Gov. Cox announces new ‘family initiative’ to help families in need in State of State Address

Jan 20, 2022, 7:01 PM | Updated: 7:13 pm

SALT LAKE CITY— Gov. Spencer Cox addressed the state after a year in office, addressing issues including the ongoing pandemic, education, taxes and the economy, elections, and announced a new “family initiative.”

The full speech can be found here:

RELATED: Democrats respond to State of State Address and layout priorities for 2022 session 

The family initiative is an increased effort to help families of all sizes and make ups with things like accessible child care, parental leave, and other opportunities.

“Tonight I am proposing a new position that will make Utah parents and children its singular priority. We currently have programs focused on providing necessities for families that are poor or in need, but we must do more to make sure families of all shapes and sizes and makeups are thriving, including parental leave, access to high-quality child care and mentoring opportunities for parents,” Cox said.

Cox emphasized the need to make sure that government policies are not harming families and that there should be coordinated efforts to help children and families succeed.

“This issue touches on the things that matter most in the world. We know that the family, the basic and fundamental unit of our society, continues to be the most effective and least expensive place to solve problems. When families are healthy and happy, society benefits.”

Cox addressed the pandemic, acknowledging that in the middle of record cases and hospitalizations, some “silver linings.” He share that Utah currently has the 6th lowest hospitalization rate in the nation,

“… While we, along with the rest of the world, find ourselves in the middle of record cases and hospitalizations, there are a few silver linings. I am encouraged that Utah currently has the 6th lowest hospitalization rate in the nation– and that our rate is less than half the national average. Experts also believe that Summit County has already started declining and assure me that the rest of the state will soon follow.

Cox publicly thanked what he called the tremendous medical and public health workers in the state who deserve respect and support. Cox also thanked the teachers that he said were on mile 42 of what was promised to be a 26.2 mile marathon.

“To Utahns from all sides of the political spectrum, there has been and will undoubtedly continue to be disagreements on how best to respond to this ongoing pandemic. But may we all find common ground tonight on this one issue. Our children need us to be strong. They need us to point to a hopeful future. And they need to be in school, in person, face-to-face with their friends and teachers.”

Cox did not address the mask mandate back and forth in the past few weeks with the upholding of the Salt Lake County Council and the recent vote to overturn it in the Senate. 

Cox addressed the state economy currently braving their third year in a pandemic, taxes, and most importantly the rising costs due to inflation.

“This session I ask for your support of a dramatic overhaul and removal of many state and local economic incentives under bills carried by Reps. Mike Schultz and Steve Handy. In fact, our Unified Economic Opportunity Commission will be presenting 26 new policy initiatives, including bills on workforce development, education alignment with industry, housing availability, a better start-up ecosystem, reimagining rural economics, bolstering international trade, multicultural economic empowerment and bridging opportunity gaps.”

Cox also discussed the importance of integrity in elections.

“Please beware of false choices. As a conservative, I believe that we should always work to make constitutional rights more accessible, not less. I am very proud that voter participation has increased since I became Lt. Governor and now Governor. We can have safe and secure elections without making it harder to exercise our constitutional right to vote.”

In the end, Cox urged many groups; democrats and republicans to not lose faith in America.

“I firmly believe in my heart that if America is the last great hope of the world, then Utah is the last great hope of America.


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Gov. Cox announces new ‘family initiative’ to help families in need in State of State Address