HB 327: Tax Dollars to Help Rural Utahns Find Online Work
This bill passed the House 65-1 and the Senate 22-1.
Costing a whopping $1,860,000, House Bill 327 would take money from Utah’s education fund to pay for a pilot program to help rural Utahns find online jobs and business opportunities. Aiming to provide more employment opportunities for rural Utahns, HB 327 is sponsored by Representative Michael Noel.
Although this bill’s intentions might be good, the cost-benefit analysis is disheartening. There are many broad statements in this bill such as the allowance for funding to be spent on providing “one on one coaching” for those who pursue a remote online opportunity, or to be spent on “other activities related to remote online opportunities.” With language this broad, it seems as though the funding appropriated from this bill could easily be misused or abused.
Although the purpose of the project may be admirable, it is not appropriate to spend taxpayer dollars on a loosely defined pilot project which would only benefit a small number of Utahns—especially since numerous online materials, services, and applications already enable and assist individuals looking for online, remote work.