Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Housing and political polarization are major concerns for Gov. Cox

Gov. Spencer Cox speaking into a microphone, standing in front of an American flag and a Utah state flag.
PBS Utah
Gov. Cox spoke about political polarization and the need for respect in political conversations.

In his monthly news conference, Gov. Spencer Cox said housing is his top concern.

“In our state, this time last year, my top concerns were water and drought and obviously still a high concern. Right now the issue that is my top concern, that keeps me up the most at night, is the state of housing and especially affordable housing in our state,” he said.

In the last five years, Cox said, Utah’s housing prices have risen significantly.

“We know we need more housing in basically every category, as state government we're doing a lot to try to change that," he said.

Cox said his administration is working to support offsite housing construction and manufacturing to save time and money for new construction. They are working with local city officials to streamline land use and development approval processes.

“Everyone knows that we need cheaper housing, we need more density in the right places we need, we want our kids and grandkids to be able to live here," Cox said.

The governor also spoke about Senator Mitt Romney’s decision not to run for reelection.

“I appreciate Senator Romney and the sacrifices that he has made to serve our state and our country. I think he's done it with dignity and respect," Cox said, " I truly respect his reasonings in deciding not to run. These jobs were never meant to be lifelong callings or lifelong careers.”

Cox said he’s worried about the direction of the country moving forward.

“If we don't wake up as a society, if we don't stop playing with fire, stop the hatred, that we're exhibiting towards our fellow Americans with whom we have some disagreements, we could end up in a very dark place,” he said.

He said he believes political polarization is the main driver of declining democracy in places like the U.S., but that we can work to exercise humility and patience to overcome that decline.

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.