Gov. Cox praises Utah, urges it to ‘stay weird’ in State of The State Address
Jan 18, 2024, 7:07 PM | Updated: Jan 19, 2024, 5:58 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said his goal is to make Utah the best state to live in the United States and said a lack of affordable housing is the biggest problem the state faces. He praised the state for a list of accomplishments, discussed some controversy and urged it to “stay weird.”
“We’re different. We’re weird. The good kind of weird,” Cox said.
Cox spoke repeatedly about zero-sum thinking that he said delivers people either—or choices that he said Utah rejects.
“This scarcity mentality also leads to false choices. You either care about the Great Salt Lake or you drive a John Deere tractor. If you want lower taxes, then you must hate public schools. If you have concerns with a federal regulation, then you definitely want to start drilling for oil under Delicate Arch,” he said.
He said Utahns “far more than people in any other state, reject zero-sum thinking. Utah still believes in the win-win,” Cox said.
He touted the state’s efforts to conserve water and the money spent to save the Great Salt Lake. He also spoke about the efforts lawmakers made to protect youth from social media and said it was a bipartisan accomplishment and that Utah was saluted nationally, even by President Joe Biden.
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He also pointed to issues that were politically divisive including the ban on transgender surgeries and puberty blockers for minors.
“I know there are people impacted who are angry and upset with me and with many of you gathered in this room. I want to thank Sen. Kennedy for helping navigate the debate with compassion,” Cox said.
He said almost every media outlet in the country wrote about the controversial bill but declined to write about the bill banning conversion therapy.
His biggest laugh may have been when he singled out lawmakers he said he loves, by name, despite political differences or when he said, “I would love to build a wall around our state — and get California to pay for it — but that is not going to happen.”
He closed with “Stay weird Utah, and may God bless each of you and may God bless the great state of Utah.”
The full text of the address is below and the full video follows: