by Elizabeth Garbe

Public Policy Director

We are all hoping Appropriations Sub-Committees provide a nice Valentine’s Day gift by prioritizing our funding requests! If this happens, it is because people have been responding to our Action Alerts! There is a lot of buzz about optional extended-day kindergarten due to responses to our Action Alert on this priority, so thank you. If you haven’t taken action, do so now.

The Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Committee has been considering another one of our top priorities, funding for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Representatives Frank and Cosgrove submitted a request to provide an additional $50,000 to this public-private partnership program that provides free tax preparation to low income Utahns. Last year, the program brought $24 million into the pockets of working families which was spent in Utah’s communities. The additional state investment will be used to coordinate volunteers in rural counties and provide support to 2-1-1.

Bill SB226, High Quality Preschool Project (sponsored by Senator Osmond), is slated to be released this week. United Way also took positions on several new bills last week. Please see our updated bill list to find out what we are working on and where our bills are in the process.

Don’t forget, next week is United Way’s Day on the Hill event. Our timing will be perfect to lobby for some of our top priorities. We hope you will be able to join us for a great day of informative discussion as well as lunch with Representative Hughes, Senator Osmond, and Senator Morgan. RSVP today! Seating is limited.

Follow the conversation on Twitter by following @uwsl and by searching #utleg or #utpol.

See you on the hill!