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“Work on what matters to America,” says Cox in State of the State

Jan 20, 2022, 9:35 PM | Updated: Jan 21, 2022, 9:54 am
Cox Utah state of the state school voucher...
Gov. Spencer Cox delivers his 2022 State of the State address to all Utahns, House and Senate members, Utah Supreme Court Justices, State Auditor, State Treasurer and Utah Attorney General at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Photo credcit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

LISTEN LIVE: Governor Spencer Cox is on air answering your questions. Call 801.575.8255 or text 57500 to submit a question.

SALT LAKE CITY — In his State of the State address on Thursday night, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox outlined what he felt are the state’s greatest current challenges by referring to them as the things that matter to America. And from housing prices to inflation, he wants to get started right away.

But, first, COVID-19

On the elephant in the room, the two years that Utah, the nation, and the world have been living with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, he looked for the silver linings in his State of the State address. Those included Utah’s hospitalization rate (half the national average, he said), and that cases in Summit county had begun to decrease.

On Thursday, Utah health officials reported that 756 Utahns were hospitalized with COVID.

Related: Another COVID-19 case count record set in Utah: 12,990 in a single day

Despite differences in opinion, Cox urged Utahns to find common ground in our children. “They need us to be strong,” he said, “they need us to point to a hopeful future.”

And they need to be in school, face to face, with their teacher Cox said.

There was no mention of the indoor mask mandates in Salt Lake and Summit Counties that Utah Senators voted to eradicate this week, and on which the Utah House must still vote.

State of the State and Education    

Cox said he wants to add to the $510 million dollars that lawmakers invested in students and teachers in 2021, by adding nearly a million more to the pot. 

Related: A hidden consequence of Utah’s crowded classrooms?

“I”m proposing more than $970 million in education funding, with a priority focus on at-risk and disadvantaged students,” Cox said. And he wants to eliminate school fees for what he called the “basic coursework required for graduation.” The legislation drafted by Rep. Adam Robertson would save Utah parents $55 million dollars each year.

Inflation

As expected, Gov. Cox placed his support behind a proposal that would create a $160 million grocery tax credit “for Utah families who are suffering the devastating impacts of inflation.”

Related: Podcast – Three bills (including grocery tax) that have our attention

State of the state and housing prices

Calling Utah the fastest growing state in the nation and fearful that Utah was becoming a place where “our children and grandchildren might not be able to live near us,” Gov. Cox pleaded with lawmakers to remove government regulations which he said needlessly increase Utah’s housing prices. He said that bills spearheaded by at least four lawmakers will do just that.

He said that Utah’s increasing housing prices are unsustainable and will be the cause of children leaving their home towns.

Related: KSL Series: Priced Out – finding an affordable home in Utah

“We have to get this right,” he said. “We have to act now … It is our duty to invest in projects that will benefit our children and grandchildren.”

Election integrity “be aware of false choices”

Cox issued a forceful rebuke against questioning the integrity of elections in Utah and across the nation. His speech Thursday was just a few weeks past Jan. 6, the date that, in 2021 a protest over national election results became violent at the U.S. Capitol. Utah’s election integrity, he said, cannot be refuted.


 

And neither, he said, can the right to vote.

Related: Don’t trust your local election? Visit your polling place and see for yourself

“Unfortunately, some in our country have found that unsubstantiated claims and flat out lies are an effective way to destabilize our Constitutional Republic and make it harder for their opponents to participate and vote.

“Voting security must never be about making it harder for legal voters to vote. Please be aware of false choices. As a conservative, I believe that we should always work to make constitutional rights more accessible, not less.”

 


 

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“Work on what matters to America,” says Cox in State of the State