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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb0470000KPCW and NPR bring you Election 2020 coverage.KPCW will begin our Election Night coverage at 7pm MST with a national look with NPR, and starting at 8pm MST with local election updates after the polls close in Utah from the KPCW News Team throughout the night. Utah will be conducting an all mail-in ballot election for 2020.Registering to Vote in UtahTo see if you are registered to vote, or to see your current voter information visit this site.The deadline to register to vote in Utah has passed. But you may register to vote in person on Election Day at a polling location. You will need to bring two forms of identification with you. For more information visit vote.utah.govSummit County Voter InformationBallots will be mailed out to residences 21 days before the election (Oct. 13). You do not need to request an absentee ballot unless you will be out of town. Ballots need to be postmarked on or before Nov. 2nd or dropped in a drop box before 8:00 pm on election day.Early Voting: Summit County Courthouse, Conf Room #1, 60 N Main, CoalvilleOctober 20 - 23 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pmOctober 24 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pmOctober 26 & Oct 30 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pmOctober 27 - Oct 29 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pmA drive through vote center will be available on election day from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm at the Summit County Fairgrounds in Coalville for anyone needing assistance with a replacement ballot and for same day registration. Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals needing special accommodations should contact the Clerk’s office at 435-336-3204. BALLOT DROP BOX LOCATIONS for the Election - Open during business hours: All Ballot Drop boxes close at 8:00 pm on Election Day.Coalville City Hall - 10 No MainCounty Clerk’s Office - 60 No Main, CoalvilleSummit County Services Building - 110 N Main, Kamas Box located at entrance on the East side of the building off of the parking lot. Open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mon-FriPark City Municipal Building - 445 Marsac AveThe Market at Park City - 1500 Snow Creek DrSheldon Richins Building - 1885 W Ute Blvd, Park City. Open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mon-Fri, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Sat Located at the North Entrance ( by the car charging stations)Fresh Market - Jeremy Ranch - 3151 Kilby Rd, Park City For more information about elections in Summit County, visit here. Wasatch County Voter Information Ballots Mailed: October 13-October 27. If you did not receive your ballot, contact the Wasatch County Clerk at (435) 657-3190 or cgriffiths@wasatch.utah.gov. Mail-in voting: Postmark on or before November 2, 2020. Dropbox: Inside County Clerk's Office or Curbside 24 hours per day until 8:00pm on Election Day in the North parking lot outside County Clerk's office, 25 N Main in Heber City. Early paper voting: in the County Clerk’s Office,Oct 27- Oct 30 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Election Day Drive through in-person paper ballot voting and same day registration by provisional ballot will be available November 3rd at the Wasatch County Outdoor Arena, 415 S Southfields RD (1200 West) in Heber City, from 7:00am-8:00pm. Individuals needing special accommodations should contact the Clerk’s office.For more information about elections in Wasatch County, visit here.

Education Funding Amendment G Gets Voter Approval

Voters on Tuesday approved a fundamental change to how public education is funded. Although the results are still unofficial, as of Thursday, Constitutional Amendment G has a 54% voter approval. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher has details on what the change will do and why some say it’s a bad rap for education.

Amendment G - the education proposal was one of 7 constitutional amendments on Tuesday’s ballot and the most controversial.

While the state income tax has been growing every year, the state’s sales and gas taxes which fund the other government funds, have not.

Currently, the state constitution requires all income tax revenue – about $5-billion a year - to be used exclusively for public and higher education. The passage of Amendment G opens up a guaranteed pot of income tax money to be spent on services to support children and to support individuals with a disability.

The Utah Education Association was in favor of the change. President Heidi Matthew says it indicates a new chapter in funding for public education.

“And now it’s incumbent upon our legislators to fulfill their promises to the school children of Utah,” Matthews said.

The passage of Amendment G triggers the passage of two other bills HB 357 and HB 5011. But Matthews notes that education funding in Utah has been and will continue to be at the discretion of the legislature.  

“Our concern is that if G was to be rejected that we would be just back to the status quo and not moving education funding forward,” Matthews explained. “Constitutional amendment G triggers passage of legislation we are very much in favor of which does establish annually funding a student enrollment growth, and inflation, and an economic stabilization account for downturns and an also restores the equivalent funds to reach that 6% of the WPU increase that had to change due to COVID.”

House bill 5011 requires the legislature to restore over time, the $140M that they had approved last session, but then withdrew in a special session because of the pandemic.

Matthews says the UEA will get to work in January to restore that funding as soon as possible, but there was no deadline established when that has to happen and because of the continuing pandemic, tax revenues will be down.

Still the current system has not delivered. The change she says will be significant in giving the legislature direction for base level funding of growth, inflation and growing the state’s investment  in education.

An opponent to the amendment was Utah Voices for Children. CEO Moe Hickey says guaranteed funding for education has been replaced with vague and misleading language about how it will help children. But the bottom line he says is  there’s no new money.

“We want education to be property funded,” Hickey said. “We want  children’s issues to be funded, health, disabilities. The problem is the math doesn’t add up. It doesn’t matter how many times, one plus one 1 does not  equal 3. We’re going to take the income tax money and  combine it with money that is currently on hand and expect to fund more programs without increasing revenues. It does not add up.”

Utah, he says is adding 10,000 new kids each year to the public education system and we’re still not back to the funding levels from 2008. All of the money that’s been put into education he says has been to fund the growth and the unmet needs – like counseling, nursing and food insecurity are not being addressed.

If you take that money and combine with it another fund and now fund children with disabilities he says– you still haven’t added any new revenues.

“And then you add the other unmet needs we have in the state for the moment,” said Hickey. “For example, we still have the highest rate of  teen suicides in the country per capita.  We’re ranked 51st in childcare and we have 65-thoisand spots needed. We do not have a universal pre K program . We did not get the full funding for optional extended day kindergarten and the list goes on. So,  when you combine the fact that we are last in the country for public education and we’re not talking  about adding to the revenue pot, it just doesn’t add up.”

With almost half  of the voters voting against this he says there are many who feel like there’s a better way to do this – and his organization will spearhead an upcoming media and advocacy campaign to Invest in Utah Kids with hopes that will put some pressure on lawmakers before they meet in January.

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