In our opinion: Utah's 2014 legislative session

Published: Sunday, Jan. 26 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

We hope to see legislative efforts to expand school choice, not just through charters, but by giving low-income students access to an array of private and public choices. We hope to see real innovation in how the state renovates a system devised for the industrial age, with vestiges of the agricultural age hanging on. We hope to see measures that encourage public and private schools to collaborate and share ideas about what works and what doesn’t.

Intergenerational Poverty

Few things are more troubling to a state’s long-term outlook than having a segment of its population caught in a downward cycle of poverty that gets passed from generation to generation. The state already has begun tracking data on this type of poverty. Last year it set up a commission to identify solutions. This year we anxiously await the results of this process and plant to watch its implementation carefully.

We also encourage policies that promote marriage, given research that clearly ties stable marriage to economic stability.

Economic Development

Certainly, Utah does a good job attracting business. Its laws are friendly toward startups and relocations, and the state often ranks high in surveys on places in which to do business.

That said, this is an issue we would like to be at the forefront of discussions on all other issues we raise. Clean air, quality education, sound liquor laws and policies that reduce intergenerational poverty all contribute to a state that attracts high-paying jobs and higher living standards.

Given how Utah’s lawmakers live and work around the people they represent, we have no doubt they will be able to keep their eyes on the needs of Utahns above all else, making for a successful session.

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