Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Governor Huntsman "State of the State"

Did anyone else notice that Gov H’s speech on education and health last night could have been taken from the Democratic party candidate’s playbook?

It was interesting to hear him speak of reduced classroom sizes and retaining quality teachers through improved wages. It was interesting to hear him say that basic health care should not be a luxury. There were so many other things that he said that were important to us as candidates last year.

I support most of what Governor Huntsman said in his speech. I will be very pleased if his education goals are met, and if we can figure out a way to solve our health care crisis in Utah. With the huge amount of money they have to work with, I hope that our legislature takes this opportunity to do what is right for Utah’s school children and families.

It will be particularly interesting to see how the Republican legislature decides to support the Governor’s goals. It’s hard to believe they will be on board with him, based on all the things I heard our republican friends say on these very issues over the last several months.
Granted, campaign season is a crazy time. But on more than one ocassion, I heard things from them like “education is FINE! Classroom sizes are FINE! Teachers in Utah can live with their lower pay rates because they enjoy living in Utah so much” — and now, the most popular Republican in Utah is contradicting everything they just said?

It seems that during campaign season, the R’s can say anything they want to, particularly in bright red southern Utah. After all, they have to make sure to point out that there are major differences between the candidates. Even St. George Rep Steve Urquart admits that there is a difference between campaigning and reality.

I am very curious to see where they will go. Will they keep their campaign promise that Education is not something you can just “throw money at” and that the whole system is “doing fine” and doesn’t need any more than they already get? I have a funny feeling that they’re going to do the right thing, and while I’m pleased that they will probably take the opportunity to do what’s right for Utah families, it bothers me that during campaign season they seemed to contradict themselves so much.

On a side note… I loved that the Democrats reframed everything that the Governor said. I love how they reminded everyone that these goals and ideals have *always* been Democratic goals and ideals. We’ve *never* flip flopped on the issues of quality education and affordable health care. It seems that our republican friends like to go with whatever seems politically expedient at the time.

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