Bill would give 10% of liquor sales to schools

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's lawmakers will debate a bill this legislative session that taps money from liquor sales to help pay for public education.

Rep. Jim Bird has become known as the guy who's looking for new and sometimes unusual ways to find more education funding. He sponsored a bill that eventually allowed school districts to sell and put advertisements on school busses.

Now he's trying for a second time to tap state liquor sales as a way to fund schools. This time around, Bird's bill would take 10 percent from liquor sales and earmark it for public education to help pay teachers' salaries.

He estimates it would generate more than $37 million. Critics say because the money is not a new tax source, it's simply taking money already going to other programs and diverting it to education.

The last time Rep. Bird tried a similar bill it did not get voted on by the full House of Representatives.

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Randall Jeppesen


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