The 2022 Legislative Session ended at midnight on March 4th. Overall, United Way of Salt Lake saw positive outcomes for bills that align with our work: many bills supporting our priorities passed and those we opposed either failed to pass or were significantly amended.
Win: Full-Day Kindergarten
HB193 Full-Day Kindergarten passed, though the final bill was amended to require Public Education Appropriations to discuss moving full-day kindergarten into the weighted per pupil unit (this is how students in 1-12 grades are funded) after the state has invested 80% of the funds needed to make this change. Originally we hoped that this would automatically happen after three years. Another $12.2 million ongoing was invested in the program this year. We are not giving up! Sign up for advocacy alerts and be informed of action items over the summer in preparation for a big push next year!
Win: Early Literacy Outcomes Improvements
The complementary bill we worked on, SB127 Early Literacy Outcomes Improvements, passed and was funded. We look forward to working with the Utah State Board of Education and school partners to implement this bill which will help increase early literacy outcomes.
Win: School Safety Amendments
HB428 School Safety Amendments passed and will go to the Governor for his signature. This bill will strengthen current requirements for schools to provide transparency and follow through on their safety and student support plans. This is an important first step in ensuring all students feel safe and that they belong in their school. There is more work to be done, and we will look for your support as we build on the foundation created by this bill.
To see where other bills we were following ended up, please check out our comprehensive bill tracker..
If you’d like to get involved in advocacy work with United Way of Salt Lake, visit uw.org/get-involved/advocate
By Elizabeth Garbe, Senior Director, Government Relations and Public Policy, United Way of Salt Lake