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Rep. Chris Stewart’s ACE Act Passes the House

Rep. Chris Stewart’s bipartisan legislation, H.R. 4257 the Advancing Conservation and Education (ACE) Act, was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives.

In Utah, and throughout the western United States, millions of acres of school trust lands are trapped within wilderness areas, national parks, national monuments and other areas that have been set aside for conservation purposes. The ACE Act provides a streamlined process by which state and federal land managers can exchange trust lands within federal conservation areas for other public lands that are better suited for revenue generation for public schools.

As manager of Utah’s trust lands, SITLA deposits all revenue from real estate, energy, mineral, and surface development on school trust lands into the $2.5 billion Permanent School Fund. SITLA has contributed $1.7 billion to the permanent fund since 1994.

Interest income from this $2.5 billion Permanent School Fund augments public school funding by more than $70 million annually. Over the past two decades, Utah classrooms have received $459 million, at no cost to Utah taxpayers.