Tag: economy

How should we rebuild?

Jonathan Ruga is the vice-chair of the Better Utah Board. Brian Jones is director of government relations at Sentry Financial. COVID-19 has impacted our world in extraordinarily negative ways. Millions have been infected, hundreds of thousands have died, many of our healthcare systems have been exposed as grossly inadequate, and broad swaths of local and

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Commentary: Higher minimum wage will help workers and the economy

This commentary originally appeared at sltrib.com. Read it in its entirety here. In the next week or so, Congress will have the opportunity to give 488,000 working Utahns a substantial raise. The Raise the Wage Act will increase the wage to $15 an hour over the next six years to alleviate the rising economic stress

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State lawmakers postpone contentious tax overhaul bill

This article originally appeared in the St. George News. Read it in its entirety here. A massive tax overhaul Utah lawmakers hoped to pass this session has been put on hold. Gov. Gary Herbert and top Republican legislators announced in a press conference Thursday that more time is needed to address issues related to the

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Commentary: Utah needs to reach across its urban-rural divide

This article originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. In Utah, it pays to be part of the crowd. The state is the ninth most urbanized in the nation, with 90 percent of the people packed together on just 1 percent of the land — mostly along the Wasatch Front. And along the Wasatch Front, business is booming. According to the Utah Economic Council’s 2019 Economic Report to

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Utah families need payday lending reform

Source: Deseret News Last week saw an important development in the long simmering public debate over “payday” lending. As most Utahns know, payday loans are relatively small loans, typically about $375, lent with an agreement to repay when the borrower receives their next paycheck. Payday loans have extremely high interest rates averaging about 400 percent per

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Low wages, little savings among many Utah families

Source: The Spectrum By many measures, Utah maintains the nation’s healthiest economy, with unemployment below the national average, some of the fastest job growth in the U.S. and a reputation for both hard-working employees and high rates of entrepreneurs. But like the rest of the U.S., the state still has large numbers of families stuck

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Shepherd: It’s time to act on Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan

Poor health is often the first link in a chain of increasingly worse hardships, including job loss, bankruptcy and homelessness, but access to affordable health care can disrupt that chain of events, argued former Congresswoman and Better UTAH Board Member Karen Shepherd in a weekend op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. Our health is the keystone to our

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Fossil fuel production on the rise in Utah

Over the last decade natural gas production has increased over 60 percent in Utah, while oil production has seen an astounding 160 percent increase. How to manage these increases, and what they mean for the Uintah Basin, was at the heart of a presentation by Mike Styler, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources,

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Better UTAH Beat Episode 50 – June 4, 2013

It was hard to read the editorial pages of either of Utah’s two daily papers last week without seeing a glowing reference to a recently released report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The report, titled “Rich States, Poor States,” places Utah at the top of the economic heap. According to its own

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Medicaid Expansion brings economic benefits

In my recent blog posts I’ve focused my comments on the moral and social issues related to health care policy. But there is also an important economic element that shouldn’t be overlooked. Providing healthcare to the less fortunate is an issue that requires serious contemplation. It is noble to desire improvement and action on providing

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