Utah Democrats respond to governor’s annual address

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, center, holding the papers, stands with members of the Utah Democratic Caucus who serve in the Utah House and Senate. King shared the Democrats' response to Gov. Gary Herbert's 2017 State of the State address, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 25, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Democratic Caucus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Following Gov Gary Herbert’s State of the State address Wednesday evening, Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, gave the Utah Democratic Caucus response.

Read more: Governor on Zion Curtain laws, education and taxes

An overall theme of the Democrats’ response is that Utah needs to focus more on caring for the people and not cater so much to corporations. The Democrats also call on the governor and the Legislature “to put into place solutions to working Utahns’ needs.”

What follows is the response delivered by King in it’s entirety:

Utah’s support for business interests is strong. On that, Utahns can agree. Democrats don’t disagree that we need policies that ensure Utah’s economic vitality. But those policies should always focus on real people and we must keep in mind that corporations are not people. They are not touched by the life of a dying parent. They don’t argue with a spouse over the cost of a car. They don’t experience the rigors of toilet training their children. They don’t learn and grow in the way that people do. Their lungs aren’t destroyed by polluted air. They aren’t inspired by looking at the beauty of Canyonlands as they stand at Dead Horse Point. Corporations don’t worry about how to make a car payment or work two and three jobs to pay for their college education.

Why should working Utahns bear the revenue losses associated with tax loopholes the legislature gives to lure big corporations to Utah? It’s not right or fair that Utah’s tax policies line the pockets of those who already are doing more than well in the business world. Regular Utahns should not be left behind.

We aren’t asking for heartfelt stories or touching memories of members of our families who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. We are asking for the Governor and legislature to put into place solutions to working Utahns needs. We need people to be paid a living wage, receive equal pay for equal work, and have access to paid family leave. We need to commit the resources to improve our education system, our air quality, and access to healthcare – not spend more time and energy trying to find out what’s really going on. We know what’s going on. Our leaders have not shown the courage to lead. It is time for that to change.

We know where the money is. We know what the people of Utah will and will not put up with. We know what they want, and time and time again their government ignores them.

The people want a fully funded education system.

The people want easier ways to vote, not more hoops to jump through.

The people want an end to the opioid epidemic, and access to health care.

The people want laws that prevent gun violence, not allow anyone and everyone who has an urge to own a firearm to carry and potentially kill.

The people want a reasonable, rational solution to the public lands fight, not extended and costly litigation that only hurts our state’s credibility and drains our coffers.

This isn’t about winning. This is about doing what’s right. Democrats in the House and Senate have been proposing legislation for years to give the people exactly what they ask of all of us. But we’ve been stopped on critical issues over and over again. We fight for education, good and transparent government, health and public safety, and for a vibrant economy that allows everyone to play on an even field.

It’s time to stop pretending. It’s time to cut through the stories and the rhetoric. Utah’s corporate structure is strong, but working people are bent to their breaking point. We want to ask Utahns directly: Are you comfortably making ends meet? Are you living the American dream? Your elected officials propose thousands of changes to laws, but are those changes helping you?

200,000 Utahns are about to lose their health care. Immigrants and refugees are being scapegoated through fear and racism. Women, more than 50 percentof our population, do not receive equal protection under our state and federal laws. None of this is right. All of this must change.

Our nation and our state are at a tipping point. We can grow. We can lead. Or we can follow the trends of national politics and cower to those that would have us move backwards, against our values. We will not cower. We will not agree to give back the ground we have gained over the last 50 years. I will fight for all Utahns, be they women, immigrants, refugees, men, people experiencing homelessness, prisoners, convicts, the employed, the unemployed. We will fight for anyone who wants a better life. We will fight for anyone who wants a better state. We will fight for you.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • comments January 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    They lost me at women, (illegal)immigrants, and refugees. Women enjoy more than equal rights and have more privilege than men in so many ways. Illegals and refugees are not your countrymen–where is your loyalty to your own countrymen? You can’t fix the world by flooding our country with the 3rd world. This should be common sense. Are they the party of foreigners and 3rd world aliens or are they going to represent Americans first? America cannot welfare and allow the entire 3rd world into our boarders. This is extreme globalism, and people are tired of it. What is it they don’t understand?

    • Utahguns January 27, 2017 at 7:33 am

      There’s nothing I can add to your spot-on comment, except, here’s more unhappy democrats pouting about nothing.

      They say…..
      “The people want a fully funded education system.” What’s wrong with paying for your own education, and who’s going to pay for “free college? That’s right…taxpayers.

      “The people want easier ways to vote, not more hoops to jump through”. I have to show my ID when I cash a check at the bank, so what’s wrong in showing your ID to vote?

      And lastly (and this one made me laugh…) “Our leaders have not shown the courage to lead. It is time for that to change” You’re absolutely right. America, business and its citizens have been strangled by the last administration. This new administration is not afraid to lead…it’s just that the democrats don’t want to follow.

      “The people want an end to the opioid epidemic, and access to health care”. Gee, I thought Obamacare was the cure-all.

      “The people want laws that prevent gun violence, not allow anyone and everyone who has an urge to own a firearm to carry and potentially kill”. There are thousands of gun laws that already exist, but, did the Obama administration ever enforce them? No.
      There were thousands of killings in Chicago during the last administration, but, were gun laws enforced? No.

      • comments January 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm

        They don’t understand that a whole lot of kids are actually to dumb for college–make it free and it lowers the bar. As far as the other things, Obongo and crew were too busy to fix anything– Instead, Obongo and crew were busy pleasing big wallstreet banks and big corporate donors, and trying to get their US supported ISIS mercenaries to destroy syria, while at the same time pretending to fight the ISIS that they built, and we can’t forget about them pesky russians, ukraine, Libya, etc etc. busy busy little warmongering neo-libs.

  • mesaman January 26, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Well it had to be said and “comments” and you did a fine job explaining reality to the fantasy party.

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