ST. GEORGE – Republican Rep. Jon Stanard is seeking a second term as the representative for Utah House District 62. He advocates for strong conservative values that, he said, have made Utah the “best-managed state in the union.” Yet he also said, Utah government as a whole could benefit from Washington County’s example.
“Washington County can be a tremendous example to the rest of the state,” Stanard said.
The county and city governments here collaborate in a way that is seemingly unheard of in the rest of the state, Stanard said. “Everyone works together,” he said. “Washington County excels at it.”
That collaborative spirit is something Stanard hopes to continue fostering in the Legislature if re-elected.
He also pointed to the Washington County School District as an entity that is doing well and that other school districts could learn from. He praised the district leadership for finding ways to build high schools for lower cost than compared to those built in other districts.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with the education community,” Stanard said.
An advocate for less big government interference in state and local affairs, Stanard previously said he likes oversight of education to be kept as local as possible, and acknowledged concerns constituents have about Common Core.
He said he was somewhere in the middle on the issue, yet reiterated his belief that local educators are doing the best they can with what they have been given.
One can’t talk about public education in Utah without bringing up the topic of funding at some point. Many Republican legislators look to the transference of public lands management from the federal government to the state as the solution. This, they argue, would provide greater access to resources currently locked up under federal control that could provide the state with a great deal of revenue.
“Those lands can bring in tens of millions of dollars to the state,” Stanard said, adding the state needs to follow through with its push to get the lands transfer.
“I think we can have success,” Standard said, yet also said he isn’t sure the state would be able to get all of the land it wants.
Whatever the case, the state should have greater access to the public lands, Stanard said.
Another area of local concern is the recurring argument for and against the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline. Stanard said there are still many questions attached to the project that is projected to cost between $1 billion-$5 billion depending on who you ask.
“We don’t know what the price tag is,” he said of the proposed pipeline. “Everyone is doing ballpark guesses. We need to have a full, comprehensive view.”
An issue that will be reintroduced in the 2015 legislative session will be Sen. Steve Urquhart’s proposed nondiscrimination bill extending housing and employment protections to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
The bill was stalled during the 2014 legislative session due to concerns related to Utah’s ongoing court battle over Amendment 3, the state’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage. With that issue now out of the way due to the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to hear the case, Urquhart told St. George News he believes it has a much better chance of passing in the Legislature now.
Should it pass, it will be without Stanard’s vote.
“I have the greatest respect for Sen. Urquhart,” Stanard said, “but no, I would not support the bill. I don’t support where the bill goes. You have to be so so careful in how it’s done.”
For more information on Stanard and his stance on the issues, visit his website.
Early voting began Oct. 21 and runs through Oct. 31. The general election is Nov. 4.
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