For Immediate Release: January 25, 2016
Contact: Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
Utah House Democratic Caucus
Democratic Leader Anticipates Conflicting Goals for 2016 Session
Salt Lake City – Following the opening remarks of Speaker Greg Hughes on the first day of the 2016 legislative session, House Democratic Leader Brian King released the following statement:
“Speaker Hughes laid out a theme of good information driving good decisions. He chose to highlight legislative actions that require bipartisan support, while, at the same time, treating the Democrats as invisible. I am disappointed that the Speaker spent so much of his opening remarks praising past accomplishments without acknowledging that many of those things passed only as a result of Democratic votes. Many included initiatives that Democrats have championed for years. Getting the input of all the House members, not just the majority caucus, is the way we do legislative work in this country. We call it representative democracy. It’s also the Utah way.
Justice reform requires Medicaid Expansion. Eliminating red air days requires a hard look at the investments we are making in our economic development. If we , as a legislative body and not just a super-majority, want to invest in education in a way that is sustainable and will make us competitive in the future, we cannot pat ourselves on the back for funding growth and pitch technology programs our state doesn’t need. We need well paid teachers and to offer salaries that encourage people to go into that profession. We need a WPU that can lower classroom sizes and can fund the kind of education where each student is taught the best information in the best way based on their individual needs. An iPad cannot do that. A teacher can.
Good information exists. We have had it for years and years. We know what will benefit the state, and we know what the state wants. Real political courage is when a leader turns to his caucus and says ‘No more pipe dreams fueled by special interests.’ That is our only chance to genuinely address and solve the issues our state faces today.”