House Minority Caucus statement on HB54 & SJR10

The Utah House Democrats want to make clear the reasons that we voted against H.B. 54, Tax Revisions and S.J.R. 10, Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Income Tax. We cannot support these measures to remove the constitutional earmark on public education funding because education funding is essential to our state’s future and should never be used as a bargaining chip.

We strongly believe that education funding is non-negotiable and as Democrats, we believe we must continue to keep public education a priority. The tax cuts in H.B. 54 do not outweigh the benefits of removing the earmark on education funding. The language in S.J.R. 10 is vague and the House Democrats worry that the way it is written will result in a significant loss of investment into public education, making education funding subject to the whims of political tides.

The 2023 General Session has seen many actions that have led to the defunding and undermining of public education, as demonstrated by the passage of H.B. 215 Funding for Teacher Salaries and Optional Education Opportunities. With less than 12 hours left in the 2023 General Session, the question remains for the Utah House Democrats: why did this need to be passed today? We have another year before the 2024 election to continue to work and find a good solution for all. 

In the bill’s present form, we call on the voters to reject the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in 2024.