Utah legislators battle over education funding

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December 14, 2011

Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: A minor battle over education funding occurred Tuesday in Utah. Democratic legislators pushed for $41 million in order to pay for new students entering Utah's schools, but the measure was defeated by Republicans, saying the measure was premature.[1]

Senator Karen Morgan pushed for the funding, stating that the 12,500 students who will be entering Utah's school system "should be funded before we look at any other programs."[1]

Governor Gary Herbert recommended $111 million to cover public education next year, including the $41 million proposed to cover growth. Senate President Michael Waddoups said that the legislative committees should get a chance to make needed recommendations before any such measure is passed. He said, "I’m convinced that this is a piker’s motion. I’m not going to settle for that much in there. I’m going to put more into it." He also accused Democrats of "election-year electioneering, saying I’m a bigger friend to this group than someone else is."[1]

House Assistant Majority Whip Ronda Menlove said that committing funds now is premature and that the public should have an input over how much goes into education funding.[1]

Morgan said, "I don’t think there’s anything premature about this. There’s absolutely no electioneering going on here. That’s not what this is about and that’s a demeaning comment."[1]

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