December 20, 2011
House Republicans: Fund students, no tax increases, pay down debt
The Republican majority of the Utah House of Representatives has outlined several priorities for the 2011 legislative general session. They include:
- Utah’s students will be funded, which includes the 12,500 new students this year. The caucus is committed to funding students, not systems, and allowing parents as many educational choices as possible for their children. We want education to focus on relevant skills that will prepare students for a global marketplace but that also remains unique to Utah’s culture and values.
- There will be no tax increases. Utah’s economy is leading the nation out of the Great Recession with economic and job growth. Any additional burden on the taxpayer would only stunt that growth.
- One-time funds will no longer be used for ongoing costs. Also, debt must be paid down. Utah is known nationally for its fiscal prudence and maintaining a rare AAA bond rating. Various economic forces have unexpectedly increased our debt load, and the caucus is committed to paying it back down to acceptable levels. Also, using one-time money for ongoing costs isn’t a healthy way to budget and must be eliminated.
If you didn’t make it to the press availability, here’s what leadership is saying:
- “Tax revenues are beginning to rebound, and we are seeing positive economic signs on the horizon. Republicans in the House will be both conservative and innovative in their approach to using taxpayer dollars to effectively fund public services.” – Speaker Becky Lockhart
- “We’re going to fund students, but perhaps more importantly, we want to re-engage educators in the discussion. Education is a critical issue for all Utahns, and input is needed from everyone on how to make sure our children are ready for the future.” – Majority Leader Brad Dee
- “Paying down debt is going to help protect our AAA bond rating, and protect our longterm fiscal health if we see another economic crisis. Smart investment of tax dollars in infrastructure, like roads, can both boost jobs and provide for critical public needs.” – Whip Greg Hughes
- “We’re encouraged by our economic outlook, but we don’t want to do anything that would hinder the state as we lead the country out of the recession. Committing to no new taxes now signals to Utahns and businesses alike that we trust their efforts.” – Assistant Whip Ronda Menlove
The majority caucus is made up of all 58 Republicans in the Utah House of Representatives. They come from across Utah and reflect both the make-up and wishes of the vast majority of the state’s citizens. The caucus espouses the beliefs of the Republican party, including strong families, the free market, and small government.
For more information, contact:
Joe Pyrah, chief deputy
Utah House of Representatives