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Bill could mean donations to elementary schools

Published February 21, 2012 5:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahns might soon be able to give money to elementary schools when they file their income tax returns, if a bill that gained initial Senate approval Tuesday becomes law.

SB59 would allow Utahns the option, when filing their income tax returns, of designating elementary schools to receive contributions in the amounts of their choosing. The school principal would then, in consultation with the school community council or charter school board, decide how to spend the money.

Bill sponsor Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said the change would allow people to put more money in their local schools, or any elementary school.

Some lawmakers questioned exactly how the money would flow to schools, and Senate President Michael Waddoups voiced concerns over the bill creating inequalities between schools.

"What I see happening here is a movement toward the haves having more and the have-nots becoming further impoverished," Waddoups said.

But the bill passed 21-6 on second reading in the Senate on Tuesday, meaning it must pass the Senate one more time before moving to the House.