UT Stronger Tomorrow Agenda

American Rescue Plan

Tell Gov. Cox and your legislators to support the UT Stronger Together Agenda

The faith, civic, and business leaders of United Today, Stronger Tomorrow – Utah consulted with more than 1000 Utahns about how American Rescue Plan funds should be prioritized in the state. Informed by these priorities, we then met with Utah’s top policy experts in the areas of Education, Family Support, Health Care, Housing, Infrastructure, and Jobs to identify specific investments that will have the biggest impact on Utah’s future.  

The Covid Pandemic has affected all Utahns — but not equally. Front line workers, immigrants, people of color, indigenous people, people with disabilities, small business owners, and rural Utahns have been hardest hit. ARP funds should be used to correct the historic inequities that have festered for too long.  

The UT Stronger Tomorrow Agenda recommends both one-time investments and temporary expansions of the safety net that are crucial in this moment of recovery, and that should be evaluated for extension at the end of 2024. Utah has more than $3 billion to spend on education, housing, health care, child care and unrestricted funds. Let’s invest it wisely to build a stronger tomorrow for our state.

Housing
  • Create a $100 million affordable housing trust fund that can provide flexible funding to developers, Community Development Corporations, or housing authorities to build permanently affordable housing for families making 0-30% of area median income.  At least 20% of these funds should be reserved for rural communities. 
  • Fund  a long-term, permanent Salt Lake County overflow shelter to address seasonal needs until ample deeply affordable and permanent supportive housing units are available.
Health Care
  • Increase School-Based Health Centers staffed with nurses and mental health professionals.
  • Fund mental health professionals in homeless resource centers.
  • Expand health care coverage to all Utah children, starting with the $5 million proposed SB 158 to immediately cover an additional 7,500 of Utah’s 82,000 uninsured children.
  • Double the Community Health Worker program, with resources to pay full benefits to CHWs and expenses to the Community Based Organizations who can best manage them.
Education
  • Reduce class size 
  • Reduce teacher attrition
  • Reduce tuition costs at state and community colleges.
  • Fund technical education and apprenticeships programs to develop skilled infrastructure workers, targeting underrepresented workers and workers dislocated from mine and power plant closures.
  • Provide incentives for social work students who commit to serving in rural and other underserved areas and populations.
  • Support local district pilot programs to make full-day kindergarten available to all families who wish to choose it. ($52.5 million)
  • Expand access to pre-K to all children who are at risk of starting 1st grade not ready to learn
Family Support
  • Increase funding through the Utah Office of Child Care to make child care more available and affordable to families who need it.
  • Fully fund DSPD wait list for families with disabled children ($20 million).
  • Create unrestricted emergency funds that can be used by families in crisis, managed by Community Based Organizations and accessible to all Utahns regardless of immigration status.
Jobs and Small Business
  • Income supplement grants to essential workers targeted at those making under $20/hour.
  • Implement State Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers.
  • Renew and expand Shop in Utah program targeting small business with under 25 employees.
  • Create long term disability fund for small business owners with long-haul COVID.
Infrastructure
  • Create a $100 million fund to cap abandoned oil wells, with bid preferences to favor Utah workers and good benefits.
  • Fund school districts with greatest health disparities to improve ventilation systems, increase energy efficiency, and purchase electric busses.
  • Expand access to high speed internet in rural communities.
  • Increase uranium cleanup work on the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation.
  • Offer incentives for business to replace diesel heavy equipment with more modern, cleaner alternatives.
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