SALT LAKE CITY – Utah voters have narrowly approved the state’s controversial Amendment G ballot proposal, giving lawmakers new authority to reallocate income tax revenues.
In Tuesday’s general election balloting, about 53 percent of voters favored the proposed change to the Utah constitution that allows lawmakers to spend state income tax revenue on programs to benefit children and disabled Utahns. The Utah Constitution has traditionally reserved those funds exclusively for public and higher education.
Advocates of Amendment G argued that its approval triggers associated legislation guaranteeing that public education funding will be automatically adjusted based on enrollment growth and inflation. The constitutional change will also establish a reserve account to stabilize public education funding during economic downturns.
The proposal was loudly opposed by many statewide advocacy groups, especially in the wake of Utah’s ill-fated 2019 tax reform initiative.
The Utah Legislature referred a near-record seven constitutional amendments to the general election ballot, all of which were ultimately approved by voters. Only Amendment G drew much attention from political candidates and the media.
The other amendments on the general election ballot included:
Amendment A, making the language of the state Constitution gender neutral. That proposal drew 590,346 favorable votes to 424,905 opposed.
Amendment B, which specifies the qualifications of a state legislator. This proposal was overwhelming approved by a more than 4 to 1 margin (793,021 favorable votes to 194,528 opposed).
Amendment C, repealing a constitutional exception that allowed involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. The proposed change was favored by 809,993 voters compared to 192,458 opposed.
Amendment D, specifying circumstances under which a municipality may commit water rights or supply water outside its boundaries. Nearly 587,708 Utahns voted to approve this measure, compared to 375,411 opposing it.
Amendment E, creating a constitutional right to hunt and fish. This measure was approved by a more than 2 to 1 margin, with 747,038 voters favoring that change and 257,237 voters opposing it.
Amendment F, giving lawmakers authority to set the start date for legislative sessions. Nearly 640,650 voters favored this measure compared to 318,061 opposing it.