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Utah's governor vetoes some tax bills because of 'economic uncertainty'

Governor legislature
Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 00:25:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert has vetoed a series of bills that made some tweaks to tax policy, something he objected to in a "time of economic uncertainty."

In a letter to House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President J. Stuart Adams, the governor referenced the current coronavirus pandemic as why he vetoed some bills that offered tax credits and breaks or spent money that he believed needed to be saved right now.

Other bills, he disagreed with the tax policy direction taken by the Utah State Legislature.

Read the letter here:

governor veto letter 1
governor veto letter 2

In a statement, the Libertas Institute, which backed a tax credit for special needs students outside public schools, criticized the governor's decision to veto the bill.

"During a time of economic turmoil, this program would have been a cost savings to the state," said Michael Melendez, director of policy for the libertarian-leaning group, in a statement. "It's sad that Utah couldn't join the many other states that have provided flexibility and support for families with special needs children. This bill was designed to empower families while also leaving substantial funding for the public education system."

The governor signed the last of the bills from the 2020 legislative session into law, a total of 477 bills he approved. They are:

● HB3 Appropriations Adjustments
● HB29 Building Code Amendments
● SB44 Limited Support Services Waiver Amendments
● SB117 Higher Education Financial Aid Amendments
● SB133 Public-private Partnerships Amendments
● SB141 Multicounty Assessing and Collecting Levy Amendments
● SB161 Title Insurance Amendments
● SB217 State Retirement Amendments
● SCR9 Concurrent Resolution Addressing Olympics
● SCR13 Concurrent Resolution Encouraging More Study into Emotional Support Animals

Gov. Herbert allowed one piece of legislation -- the porn warning label bill -- to go into law without his signature.