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The State of Utah

Talking
Utah…

The State of the State Address was delivered by Governor Jon Huntsman last night.  And as this was the first State of the State Address for this governor, it was more of a my plans for the state address.

As I listened, I was struck as either agreeing or disagreeing with what he said.  So, I thought I would outline my agreement and disagreements below:

AGREE:

 “Today, the marketplace is regional, national and global – with a level of speed and complexity not seen before in human history…. With capital flows that are instantaneous, our competition isn’t just Colorado, Nevada, and California, but also China, India, and
Canada.”

“We need a tax policy that is not only friendly to our citizens, but also creates a competitive environment for business. Business as usual– will leave us behind our neighboring states.”

“An important first step we can take this session is to allow for double-weighted sales regarding our corporate-income-tax formula, with the game-plan to eliminate the corporate tax over the next few years…. This approach must be coupled, however, with a short-term strategy on sales and income taxes to ensure no revenue holes are left.” (Although I am cautious about how this will effect income taxes).

“It is time to figure out a way to pay our educators more.”

“I fully support
Utah’s public schools, public charter schools and school choice.”

“I also will encourage business leaders to became more actively involved with education through implementing programs that unite them with parents, teachers, and students.”

“Let’s tap into our vast volunteer potential and can-do spirit by asking parents and grandparents to come back to the classroom for purposes of mentoring, tutoring, and career guidance.” (That’s assuming you can get the teachers to cooperate.)

“Transportation issues must also be addressed now if we are to avoid total gridlock later. Promises made must be promises kept. For example, when it comes to the Legacy Highway – let’s build it. And when it comes to taking the steps necessary to build commuter rail – let’s take them.”

“I will minimize politics and maximize service.”

DISAGREE:

“We must begin to pay less attention to party affiliation or which branch of government we come from and focus more on using our differences to strengthen our communities, our cities, and our State.”

“Our recently proposed budget calls for more funding support for public education than this State has seen in nearly a decade.”

“For too long, the dedicated people who serve the State of
Utah have not had a meaningful pay increase. They need one, and deserve one, and I am committed to working with you to provide it. My budget calls for the largest compensation realignment in more than a decade.” (I will agree with this if the realignment includes reduction of employees.)

“Those of our friends and neighbors with some of the greatest health care needs, recently lost funding for dental and vision care.  I support restoring and have budgeted 5 million dollars in funding for the Medicaid program that covers these costs.”

“One concern that could negatively impact our State for generations is the storage of class B & C radioactive waste. My position on this is clear: B & C waste will not be dumped in
Utah.”

As I prepared this, I was stuck with how much I agree with what he is proposing to do.  I hope that he does it.

P.S.  I would be more than willing to explain further in depth why I agree or disagree with the above quotes upon request.

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