House speaker criticizes governor in opening address to Utah Legislature

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  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    Agree with the Speaker on this. The Governor has lost his way and is doing it more and more every day. Wish I had voted for Philpott in the primary.

  • kfbob SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 7:39 p.m.

    Lockhart is right. We can take the easy way out and join Obamacare now and down the road we will have funding issues, Federal strings attached, fewer doctors, and poor healthcare. Utah is rated as one of the top states for healthcare delivery. There is no reason to dismantle something that is working. And to those that are unemployed or needy, Obamacare is not the answer. Tell me how the Fed is doing delivering mail, or with social security ponzi scheme or any other gov't program. Incompetence at best criminal at worst.

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    Tell the "struggling" out there that there is the possibility of an internet degree, with one year of on campus study in most states. My daughter has six children, and worked and "went to school at night" on the internet and graduated with a degree in education at the age of 36, with all of her children and husband cheering her on. After several years in the school system, and doing off jobs after work, she rose to the rank of assistant vice principal at a top charter school in California and is making six figures. It can be done. Lot of very hard and determined work and effort, and, of course, intelligence. Help is on the way and it is your own self determination to succeed and get away from "Uncle Sugar." Sugar is not healthy for the body and welfare is not good for your self preservation.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    Considering the National Democratic party has doubled our national debt in six years--spending over 8 trillion dollars above the crushing amount of taxes the Feds already take in--

    Who on earth thinks we should trust a Democrat with anything? I can't think of a single policy the Dems have that would actually help the poor. Enslave the poor? Yes. Help them? No way.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 28, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    @acerinox said, "Perhaps you could take a moment to demonstrate a clear state interest in allowing anyone to marry limits."

    We are getting a bit off-topic here, but since you asked:

    Firstly, no one said "no limits." It's still only two adult, mutually-consenting, unrelated, legally unencumbered, competent humans.

    When two people vow/promise/commit to love and support each other for the rest of their lives, forming a unified household, it's in the state's interest to grant them next-of-kin status, inheritance rights, and household tax treatment. Because, providing legal stability to that household makes it more likely to provide childcare and eldercare for each others' family members, not to mention each other, care that might otherwise become the state's financial responsibility. Stable households are valuable to the state in many ways, economically and socially.

    The state has no other interest in marriage. They let marriages dissolve (divorce rate 50%), don't address out-of-wedlock births (41%), let single people adopt, and allow all manner of fertility services. Plus, sterile people can marry.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    As I suspected, the Lockhart quotes in this article were context-free and devoid of any of the meaning or intent reported by the popular media. Why not judge what she actually said, instead of reading just what some reporter wanted to steer your focus to?

    After initial publication, the article was revised to include a link to the actual transcript. Lockhart's speech seems to bear little resemblance to the sensational news reports.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    @ A Quaker--
    There is indeed a great deal of evidence that there is a state interest in natural marriage, far too much to cite in my 210 words here, but if you're sincerely interested, I recommend as a starter the study of "Why Marriage Matters, Third Edition: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences (National Marriage Project, Institute for American Values, 2011.)

    In the meantime, I thought it quite interesting that one of the chief arguments in the case as presented to Judge Shelby was that "The right to get married would be a very hollow right if it did not include the right to determine, to choose, to make the decision about who you're going to marry. I mean it's great to have a marriage right, but if you can't marry whom you want to marry, what value does that fundamental right or privacy interest have?" In other words, what is proposed is that anyone could marry anyone. Perhaps you could take a moment to demonstrate a clear state interest in allowing anyone to marry limits.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    Do our politicians understand that Obamacare only helps those 100% to 400% at or above the poverty line?
    That is to say, a single woman making $18,000 is at the line and qualifies for tax credits toward insurance premiums. But, if she is a single mother, she is below the poverty line and does not qualify for insurance assistance. That's the doughnut hole that is supposed to be covered by Medicaid but not in Utah to make a political statement. "Return to sender"

    Stop hurting children to play your political games.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 28, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    Jim Matheson for governor. Better than either the extreme right-winger or the even more extreme right-winger.

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    The opening day speech of the leader in the House of Representatives should have been about identifying the critical state issues that need work, and possible solutions. Using the speech to launch her campaign for governor was showing her true colors - she's a politician instead of a stateswoman. Poor judgment and poor taste.

  • sjames AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 8:59 a.m.


    "The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is nearly a copy of Romney Care (MASS Health) and was modeled after an early 90's Republican model for providing health care to citizens."

    There are several KEY differences between ACA and what Romney did. First and foremost, Romney's was a STATE program that was LOCALLY driven. IT had been reviewed and approved before being passed. Remember Pelosi's words "we have to pass (ACA) to see what's in it?" None of that garbage with Romney care.

    Second, Romney's people actually created a system that worked, ie no website glitches on a nine figure website.

    Third, Romney's plan empowered the consumer, ACA takes power away from the end user.

    I could go on and on. I'm sick of people comparing Romney's plan to ACA. If they were so similar, then you should be praising Mitt for creating Obama's dream system.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    To those who fret and fantasize about the single mother, raising child/children working two jobs with no health insurance would sign up to donate a fixed amount of money, after taxes toward a fund to pay for her alleged health care the problem would be solved.

    This aforementioned person may not have insurance but does have access to health care service. There is a difference. ER's will treat emergency conditions. there are clinics that treat problems.

    As to the Speaker's political future, who knows? Should make for good press and fun lines for Pignanelli and Webb on Sunday.

    To those who opine why not vote "D". Let me count the ways....

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    One other note about Romney-care in Massachusetts. Something that only the very conservative were willing to criticize during this last election is the true impact. The Left wanted to praise it while moderate Republicans ended up ignoring the issue. Again, very relevant to this current discussion.

    Romneycare and Massachusetts currently has some of the lowest uninsured rates in the nation. They also have the highest premiums and the longest wait times in the nation to get care. There wait times are on par with Europe. And with the most expensive premiums in the nation they also receive large subsidies from the Federal government to offset those premiums. In short, without those Federal subsidies their premiums, already the highest in the nation would be much higher. Some think tanks suggest upwards of 40% higher!

    As we go down this road there are many warning signs. We've already passed by many, which promised us premiums would go up, not down; we would not be able to keep our doctors, etc, etc.

    This issue between Lockhart and Herbert is likely the financial issue for Utah's future economy, jobs and taxes for the next decade.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    A cautionary tale for Lockhart, Herbert and Utah.

    In the late 1990's the State of Tennessee dramatically expanded Medicaid to these currently proposed levels. It was done by a Democratic Governor, House and Senate. In fact, the Democrats controlled Tennessee since that state was allowed back into the Union after the Yankees left circa 1870s.

    By the early 2000's when one analyzed the budget you saw that this expanded Medicaid program was on tract to bankrupt the state. It was consuming ALL new funding. It was projected that within a few years they would even have to cut Education, roads, etc to fund at the dramatically promised levels of an expanded Medicaid. Mind you, this as state funding across the board was increasing! This program, called Tenncare was consuming everything.

    With this on the horizon it should be noted that a Democrat Governor and a 2/3 Democratically controlled House and Senate did the only thing that could be done to save the rest of the budget...they ended Tenncare and cut Medicaid back to the previous levels. This literally saved the Tennessee budget.

    Other states have been down this road before. Utah should listen to this non-partisan lesson.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    How many of you "anti-Herbert" types voted for the very same Gary Herbert in 2010 and 2012? Did he change much after he assumed the governor's office when Huntsman left? I'm going to guess all of you voted for him - not only once, but twice.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 6:39 a.m.


    I will go next. What do we do for the 250 year old Revolutionary war vet's widow with 20 children (ha, beat you duggars) who works 4 part time jobs with no coverage on health care (5 hours a week each job) and who needs new wheels for her wheel chair and crutches because evil republicans are on a quest to convert all wheel chair ramps into scrap metal to build tanks out of them while polluting the atmosphere at the same time!

    /takes breath (what a sentence)

    Stop picking out random terrible situations as basis for the way you see things. I know a two single moms who could have landed in that boat but didn't. Lets not use them as "good" examples...

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 28, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    @Jefferson, Thomas:
    "I challenge anyone to site just one conservative Governor from the state of Utah who's conservative leadership approach would be comparative to the great Reagan or Thatcher,"

    Awesome! I spit out my morning coffee as I read that. Hilarious. You've a great sense of humor. Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 1:48 a.m.

    "Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated Church position. While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their best judgment and with consideration of the constituencies whom they were elected to represent."

    From the LDS Newsroom on Political neutrality.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 27, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    @aceroinox: You know... If SSM was legal (remains legal), there may be fewer children being raised by their gay parents. This is because gay children wouldn't grow up afraid to admit who they are, and wouldn't force themselves to try living a straight life with someone they have no romantic interest in and could never bond with, and wouldn't end up making a baby or two which they end up having custody of after the divorce when they find their true love in a member of the same sex.

    Besides, the statistics prove that the government has no interest in marriage as a means of ensuring two nurturing biological parents living with every child. The divorce rate is 50%. Almost 41% of births are out-of-wedlock. There are single parents, multiple competing adoption agencies, all kinds of blended families, and thousands of kids languishing in orphanages. Plus, there is absolutely no requirement for a married couple to bear children. On what basis do you conclude our government takes an active interest in family composition?

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    I didn't think there was anyone who could raise my respect for Governor Herbert. I freely admit I was wrong. There are Utah politicians worse than him.

  • Brian Utley Freedom, IN
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    Why would Lockhart think the governor needs to be a man of action? Does she not believe as she has heretofore avowed that the government that governs least governs best. This is the problem with governments...and government people. They think that because they have this temporary, part-time job they have to do something. This is where our plethora of rules and regulations (laws) comes from. We've become so hedged up by ambitious, save-the-world government functionaries that everybody is turning to the government to solve all of our problems. It's like a sickness...thinking that government always has to become something. Yes, there is virtue in becoming, but there is virtue in just being, as well. Gary Herbert has done a good job in staying the course, not moving until the handwriting on the wall tells him there are no other options. This is a man whom I value.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    Expanding Medicare and Medicaid would be an improvement in Utah. Currently the members of Utah's legislature have distributed their own weight in words complaining about Obamacare -- but what has the legislature actually done to promote health? Has it pass legislation to deal with pollution -- something important to a person like me with astham and sensitive lungs? Has the legislature done anything to completely discourage smoking in the state? What will the legislature do to counter the threat of people driving into Utah from Colorado with recreational marijuana? What is the legislature doing to discourage the depressant drug misuse of alcohol? What has it done to fund studies in mental health? What has it done to stop insurance companies doing business in this state from discriminating against pre existing conditions.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    Here's just a few things that Ronald Reagan did as governor:
    Signed the largest tax increase in California's history.
    Signed the most liberal abortion law in the country.
    Signed a bill banning the carrying of firearms in public.
    Increased funding for education, both primary ed and higher ed.

    Is this the ultra-conservative governor you wanted for Utah? If so, I think I'd support him too. Reagan was really more of a pragmatist in the Eisenhower/Nixon mold, it's just that his rhetoric was more conservative.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:35 p.m.

    Yep going against Amendment 3 means she is looking at a national position not the Utah Governor. Sad.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:11 p.m.

    I can't tell you how disappointed I am to learn that Speaker Lockhart is hedging on her support for Amendment 3. Not only was Amendment 3 passed by an overwhelming majority of the state legislature, but also by the citizens of the State of Utah. There are good reasons for that, but one of the prime reasons is that every child has a right to be raised in a home with a mother and father. Certainly there are situations where because of divorce or death that becomes impossible, but it behooves us as citizens and the government which (should) represent us to ensure that we don't create and put our stamp of approval on a family structure that precludes that blessing in a child's life. Now, some will argue that there are same-sex parents who will do a better job than some flawed traditional marriages. That is undoubtedly true, but is beside the point: a child's right to both a mother and father is a basic right decreed by nature. We have no right to summarily make that impossible.

  • Heidi71 Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:06 p.m.

    Herbert has talked the talk, but he is not the kind of governor a lot of us wish he was. Hopefully, he can take Lockhart's words and consider them as constructive criticism. And I sure wish that he wouldn't have grabbed on to that Race to the Top carrot (i.e. ObamaCore). Sure wish he wouldn't have signed our state onto Common Core. And he sure made a poor choice for education advisor. She is unprofessional and dishonest.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Jan. 27, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    It is a pretty cheap shot for speaker Lockhart. The opening address shouldn't be a campaign speech and it is not an opportunity to vilify others. To use a sporting term, you play the ball, not the man.

  • slcman SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    @Jefferson, Thomas - Ronald Reagan would be a RINO by your definition. He was known to compromise with Democrats on a whole pile of issues both as governor of California and president. Study his record!

    Your eagerness to brand anyone who doesn't toe your narrow ideological line as a RINO is what will destroy the Republican Party. As if you were the Republican gatekeeper.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    Afraid I am rather distrustful of news reports these days, especially that purport to represent a Senate speech simply by quoting a few dozen words out of a lengthy speech, interspersed with copious journalistic commentary. Although the reporters interpretive impressions might be of some interest, I would be more pleased to hear words the Senator actually said. I feel that most readers of the Deseret News should be fully capable of drawing their own conclusions.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 5:56 p.m.


    Contrary to your comment, the word I hear is that Lockhart is very good. She is tough, bright, gets things done and would be a very good governor.

    And I haven't voted for a Republican for governor since the 90's.

  • Sophie 62 spring city, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    Oh Brother. More of the same ol' same ol'. The state doesn't need more extreme conservatism or knee-jerk anti-Obama slogans. It needs common sense and caring, and creative solutions that don't gut education and other public programs.
    The sad fact is that these programs that jsf mentioned probably will NOT provide for this mom if she's working 2 jobs. The qualifications are pretty stringent to qualify for help from the state. Having affordable health insurance is a much better alternative.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    I could support Lockhart for governor, if it weren't for the fact that she has been a big supporter of HB116 the Utah amnesty legislation, that the Utah Legislature doubled down on last year with SB225.

    Herbert has done very little other than signing HB116 and SB225, but Rep Lockhart has been a strong proponent of the Utah Compact and Amnesty for illegal aliens. Last year she was the House sponsor of SB225. She is big supporter of the SL Chamber of Commerce and the Sutherland Institute in their quest for more cheap foreign labor for Utah employers.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Lockhart has no shame and, it would seem, little political integrity. Using the opening of the legislature to do everything but announce her run for governor is ridiculous. Tell what you're going to do as speaker, Lockhart, without attacking the person whose job you want. It also isn't the best way to seek the cooperation of the governor's office at the beginning of a legislative session. Herbert is probably a big enough person to ignore Lockhart's shenanigans for the good of the state but I hope he finds a way to take a good dig at this political animal.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    What is exactly is free government? Maybe we could have more of this free stuff Niederhauser is talking about. And then Repubs accuse Obama of winning by offering free stuff. The gas tax has not been raised since 1997. The gas tax is one of the fairest taxes there is. Those who use our roads and highways pay the tax. Matheson for Governor.

  • True Blue SEoul Orem, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    I'd imagine if you would drop the crap about Obamacare, and first explained how many uninsured there are in Utah, and that we could insure nearly all of them for next to nothing because someone else agreed to pay for it, then the vast majority woudl be okay with it. I don't see where Lockhart gets the idea that Utahns don't want to expand health care coverage.

    Anyway, tired of seeing people posturing for other offices while supposed to be doing the work of the people. Gov. Herbert is about as conservative as they come, last thing we need is a Mike Lee type as governor. Ugh!

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    I will vote for Lockhart - I won't vote for Herbert. Lockhart is grabbing the bull by the horns. Herbert is waiting to see if it will follow him into the chute.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:05 p.m.

    Can we get over the idea that the AMA provides health care or affordable health care. It does neither. Chip currently provides health benefits for this poor working mothers sick child. Other programs provide care for this family. Programs in effect prior to AMA. AMA does not. But the health exchanges will gladly allow this poor women's identity be stolen by fraudsters. Compassionate Dems will gladly make sure this poor working mother gets the health care the middle class gets, by making sure the middle class has no health care either.

  • Francis LeGuarde Sandy, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    I don't necessarily have a problem with Speaker Lockhart challenging the governor, but she needs to do better than vague name calling.

    It's worth noting that "innovation," as state leaders frequently call for, requires talent, funding and leadership — even if it is designed to trim government and save money in the longterm. Calling for innovation is a far cry from actually doing something revolutionary. I see nothing in Ms. Lockhart's speech or background that leads me to believe she is capable of producing the type of change she calls for.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:28 p.m.


    "Since when has it become a core Republican value to do everything possible to hurt and punish the poor and middle class?"

    Last time I checked, Obama had a (D) after his name.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:25 p.m.


    You may ask the same question of our President, Obama. Since when has it become a core value of the Democratic party to hurt the poor and middle class?

    Look at the evidence.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    @Sal The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is nearly a copy of Romney Care (MASS Health) and was modeled after an early 90's Republican model for providing health care to citizens.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    Rep. Lockhart, please stand in front of the single mom who works two part-time jobs, neither of which offer employee health insurance coverage, who has a sick child requiring expensive treatments and who is struggling every day to juggle rent, food, and medical costs.

    Tell us your alternative to the ACA that will give this woman access to health insurance.

    We know what you _oppose_; far-right Republicans such as yourself have made that clear for years now. There's neither a problem solving theme nor evidence of reasoning in your statements of how much you hate all things Obama, but consistency in your opposition is not the same thing as having a superior alternative.

    What we're anxious to hear from you is specifically what you _propose_ to do about healthcare costs being the #1 source of personal bankruptcies in the nation.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    Lockhart's speech was unprofessional, ignorant, dishonest, and detrimental to the future of Utah.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    So Speaker Lockhart wants a Governor of action and then gives specifics about only thinks she wouldn't do (Medicaid, raise gas tax).

    Any chance she shared any specifics about things she would do?

    If not, I'm afraid she's just another politician who wants to get elected on the basis of platitudes rather than specifics.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    I agree with Speaker Lockhart about no new taxes and definitely not joining Obamacare's Medicaid option. Governor Herbert needs to listen to the people of Utah. We do not want to be a part of Obamacare.

  • Jefferson, Thomas Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    It would be something really new to actually have a conservative Governor. The last several have been nothing but wet-the-finger, RINO, leaders, if such can actually be called leaders. I challenge anyone to site just one conservative Governor from the state of Utah who's conservative leadership approach would be comparative to the great Reagan or Thatcher, I'm not looking for style, there's only one but as principled should not be hard, but is. Not in my 50 plus years at least.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    Don't worry. The Governor wasn't there.
    Just like he wasn't there when Swallow resigned, or when the same sex marriage rally was at the Capitol

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    Sounds as if the national, conservative, political landscape of lions eating their young has taken hold here in our happy state. Is the GOP setting itself up for a civil war within the party ranks.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    Since when has it become a core Republican value to do everything possible to hurt and punish the poor and middle class?

  • So-CalAggie Park City, Ut
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    "In his opening speech, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, told his colleagues that returning to fundamental principles is essential to securing individual rights and free government" Which is code word for what exactly?

    Jan. 27, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Wonderful. The House has 45 days to get something done and Speaker Lockhart has decided to use it to launch her run for governor.

    Becky, we are paying you to take care of our business - not yours. Your political posturing can wait until the end of March.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    I like and applaud the Speaker's approach of being innovative and open to new concepts in addressing the issues and problems we currently face as a state. It's often too easy and can almost be a habit to keep raising taxes (again) whenever the apparent need for new revenue arises... which is and will be often.

    Guiding principles can and should be solid and enduring while approaches should be fresh, new and pliable in their application.

    If her actions do comply with her words, she would indeed make a good state governor and should be considered a viable candidate for 2016.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    and so begin anew the circus that ends with a laundry list of silly and often unconstitutional bills we all get to pay to defend and that make us the laughing stock of America.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    So Becky Lockhart is positioning herself to the right of this very conservative governor. So that answers the question of whether or not she's running for governor. I have this sinking feeling in my gut right now.