Legislators Highlight New Statue, Education

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By Representative Carl Albrecht, District 70

MARTHA HUGHES CANNON 

After much anticipation, the beautiful Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon statue was unveiled last week. Martha Hughes Cannon will be at the Utah State Capitol until we are able to send her to the U.S. Capitol to represent Utah. Martha Hughes Cannon was a physician, suffragist and the first female state senator. The leadership, accomplishment and legacy of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon will carry on for generations to come.

POLICY PRIORITY – EDUCATION

Each week, I will highlight a legislative policy priority. Education is a top concern for Utahns and it’s a top concern for the Utah Legislature. In fact, over the last five years, the Legislature has increased funding for public education by over $1 billion (pre-2020 General Session).

Utah ranks fifth in the nation for the largest portion of our overall budget going toward education. In 2020, amidst budget shortfalls due to COVID-19, Utah was the only state that actually increased funding for public education. In the 2020 General Legislative Session, lawmakers passed HB 357 Public Education Funding Stabilization to protect, grow and stabilize education funding.

The legislature also values and prioritizes higher education. In 2020, SB111 Higher Education Amendments paved the way for an improved system of higher education, creating the Utah Board of Higher Education. This new board combined both our technical colleges and higher education institutions into one, creating seamless education pathways, increased coordination and a providing a re-centered focus on Utah’s students. This reformed structure will help us better meet the needs of our students and our workforce.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Utah’s seven-day rolling average for positive tests is 726 per day. The rolling seven-day average for percent of positive laboratory tests is 12.5%. Utah County, Salt Lake County and the universities are leading these high numbers. For more information, please visit coronavirus.utah.gov

UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATE 

Traditional unemployment insurance new claims decreased by 12% from the previous week to 2,298 claims. Total combined numbers from March 15 to Sept. 12 are as follows:

  • New claims: 299,754
  • Benefits paid: $1,447,224,694 (includes Lost Wages Assistance payments)

Utah’s unemployment rate is now down to 4.1%, less than half the national average.

“AMERICA’S ECONOMIC STAR”

A few months ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article, “Why Utah Has Become America’s Economic Star,” explaining that the Utah Legislature’s belief in low taxes and encouragement of business development and job creation has led to Utah’s economic success. Utah has received many accolades and ratings for our strong economy.

CENSUS UPDATE 

Complete the 2020 Census! Spread the word to your family and friends. Visit census2020.utah.gov to fill it out and learn more.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve and represent you. If you have concerns or questions, feel free to email at carlalbrecht@le.utah.gov.  You can also text or call at (435) 979-6578.

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