Swapping branches: Moving between Utah’s Legislature and the Herbert Administration

Jon Cox resigned his seat in the Utah House on July 8 to take a job in Governor Gary Herbert’s office as Communications Director. Cox is a savvy and likable hand and he’ll do well in the new job. He won’t be the first legislator to join the Herbert Administration, however (nor the first Cox. In addition to Spencer Cox, the LG and Jon’s fourth cousin, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget is Kristin Cox, though she is not related, at least directly, to the other two. This is what we call…

We Need Women in Leadership Roles, Including the Home

Have you ever heard of the “Mommy wars?” It’s the sad, judgemental insecurity-laden false narrative that pits mothers against each other to see who can be the best. Homebirth or hospital birth, breastfeed or bottlefeed, preschool or not, work outside the home, work in the home (something EVERY woman does, of course) or do outside work from home, pursuing a college education after marriage or kids, lots of kids, no kids or just a few kids, political involvement, PTA or PTO involvement, homeschool, public school, private school or charter school.…

UTPOL’s Summer Reading List: Senator Pat Jones

Senator Pat Jones

If you haven’t picked up a book from your summer reading list yet, it’s not too late. To help you out, I’m taking a look at what Utah’s politicians have on their summer reading lists. This is the first in the series.  Senator Pat Jones represents Utah’s Fourth Senate District, covering much of the east side of Salt Lake County. She will be retiring at the end of her current term. Says Senator Jones about her summer reading: “I’m reading And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini   He wrote The Kite…

I’ll See Your Head Tax And Raise You A Credit [Productive Activities]


The Head Tax is an idea that’s been around for at least a decade. It’s an idea that purports to secure additional funding for public education. It’s called Head Tax because it would force families to pay extra income tax for every child they have. You see, when you file your taxes, you get a deduction for each dependent, which means your tax bill drops. Since all income tax in Utah goes to education, the Head Tax people think that means you’re not paying your fair share. After all, it’s your kids…

Cut From the Same Cloth?

There is a fundamental question making its way around the Capitol this session: should taxes be tied to users? For example, should those that drive more pay more for roads through gas taxes or tolls? Or should those directly utilizing our public schools pay more towards education? These items never quite correlate exactly, but there has always been a sense especially among conservatives that user taxes are better policy.

Pat Jones’ SB 118 is a tax raise on families [Publius Online]

Senator Pat Jones proposal to raise taxes on families with children to send more money to Utah teachers sounds like a way to boost education dollars. In reality, Jones’ $400 million proposal takes from those who need it most: Families with children, especially those with lower incomes. If passed, the bill would create jobs in education and allow schools to shrink class sizes by hiring new educators, Jones said.