2022 Legislative Update: Week 5

February 14-18, 2022

Updated State Budget Revenues Announced

Governor Cox and legislative leadership announced revised tax revenue projections on Friday, higher than projections adopted in December 2021 by the Executive Appropriations Committee:

  Dec 2021 Feb 2022
General Fund (Sales Tax):   $245 million $1.04 billion
Education Fund (Income Tax):  $685 million $2.75 billion

According to the House Majority Office, “During the 2022 General Session, policymakers have an additional $617 million in one-time and $429 million in ongoing money in the general fund, and an additional $1.68 billion one-time and $1.07 billion ongoing in the education fund to allocate.”

The announcement of new revenue projections is one of the final steps in compiling the new budget for the 2022 Legislative Session. Specific appropriations pertaining to higher education are expected to start rolling out next week.

Legislation of Interest

HB 226 – Higher Education and Corrections Council by Rep. Lowry 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 passed the House with unanimous support.

HB 238 – State Holiday Modifications by Rep. Sandra Hollins — establishes Juneteenth National Freedom Day on June 19 as a state holiday. In June 2021, the Utah Board of Higher Education adopted a resolution encouraging the observance of Juneteenth with “events that commemorate this historic time.” The bill passed the House and awaits further consideration by the Senate.

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 passed the House with unanimous support.

HB 390 – Early College and Concurrent Enrollment Program Amendments by Rep. Lowry Snow— would allow school districts to use Concurrent Enrollment funds to waive the fees associated with Concurrent Enrollment students experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage. The bill awaits a hearing by a House Committee.

SB 42 – Higher Education Performance Funding Goals* by Sen. Ann 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. Lincoln 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 further 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. Evan 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 and awaits further consideration by the House.

SB 226 – Student Data Privacy Revisions by Sen. Jacob Anderegg — requires the Board of Higher Education as well as each USHE institution to identify a Data Privacy Officer who oversees the adoption of state-mandated data privacy requirements, in addition to existing federal requirements. The bill also proposes to put stricter requirements on 3rd party vendors who access student information. The bill awaits a Senate committee hearing.

* Endorsed by the Utah Board of Higher Education

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director