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With week to go, Utah lawmakers try to tackle revenue ‘imbalance’ with constitutional amendment

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Citing a structural imbalance in revenue streams that still needs to be addressed, Utah lawmakers are going to discuss changing the Utah Constitution to allow income tax money now solely dedicated to education to be used for children’s services and disabled programs.

A hearing on the constitutional amendment, SJR9, is scheduled Thursday afternoon before the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. If it passes, SJR9 would ask Utah voters whether the Utah Constitution should be amended to allow income tax to also fund services for children and people with disabilities, which are now funded through the General Fund. Companion legislation, HB357, that changes how school districts can use property tax money will be heard by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Other bills of note in committee Thursday:

• Members of the House Government Operations Committee are considering HB394, which would create the position of state homeless services director and gives the director final decision-making authority after considering the recommendations of the Homeless Coordinating Committee.

• The Senate Business and Labor Committee is discussing SCR12, a concurrent resolution that supports federal action to address climate change, recognizing the risks to the state, its economy and citizens “of standing by while global carbon emissions grow unchecked.”

• Members of the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee are hearing HB211, which requires an owner of a residential rental unit to make expense-related disclosures to a potential renter before accepting or an application fee or any other payment.