ABC 4 EXCLUSIVE: New Utah school voucher bill being drafted
SALT LAKE CITY ( ABC 4 News) - ABC 4 News has learned Utah is headed for another potentially bruising debate over school vouchers.
A key republican state legislator is now drafting a new bill which would create a voucher program for some Utah students.
In early 2007, the Utah legislature approved a school voucher program.
But later that same year, voters rejected it.
Now, however, the school voucher debate is back.
Under the the new voucher idea, students from failing Utah schools could be given scholarships.
These scholarships could then be used at private schools.
Rep. Carl Wimmer, the bill’s sponsor says,
“There are students who are simply falling through the cracks. Probably more than we actually care to mention."
Wimmer also says he has an interesting way to pay for this.
He wants the legislature to let individuals or businesses donate money to pay for the vouchers or scholarships.
In return, the donors would get tax credits.
Wimmer told ABC 4,
"A non-refundable tax credit is the least the state can do to help that individual donate that money."
But then Wimmer said something unexpected.
Given how high profile this voucher bill may be (and how controversial), ABC 4 wanted to know what the incoming speaker, Becky Lockhart, thought about it.
ABC 4: “Does the Speaker know what you are up to?”
Wimmer: “Not yet. She will tonight after she sees the news."
Wimmer says it may take two bills and two legislative sessions to get his scholarship plan passed.
The Utah legislature begins its 2011 session in one month.