Guest opinion: Family should be priority for interim
by Derek Monson
The 2023 Utah legislative session closes this week. When it concludes, lawmakers will have enacted hundreds of new laws and policy reforms designed to address issues such as economic growth, education, healthcare and infrastructure. It often seems that there is no civic institution as important and impactful in society as government, guided by its elected institutional leaders.
But there is another civic institution guided clearly by leaders that is as important and impactful, if not more, to the well-being of society: families led by parents.
Family policy is economic policy, and vice versa. When parents make an education decision about where to live so their kids can attend a good school or about the next job they take in their quest to better support their family, they are making economic (housing and labor) decisions as well.
Too often in policy debates – including many in the current legislative session – we silo off family, economic and education policy from one another, when for most Utahns they are so interrelated that in some instances they are simply indistinguishable. That means that we may be missing important policy implications or straightforward solutions because we misunderstand the issue in one facet or another.
As we head into another interim between legislative sessions, policymakers and those working in the policy space should strive to better recognize and reflect in dialogue the connections between the economy, education and the family. Further, policy should treat parents as the institutional leaders that they are – offering them the same space to act and level of respect in their institutional realm that education leaders demand in schools, government leaders demand in government, and business leaders demand in their businesses. If we do, we just might find unexpected progress not only in matters of family, but in education, government and the economy as well. (Read More)
Salt Lake Chamber to honor Mary Ann Lee with Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award
The Salt Lake Chamber announced today that Mary Ann Lee, Artistic Director for the University of Utah Children’s Dance Theatre & Tanner Dance Program, will be honored with the 5th Annual Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award. The award recognizes an inspirational individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to address critical community needs. (Read More)
Utah Senate Democrats’ statement regarding the passage of H.B. 467, Abortion Changes
Today, the Utah Senate passed H.B. 467, Abortion Changes. This bill effectively bans all abortions in the state of Utah, leaving few exceptions for limited circumstances, including cases where a pregnant woman is faced with a very specific medical emergency and for victims of rape and incest, up to 18-weeks—including children under the age of 14. Additionally, the bill requires abortions to be performed in specific hospital settings, and it eliminates the licensing of all abortion clinics in Utah. All Senate Democrats voted in opposition. (Read More)
Congressmen Blake Moore and Jimmy Panetta reintroduce the bipartisan LODGE Act
Congressmen Blake Moore (R-UT) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) reintroduced the Lodging Options Developed for Government Employees (LODGE) Act for the 118th Congress to foster innovative public-private partnerships to increase the availability of affordable housing in and around our nation’s parks. (Read More)
Lee bill makes travelers free as a bird
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Fair Removal of Existing and Enforced Bans on Immunization Relating to Destination (FREEBIRD) Act to end the COVID-19 vaccine mandate placed on international air visitors to the United States. Foreign travelers, including family members, friends, and business relations, are being kept off U.S. soil due to the air travel vaccine mandate, which remains for nonimmigrant, noncitizen foreign travelers. The United States is one of the only countries that still impose this mandate. (Read More)
Romney, colleagues lead bipartisan push for new tax agreement with Taiwan
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, today joined the Subcommittee’s Chairman Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and their colleagues Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Todd Young (R-IN), and Chris Coons (D-DE) in leading a bipartisan push toward the enactment of a new tax agreement with Taiwan. The senators introduced a resolution that encourages the Administration to begin negotiating a tax agreement with Taiwan in order to further strengthen economic ties between the U.S. and Taiwan. (Read More)
Utah’s consumer sentiment drops in February
Utah’s consumer sentiment decreased from 75.6 in January to 70.4 in February, according to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute’s Survey of Utah Consumer Sentiment. A similar survey by the University of Michigan found sentiment rose from January (64.9) to February (67.0) among Americans as a whole. (Read More)