Social Service Providers and Advocates Call for Earmark Reform

26 February 2015 Published in Press Release Archive

earmarks

On Friday, February 27, 2015 at the Capitol, a coalition of social service providers and advocates released an open letter to the Utah Legislature calling for restoration to the General Fund of a significant part of the over $500 million annually of earmarked revenues that are currently being diverted for other purposes.

 

In recent years, the Utah Legislature has voted to earmark (divert) an ever-growing share of General Fund revenues to meet newly identified needs, primarily in the area of transportation, without identifying a new revenue source to finance those needs.  The result is that educational and social service areas that are funded by the General Fund have been starved for revenue, with a detrimental impact on the state’s ability to meet its obligations and help those in greatest need. 

 

This year, the Legislature is debating creating new sources of revenue to finance the transportation needs currently being financed by the earmarked dollars from the General Fund.  If that legislation passes, then the Legislature should take the opportunity to restore a significant share of the earmarked revenues to the General Fund, as the Governor proposed in his FY16 budget proposal.

 

At the press conference on February 27, the social service providers put a human face on the problem of underfunding of services due to the earmarks. 

 

The letter released by the coalition is available in pdf format here. 

 

For more background information about the earmarks issue, please visit http://www.utahchildren.org/newsroom/press-releases/item/527-1200-explosion-in-unfunded-earmarks-undermining-utah-state-budget .