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Education, Healthcare Feature In Herbert's State Of The State
Gov. Gary Herbert at last year's State of the State address.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gary Herbert gave his annual State of the State address, emphasizing Utah’s strong economy and low cost of government. The two-term Republican also called for investment in the state’s public education as well as healthcare reform.

In 2015, Utah’s high school graduation rate increased slightly to 84 percent. Herbert called on educators and students to do even better in the coming years.

“Now, 84 percent is a good number compared to other states but I know that we can and that we must, in fact, do better,” Herbert said. “Tonight, I am challenging teachers, parents, principals, school board members and most importantly our students to raise our graduation rate in this state to 90 percent in the next four years.”

Last year, the state legislature voted down the governor’s HealthyUtah Medicaid expansion plan. Herbert placed part of the blame for the difficulty in getting Medicaid expansion on elements of the Affordable Care Act.

“Some continue to struggle with inadequate healthcare coverage because of the fundamentally flawed Affordable Care Act. Too often, many of the problems created by the federal government are simply dumped at the feet of the states. Too many Utahns work hard and still have no healthcare coverage,” he said. “No matter what issues we the people face, the states can and do find the best solutions. It’s the states, not the federal government, that finds the best solutions.”

Herbert also paid tribute to former Governors Olene Walker and Norm Bangerter, as well as fallen police officer Doug Barney.