Gov. Spencer Cox highlights educational funding, tax cuts in first state of the state

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC4) – Governor Spencer Cox delivered his first state of the state address in House chambers at the Utah State Capitol on Thursday.

In front of Democrat and Republican leaders, the governor laid out his administration’s goals for the future.

“This pandemic has shown us that after celebrating 125 years of statehood there may be some cracks in our foundation that need some attention,” said Cox.

The Governor calling leaders’ attention to an increase in educational funding including $112 million dollars in teachers’ bonuses. That’s in addition to a nearly 6% increase Cox is proposing for a total of more than $400 million dollars.

Cox is also proposing an $80 million tax cut targeted at senior citizens and Utah families, “while simultaneously investing significant new funding for transportation, water, recreation, and broadband infrastructure.”

Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Representative Brian King like what they heard.

“It’s gratifying to see him be very pragmatic, moderate, he’s not an ideologue and he doesn’t have a partisan agenda that he’s trying to drive.”

“I was impressed with his plan for education, and his commitment to education especially when we’re talking about the equity end of it,” said Rep. Angela Romero who represents Salt Lake City.

In addition to Democrats, Republican lawmakers shared their thoughts.

“He’s really open to everyone’s suggestions,” said Rep. Cory Maloy of Lehi. “We had a caucus meeting today where he came in and gave us and update on the vaccine rollout and just the things he as the executive branch are willing to do.”

Due to the pandemic, Cox’s speech was just 15 minutes instead of the usual 30 minutes to help keep leaders safe.

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