Utah Governor Gary Herbert presented his 11th State of the State address Wednesday, his final address before retiring as governor.
From a podium in the Utah State Capitol House Chambers Herbert warned lawmakers to prepare for a future that will provide Utah children with safe places to play, clean air to breath, and good water to drink.
He opened by speaking directly to the people of Utah.
"It is your hopeful spirit and work ethic that makes Utah the best place in the nation to live, to work, and to raise a family,” he said. “You are the main reason for our success. Thank you for all that you do to make Utah great.”
To build and maintain Utah’s economy Herbert said there must be changes to the state's mass transit system.
“We need to boldly re-imagine our roads to safely accommodate cars, mass transit, bikes, pedestrians and even those pesky scooters,” Herbert said. “We should make commuting by transit as easy as commuting by car.”
The governor is recommending $100 million in spending by lawmakers to expand mass transit services and build a charging network for electric vehicles.
The governor also spoke about this week's repeal of a proposed tax reform package approved by lawmakers, but opposed by Utah voters.
"I appreciate your efforts on this very difficult issue,” Herbert said. “But we need to continue this discussion with the people of Utah. We need to improve the dialogue. We need to build consensus. And we need to take the time to find solutions that are fair and equitable and that will serve the best interests and the long-term needs of the people."
Utah Democrats responded to Herbert's remarks in a prepared statement by saying Utahns have become cynical and discouraged about government in this state because too many elected officials disregard the voice of Utahns.