. HB 357 guarantees education funding increases from other revenue sources by statute if G passes. Spackman Moss feels that our economy today post-pandemic may not support those promises.
“It’s an election year; there will be new people, they might think that wasn’t a good deal and can just change it,” she said.
A large number of education advocates are for G, Spackman Moss disagrees. “I respect those education groups who came together and made a bargain that they can’t or feel they can’t go back on. I’m a retired teacher and I’m one of thousands of teachers who are speaking against it now because we see the danger of diminished funding going forward.”
Spackman Moss also noted, while education advocates have come out For this amendment, disability advocates have come out Against it.