Politics

Would you pay 10 cents more per gallon for gas to give money to Utah schools?

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah)- State lawmakers have struck a deal to head off the “Our Schools Now” ballot initiative in November.

Both sides came together and agreed on a new path moving forward.

House Joint Resolution 29 and House Bill 491 make up the “Our Schools Now” compromise.

Under the initiative a non-binding ballot question will go to the voters, asking them to approve a 10  cent per gallon increase to the state gas tax.

In return, the ballot initiative seeking a more than $700 million increase to the income tax will be dropped.

Representative Becky Edwards says if the question passes, the legislature would address it in a special session after the canvassing period.

“This is an opportunity for us to back down from the perils of our existing structural imbalance. It is an opportunity for us to right that imbalance and to provide an opportunity for us to respond to our future education priorities in a way that also corrects the transportation and general fund situation that we are currently in," Rep. Becky Edwards

The House passed the resolution 55-17. It is still waiting to be heard in the Senate.

This approach will only generate about half of what the current initiative would over 5 years, but supporters see it as a good faith step to generating more funding for schools.


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