Governor Cox outlines his priorities on the legislature's opening day
Gov. Spencer Cox told Tom Williams on Access Utah, Tuesday, that he’s confident there will be significant action to help Great Salt Lake this year.
“The legislature took action last year — significant action — that is changing the trajectory of the lake in a very positive way. I just want people to know that we will not allow the lake to go dry, as long as I'm Governor, that that is not going to happen, we will do whatever we have to do to make sure that that that is not the case. And the good news is the legislature agrees,” he said.
Cox’s proposed budget would allocate an additional $500 million to water conservation efforts if it is approved by the state legislature. $50 million of that money would go toward Great Salt Lake with another significant portion toward agricultural water optimization.
“The biggest conservation piece will have to come from agriculture because they're the biggest water user. And we know that and farmers know that as well," Cox said, "We have new technology out there that allows farmers to use significantly less water to grow the same amount of food. And of course, food matters, so we're working with the Ag [agriculture] community.”
Cox said talks are ongoing for his proposed tax cut with legislators deciding where and how much to cut.
“I think there's fairly broad consensus on the size, it's just how much of that is one-time versus ongoing. How much of it comes from income tax? How much of it comes from removing the Social Security tax? How much of that comes in the form of a one-time tax rebate? The question is just the balance of that.”
With his focus on education funding, and renewed efforts to make housing in Utah more affordable, Cox said accountability to taxpayers will be key in achieving his goals this legislative session.