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Elections and Education

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The general election is less than a month away, you should be receiving your ballot in the mail this week. You can find the pamphlet here. For any questions about this year’s election, please contact the county clerk’s office in your district:

Daggett County Elections

Duchesne County Elections

Summit County Elections

Uintah County Elections

Wasatch County Elections

To learn about the candidates and the issues you’ll be voting on, the State Elections Office created a statewide voter information pamphlet to help provide information of what will be on the ballot here.

This year in particular, you’ll have the opportunity to vote on many important issues, including constitutional amendments. The proposed constitutional amendments first begin as a bill and must pass both the Senate and House with a two-thirds majority. Then more than half of Utah voters need to approve the changes for the Utah Constitution to be amended.

One of the biggest changes proposed on the ballot is Constitutional Amendment G. The proposed change is the result of two bills that passed during the 2020 session – S.J.R. 9 and H.B. 357.

S.J.R. 9, Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - Use of Tax Revenue, extends the use of income tax revenue to fund critical programs for children and individuals with disabilities, pending voter approval. The Legislature worked closely with stakeholders from the Utah State Board of Education, Utah School Boards Association, Utah School Superintendents Association, Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, Utah Public Employees Association, Utah Education Association and the Utah Taxpayers Association.

As part of valued discussions with stakeholders from the education community, a companion bill, H.B. 357, Public Education Funding Stabilization, is a plan of action should Constitutional Amendment G pass this November. This bill will:

  • Protect, stabilize and grow Utah’s education funding.

  • Move the Minimum School Program funding, which includes the weighted pupil unit (WPU), to a constitutionally protected account for K-12 education.

  • Automatically adjust education funding for enrollment growth and inflation each year.

  • Establishes a reserve to meet educational funding commitments during economic downturns.

Here is a chart that breaks down the major changes created in these bills.

COVID-19 Updates

Highlights from Governor Hebert during his weekly COVID-19 briefing include:

  • Utah is seeing an increase in hospital utilization, which is concerning because we do not want to overwhelm the healthcare system.

  • Because of doctors and medical experts' good work, individuals are having shortened periods of stay when at the hospital and less severe reactions because of early treatment.

  • In addition to monitoring ICU bed capacity, we are also monitoring personnel capacity to attend to patients.

  • Spikes in COVID-19 cases are happening in every state, including those that have shut down economically and states who have issued statewide mask mandates.

  • Utah has seen an increase in individuals getting a COVID-19 test, which helps detect cases and slow the spread.

  • Please do what you can to be part of the solution to help slow the spread until there is a vaccine.

Watch the full briefing in here.

The graph below shows Utah’s ICU capacity from May 1 through October 6.

Utah’s COVID-19 data as of October 8:

  • Total people tested: 892,022

  • Total COVID-19 cases: 81,947

  • Estimated recovered: 60,220

  • Current hospitalizations: 237

  • Total fatalities: 501

Additional information here.

Kind regards,

Senator Ron Winterton

Utah Senate District 26

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