The tax structure of Utah has changed over time causing fiscal and budgetary constraints on the General Fund. The rescinding of the Tax Reform bill, which aimed to address these changes, presented lawmakers with the challenge of deciding how to appropriate the scarce money in the General Fund. UPEA lobbyists have spent the 2020 Legislative Session advocating for state employee compensation to be made a priority even with the constraints.
Although UPEA has garnered wide legislative support for a 5% COLA for state employees, legislators have made it clear; unless additional funding is allocated to the General Fund, there is not enough money to fund a long overdue substantial increase.
On March 5th, 2020 Senator McCay proposed 1st Substitute SJR9 Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Use of Tax Revenue to the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. This resolution would help to address the General Fund budgetary restraints by transferring some tax income revenue to the General Fund to support social programs for children and people with disabilities.
UPEA Executive Director Todd Losser spoke in favor of the bill stating, “the budget issues are real, and [they’re] real for our members”. If revenue is reallocated it would present UPEA with more lobbying opportunities for state employees.