A bill reducing the income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.85% passed the House and now goes to the Senate. Two bills tracked by the UEA failed in committee meetings.
Senate Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): Just one UEA tracked bill was presented in Senate Education Committee today. Surprisingly, SB168: Commission for Student-centered Public Education Amendments failed to pass out of committee with a vote of 1-2. The bill is comprehensive and proposes to create a multi-year process for commission members to study and make recommendations on everything from funding, accountability and instruction to state and local board governance.
House Revenue and Taxation Committee (reported by Jay Blain): The Committee heard HB170: Student Resource Office Funding provides training for school resource officers. It allows school districts to have a very small tax levy to fund school resource officers. Several speakers expressed opposition to the bill, citing low funding in schools and disparate treatment of minority students. Others were opposed to any new taxes. UEA Legislative Team member Jay Blain spoke in favor of the bill, saying it will help with training for school resource officers and reduce the reliance on the General Fund for funding. The bill failed on a vote of 1-10.
House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): The House passed SB59 (4th sub.): Tax Amendments on a vote of 63-12. This bill reduces the income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.85%. It now goes to the Senate. Some legislators have described the cut as too “modest” and are pushing for larger rate reductions that could impact funding available for education.
Policy Ambassador Messages
In 2022, 15 educators were selected as UEA Policy Ambassadors. These teachers received training from the UEA Legislative Team and agree to engage with legislators and share their experiences with UEA members. Here is an excerpt from a new submission:
Submitted by UEA Policy Ambassador Brittney Nelson, second grade teacher at Neil Armstrong Academy in Granite School District
…Silence speaks volumes because it gives power to those higher up to speak for you. Being informed ensures that you are in control of the narrative you want to come from your experience as a teacher. What do you want your voice to say? There are so many other policy items that deserve your attention and deserve rallies in their opposition. Teachers have the power to make moves in legislation if we continue to demand a space to be heard…
Upcoming Legislation to Watch
Four UEA-tracked bills are on the agenda for the House Education Committee at 8 a.m., Feb. 10:
- HB211: School Fees Amendments prohibits a school district or charter school from charging elementary school student fees or secondary school student fees for a curricular activity or portions of a co-curricular activity.
- HB290: School Readiness Amendments modifies provisions related to a high quality school readiness program.
- HB265: Charter School Agreements and Renewals amends provisions related to charter agreements and the expiration and renewal of charter agreements. The UEA supports this bill.
- HB273: Civics Education Amendments creates the Local Innovations Civics Education Pilot Program to support innovative approaches to civics education.
- See the 2022 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet for the current bills tracked by UEA.
- View all legislative happenings at UEA Under the Dome.