SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – What is the state of the state? Governor Gary Herbert says it’s strong and far better than what we see in Washington.
This is a huge stage for the governor as he touts the state and lays out his vision for the year which includes lofty goals for tax reform and air quality.
In his annual State of the State Address, Governor Gary Herbert begins with a jab at what he calls D.C. dysfunction.
“Can I tell you just how grateful I am that the Speaker didn’t disinvite me from delivering this year’s State of the State?”
The governor then got serious and followed up with his call for tax reform.
The governor wants to expand the base to services that currently are not being taxed like that Uber or Lyft ride, but lower the rate from 4.85 percent to 1.75 percent.
A big tax cut as a result of a billion-dollar surplus.
“I agree with Speaker Wilson that we should invest directly in the hardworking Utahns who created this surplus by giving them a $225 million tax cut, which will be the largest tax cut in Utah’s history,” said Herbert.
He also suggested major investment in one of the greatest threats to our quality of life in Utah.
“We have set a goal of reducing by 25 percent our per capita emissions across the state by 2026. And that is why we need to make a down payment of $100 million for data-driven improvements in our air quality.”
Members of the minority party are also weighing in. Democrats say they like the investments in air quality and education.
But they have other ideas on the surplus.
“When you are talking about having $225 million that they want to return back, I think it would be a great investment to have healthcare coverage for the needier ones. And, we still, as Democrats, are going to continue to fight for that Proposition 3 to move forward as it was passed by the voters,” said Sen. Luz Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City).
The governor also honored family members of five officers and service members who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Governor Herbert will join Inside Utah Politics to dig deeper into the State of the State Address. You can catch that Sunday morning at 8 on ABC4 Utah.