The Legislature is winding down. We must now sift, sort, and prioritize. Even with the largest surplus in history, the demands exceed the revenue. Here is what I favor:
Treat education generously. It's an investment in our future.
"Tool up" during good times, so you can ride out the bad times.
Improve infrastructure - e.g., transportation, essential buildings, water development, etc.
Avoid building a dependence on revenue levels that may be temporary.
More specifically, I favor increasing teacher salaries; building the new library at Snow College Ephraim; acquiring transportation corridors that are rapidly escalating in cost; investing in range lands and water sheds; partnering with USU in delivering more upper division courses and four year degrees in Price, Ephraim, Richfield, and other outlying areas; and merging the ATC in Price with the College of Eastern Utah. These are cost-efficient investments with long-range benefits to the citizens whom I am privileged to represent.
On a lighter note, sometimes the biggest fights are over the smallest issues. It is true in marriage and sometimes in government. I share a couple of examples:
Six-year olds driving ATVs. I received scores of email on this issue. It was extensively debated. It is a tender age, but the bill passed the House and appears headed for enactment.
Extra curricular clubs in high school. To what extent should the legislature micro manage? Do we supply some basic guidance, provide for parental notification and consent and then let the schools take it from there?
That is the House position. The debate has gone back and forth twice between the Senate and House and remains unsettled.