February 5-11, 2022
Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee
The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee wrapped up its work on Wednesday, February 9 and submitted its list of priority budget requests (page 4) to the Executive Appropriations Committee on Friday. This Subcommittee’s priorities closely align with the Utah Board of Higher Education’s budget priorities adopted in September 2021.
Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee
The Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee meetings also finished on Tuesday, February 8. The subcommittee voted and ranked the USHE capital development priorities alongside several other capital requests; the rankings are available here.
Committee chairs from both subcommittees presented their priorities to the Executive Appropriations Committee on Friday, Feb. 11. New tax revenue projections are anticipated next week, after which the Executive Appropriations Committee will work to finalize the state budget based on the submitted priorities from all seven appropriations subcommittees.
Legislation of Interest
HB 96 (1st Sub.) – Government Records Amendments by Rep. Johnson — modifies provisions of the Government Records Access and Management Act, allowing a government entity to charge a fee for repeat requestors. The bill passed the Senate Government Operations Committee unanimously and awaits consideration by the full Senate.
HB 226 – Higher Education and Corrections Council by Rep. Snow — establishes a council to advise the Utah Board of Higher Education regarding postsecondary education in Utah’s prisons. The council is also responsible for analyzing the outcomes of prison education. The bill awaits a committee hearing.
HB 355 – Higher Education Financial Aid Amendments by Rep. Val Paterson — streamlines many of the state aid programs administered by the Utah Board of Higher Education. This legislation is in accordance with the Board’s strategic priority to streamline state scholarships for reporting consistency, accountability and – most importantly – best assist students. The legislation also proposes to formalize regional educational pathway coordination made possible through the consolidation of the previously separate governing boards. The bill awaits a committee hearing.
SB 42 – Higher Education Performance Funding Goals by Sen. Millner — codifies five-year performance goals for the Utah System of Higher Education and each institution of higher education. This bill passed the Senate and the House unanimously and awaits the Governor’s signature.
SB 71 – Financial Education and Savings Plan to Benefit At-Risk Children by Sen. Fillmore — creates the Parental Coaching to Encourage Student Savings Program that would provide financial training to parents of children experiencing intergenerational poverty, encourage the parents to save money for their child’s higher education expenses, and offer a financial contribution to a my529 savings account. The bill unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee and awaits consideration by the full senate.
SB 133 – Food Security Amendments by Sen. Luz Escamilla — creates the State Nutrition Action Coalition at Utah State University to coordinate state efforts in addressing food security. Amendments are expected to add the Commissioner to its coordination board. The bill awaits a hearing in the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee.
SB 172 (1st Sub.) Higher Education Student Assistance by Sen. Vickers — In fall 2021, the Utah Board of Higher Education voted to exit the loan servicing business after analyzing whether UHEAA should retain and refinance its portfolio or sell the portfolio and exit the market. This legislation creates an endowment managed by the Utah Board of Higher Education, the proceeds of which would be used for scholarships and student success initiatives. The bill received unanimous support in the Senate Education Committee and awaits further consideration by the full Senate.
SB 175 – Daylight Savings Time Modifications by Sen. Dan McCay — establishes the year-round observed time of the entire state and all of the state’s political subdivisions is Mountain Daylight Time. The bill was held by the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee.