Lt. Governor and Mrs. Bell; President Waddoups; Speaker Lockhart; members of the Utah Legislature; members of my Cabinet; Justices of the Utah Supreme Court; Utah’s First Lady, my beautiful wife, Jeanette; and my fellow Utahns:
It is an honor and a privilege to address you this evening. As we assemble in this beautiful and historic chamber, let us take time to acknowledge those who protect our freedoms and keep our homeland safe. This past August, I traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to meet with some of our deployed Utah servicemen and women. It was a humbling experience. Our liberty – the free exercise of our God-given rights – is preserved by the men and women of our Armed Forces who willingly put themselves in harm’s way for God, family and country. This past year, in the span of just over a month, we lost six Utah soldiers, sailors and marines in Afghanistan. These brave servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this nation and the ideals which make it great. We also acknowledge the loss of Agent Jared Francom, tragically killed in the Ogden shooting incident just a few short weeks ago.
Tonight, we have as honored guests in the gallery, family members of those we have lost at home and abroad. As they stand, please join with me to acknowledge them, and thank them for their loved one’s service and sacrifice.
As Governor of the great State of Utah, I am pleased to report that the state of our State is strong – and growing stronger. I want you to know I am very optimistic about Utah’s future. While our national economy continues to struggle, the economy in Utah surges ahead. Our unemployment rate continues to steadily fall. We currently have the second-fastest rate of job creation in the nation. Every sector in our economy is growing again, except one. And I’m proud to say the sector that is not growing is state government.
Utah’s success is not only consistently recognized, it is increasingly praised by those outside our borders. Now, some people have said I talk about our rankings a little too much – and it may be a fair observation. But I hope you are as proud of Utah as I am. We have a great state, we have a great message and we are making great progress. I believe Utah’s Governor should be the State’s chief advocate and champion, and I am simply not going to stop touting Utah’s accomplishments.
Click here to read the entire 2012 State of the State Address.