FOX 13: If the Utah legislature swaps out Prop. 3, supporters aren’t ruling out a referendum or lawsuits

SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of religious leaders and advocates for the poor are pressuring the legislature to reject a bill that swaps out voter-approved Proposition 3.

They met with lawmakers to try to persuade them to vote against Senate Bill 96, which would set enrollment caps, seek federal waivers and implement a work requirement. Lawmakers are worried that the sales tax voters approved in Prop. 3 isn’t enough to cover ballooning costs that could hurt the state budget.

“It’s disappointing that the will of Utahns isn’t being respected,” said Rabbi Samuel Spector of Congregation Kol Ami.

Rev. Joan Bell-Hayes of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ, said religious leaders are caring for the poor and lawmakers should, too.

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“We have families that are struggling every day to put food on the table and so then to add not having healthcare on top of that?” she said.

The leaders of 40 different faith groups sent a letter to House Speaker Brad Wilson, Senate President Stuart Adams and Governor Gary Herbert, asking them to implement Prop. 3.

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has been a major advocate for Prop. 3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment on its position on the initiative or any of the replacement bills.

Lawmakers fear that what voters approved won’t cover the estimated 150,000 in need of healthcare coverage in Utah. That would force the legislature to look for other sources of funding to cover the difference.

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