Back To Work

District 51 Legislative Update

Back to Work…The 2014 legislative session is now underway. For the next 45 days, your lawmakers will work together to build a better Utah.We have some very good news as we head into this session. Utah has shown strong economic growth in the last year, which has many economists speculating that the worst may be over. Once again, people and businesses are coming to Utah to enjoy our high quality of life, low taxes, and excellent growth opportunities. Companies which have languished through the recession in states with less business-oriented climates are choosing to move to one of the most business friendly states in the nation.I have some legislative initiatives I am very excited about. As we move through the session, I will tell you more about them and provide status updates using these weekly newsletters and social media.

When I see the gridlock in Washington, I am struck by the stark contrast between that, and our state legislative process. In Utah we are able to operate under a balanced budget and still get important things done. I have a tremendous respect for my fellow lawmakers in the House and the Senate, members of all parties and political stripes. We can’t count on Washington to solve our problems, but in many ways we have never been able to. Good things will happen this session, as it has in every session I have served in since I was elected in 2002.

A couple of interesting facts:

Our state budget will total about $13 billion this year, with about one-third of it coming from the Federal government. I believe taxpayer money is best used closest to those who pay it. Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to keep our own tax dollars, rather than sending them to Washington so they can send them back (and tell us how to use our own money)?

Our state population is currently about 3 million. Experts estimate that by 2040, 3 million people will live along the Wasatch Front alone (roughly from Payson to Ogden). If you think our traffic and air quality is bad now, it will be much worse then –if we don’t plan for the future. That’s why I’ll continue to fight for good transportation infrastructure, and compressed natural gas availability in our state. Commerce can only move as fast as our transportation options. And our air won’t be cleaner unless we make cleaner choices available.

I want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity to represent you. You are an important part of my decision making process, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me.

Together we can help keep Utah moving in the right direction.

Greg Hughes
Utah State House of Representatives,

District 51