Show Me The Study

THIS was supposed to be THE YEAR. Governor Herbert’s proposed budget last fall gave hope to thousands of Utah teachers.  After more than five years of trying to dig out of a weak economy, our government had a surplus.  Governor Herbert’s proposal offered $500 million to public schools and a 6.25% increase in the WPU. As I spoke with several members of the Utah House and Senate Friday, it became alarmingly apparent to me that the governor’s proposal was, in their eyes, not plausible.  Not even close. After years of…

Governor to unveil fiscal year 2016 budget recommendations [UPH Wire]

MEDIA ALERT December 10, 2014 Governor to unveil fiscal year 2016 budget recommendations   What:           Gov. Gary R. Herbert will present his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. New consensus revenue numbers reported yesterday show Utah’s growing and diverse economy gives Utah an opportunity to invest. Gov. Herbert’s budget recommendations demonstrate a strong continued focus on education. The governor will unveil his plan at Granite Park Jr. High School, Utah’s only Advancement VIA Individual Determination (AVID) school. AVID schools help prepare students to become college and career ready.…

Why this Democrat wants the GOP to win in November.

People frequently ask me why I affiliated on my voter registration with the Utah Democratic party. They seem blown away when I explain Utah’s convention/caucus system and that the only way to fully participate in Utah politics is to affiliate officially with a party. And, frankly, the Utah Republicans wouldn’t have me, so it was easier to align with the Democratic party where I am a delegate and a member of several different groups within the party. As many people know, I am also an intern (through the Hinckley Institute of…

Obamacare employer incentives could drive up Medicaid expansion costs

Last week, I was invited to share my thoughts and concerns about Medicaid expansion with my former Republican legislative colleagues in the Utah House and Senate. I have been involved in the Medicaid policy debate since 2009, first as a Utah State Senator and now as a private citizen. My primary concern over these past five years has been the financial sustainability of the Medicaid system, which, until recently, has been growing at around three times the rate of our state budget, gobbling up already strained resources and forcing cuts…

Games of chance legal in Utah. Who knew?

  In Utah, we don’t gamble. Games of chance are against the law. In fact, our State Constitution prohibits gambling. Yet every year a high stakes poker game plays out in our State Capitol as a $13.5 billion budget is ironed out. Think the World Series of Poker. On one side, The House led by Speaker Becky Lockhart. On the other side, the Senate let by President Wayne Niederhauser. Together, the two legislative bodies appropriate the budget. Another player at the table with a smaller stack of chips is Governor Gary…