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Tax and Budget

The goal of Voices for Utah Children's State Fiscal Analysis Project is to examine Utah's tax and budget policies and analyze their impact on working families.

We identify focused fiscal strategies – for both revenues and spending – to help strengthen struggling families. This project translates the complex world of state fiscal policy into credible and timely information that is used by policymakers, community activists and the media.

Utah’s Gender Opportunity: An examination of the difference between the earnings of Utah men and women
Voices for Utah Children releases new report: “Utah’s Gender Opportunity: An examination of the difference between the earnings of Utah men and women.” New findings include the following: • In Utah women earn 70 cents for every dollar men earn; the national figure, in comparison, is 79.2¢. Utah ranks 47th among the states, with the 4th largest gender wage gap. • Women nationally need to get a Bachelor’s degree to earn as much as the average man, but women in Utah need a...
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Using Pay for Success to Finance Nurse Home Visiting
Pre-term and low birthweight infants face significant risks for medical and developmental disabilities which are expensive to government and private entities throughout a child’s life. Nurse home visiting, in which nurses and peer counselors provide support and education to high-risk pregnant women in their homes, have had excellent results over the past 30 years in preventing poor birth and long-term outcomes. Such programs that could significantly reduce state expenditures. This paper, co-authored by Voices for Utah Children Early Childhood and Education...
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Nurse Family Partnership
Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) is a voluntary evidenced-based community health program that provides ongoing home visits (from pregnancy through age 2 of the child) from a registered nurse to low-income, first time mothers to provide the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, be a responsible and caring parent, and to become more economically self-sufficient. A nurse visits the women approximately weekly and bi-monthly during their pregnancy and after birth, and then monthly visits during the first...
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Ask your legislators to support Healthy Utah
Here is a simple email form to help you email your legislators about the Healthy Utah plan: (Also available at this link:  Healthy Utah Legislative Email Form)
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142,000 Utah Kids Five and Under Are Low-Income, at Risk for Impoverished Adulthoods
New National Report Reinforces Recommendations of Utah Commission Addressing Intergenerational Poverty Salt Lake City – In Utah, 142,000 children ages five and under are low-income, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF): Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach. The KIDS COUNT® report states that “a child raised in poverty is more likely to become an adult living in poverty—less likely to graduate from high school or remain consistently employed. Forty-two percent of children born...
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The Healthy Utah Plan
Voices for Utah Children is one of many Utah organizations participating in the Cover the Gap Coalition.  We support a Utah-based solution to provide better access to affordable, high-quality health insurance for all Utahns, such as the governor's Healthy Utah plan. Learn more at coverthegap.org. Click here for a simple form to help you email your local lawmakers.   Governor Herbert’s Healthy Utah plan is a three-year pilot program that would help 111,000 low-income Utahns to get private health insurance coverage, including 57,000 adults in...
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What in the world is an unfunded earmark, and what does it have to do with you?
Utah’s state budget  has been undermined due to a nearly 1200% increase in General Fund earmarks during the past decade. Earmarking ties policymakers’ hands so they can’t adapt the budget to the evolving needs of the state’s ever-growing and ever-changing economy and population. And these are "unfunded" earmarks, meaning that they do not come with a new funding source, even though they go to meet newly identified investment needs, primarily in transportation. Because they are unfunded, these earmarks divert resources...
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1200% Explosion in Unfunded Earmarks Undermining Utah State Budget
Salt Lake City – Utah’s unrestricted General Fund has been undermined due to a nearly 1200% increase in earmarks during the past decade. Over half a billion dollars from the state General Fund are earmarked in Fiscal Year 2015 compared to $42 million in Fiscal Year 2005, a rise from 2% to over 18% of the overall General Fund, according to a new report from Voices for Utah Children: What’s Still Eating Utah’s General Fund: How Unfunded Earmarks Are Undermining...
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What's Still Eating Utah's General Fund?
How Unfunded Earmarks Are Undermining the Budget Process and Affecting Utah Families and Children Utah’s unrestricted General Fund continues to decline as a stable and reliable revenue source due to a nearly 1200% increase in earmarks from FY 2005 to FY 2015, from $42 million to over half a billion dollars, from 2% to over 18% of the overall General Fund and still rising. This practice of earmarking, which means a multi-year diversion of funds (and none of the major General...
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The (Not) Complex Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Healthy Utah Plan
On August 28 2014, economist Sven Wilson testified before the Utah Legislature's Health Reform Task Force about the complex question of whether the economic benefits of Healthy Utah outweigh the costs.  Showing a chart of costs and benefits with benefits marked in green and costs in red, he said,"Notice there is quite a bit more green than red." Healthy Utah would benefit poor individuals by providing them with health insurance. It would benefit the healthcare industry by preventing uncompensated care...
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