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UTAH ISSUES ASKS FOR VETO ON TAX CUT

SHARE UTAH ISSUES ASKS FOR VETO ON TAX CUT

Utah Issues asked Gov. Norm H. Bangerter on Tuesday to veto tax-cut legislation enacted by the September special session of the Utah Legislature.

In a letter to the governor dated Oct. 3, the low-income advocacy group said the cuts "will erode the budget surplus to the point where it will be impossible for state agencies to meet the critical service needs of Utah's children, elderly, poor, sick and disabled citizens."Recent surplus funds were at least partially caused when programs were capped or cut because of insufficient funding, according to Bill Walsh, Utah Issues director. The first appropriate use of surpluses should be to restore those programs, he said.

Polls have shown that most Utahns opposed the cuts before the special session, Walsh said.

Walsh's letter lists some of the needs that should be addressed by the surplus: about $20 million for mandated Health and Social Services programs, $150 million for public education, $48 million for higher education, $36 million to provide a 3 percent raise for state employees and another $28 million to continue their medical insurance coverage, $11 million for additional construction costs for the Gunnison prison, $5 million for public safety and more.