Liquor sales could begin funding public education, at least if one Utah lawmaker has his way. Republican Representative Jim Bird plans to run a bill in the upcoming legislative session that takes 10 percent of liquor sales to improve schools.
Utah has consistently come in last in the country when it comes to state spending on public education according to the U.S. Census. Now, West Jordan Republican Representative is looking for a way to change that.
“We’re just trying to move 10 percent of the gross profit from DABC to education.”
Bird says House Bill 271 would set aside the profits from the Department of Beverage Control (DABC) particularly for teacher’s salaries, benefits and preparation days. Although the amount of money would depend on how well alcohol sales are doing in the state, Bird estimates if the bill were implemented this year it would mean 37 million for Utah schools.
“This is an opportunity to bring some money, in this case, 37 million dollars into public education without raising any taxes- any taxes, I look at this and think why not?”
But Senate President Wayne Neiderhouser has some concerns saying DABC money is already allocated.
“How are you now going to fill that gap in the areas where that revenue stream has been funding programs because it just looks like your robbing Peter to pay Paul and then we’re going to have to deal with a hole in the budget somewhere else.”
This is the second time Bird has proposed this legislation. Last year it was not voted on by the Full House of Representatives.