BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Governor Gary Herbert held a ceremonial bill signing before hundreds of excited elementary school children to keep up his end of a bargain.
It was part of a complex tax deal struck in the final days of the Utah State Legislature that kicks as much as $600 million over the next few years to education by hiking property taxes (with some people also seeing a lowering of income tax). There will also be an opinion question on the November ballot about raising the gas tax to pay for roads.
In exchange, the “Our Schools Now” ballot initiative ends.
Speaking to the children and adults in the room, supporters of Our Schools Now praised the deal.
“We’re here today because we believe in you and your ability and in your potential,” said Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller.
The money will be spent giving teachers raises, hiring more counselors in schools and buying more schools technology and other supplies. Asked if it’s enough, Utah State Schools Superintendent Sydnee Dickson told FOX 13: “Do we ever have enough money for schools? This is a great start.”
Our Schools Now supporter Nolan Karras said it was a start, promising to keep pushing the legislature to keep education funding a priority.
“It’s not a one time thing. It’s a journey over the next several years so working with the legislature and making sure we’re funded in year two or five,” he said.
Our Schools Now claimed to have more than 150,000 signatures gathered — more than enough to qualify for the November ballot. But asking