‘Political Insiders’ pick the best and worst from the 2018 Legislature

The 2018 Utah Legislature is over. Lawmakers passed more than 500 bills and approved a budget for next year that is close to $17 billion.

We asked our “Political Insiders” and readers to pick the best and worst from the 2018 session. Here’s what they told us.


Adjourn! I am certain there were other good things, but I am hard-pressed to name any specifics.

More funding for education!

Restructuring UTA

Not passing the bill to name a highway after Trump.

Re-vamping UTA to get rid of untrustworthy leadership, exec perks, bonuses and international junkets.

The very best legislation was the Inland Port bill. The state needs to control this Initiative as there is no leadership in Salt Lake City government minus two councilmembers. The incompetence of the city Council is unbelievable. Thank goodness Charlie Luke and James Rogers are there to try and bring some leadership and common sense to a disastrous administration and other councilmembers. The chair of the council lives in outer space.

It’s always good to hear of a budget surplus. Equally encouraging is a focus on education and our children. Fortunately, we’ve drifted away from Bangerter’s “stack em’ deep and teach em’ cheap.” Our most priceless and cherished resources in Utah are our children and families.

Allowing Tesla to open a dealership

Inland port at northwest quadrant – and a board that demonstrates this is a statewide priority and does not relinquish control to Salt Lake City which has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to manage so much as a parking garage. Increased funding for public education. Increased funding to help solve the causes of homelessness.

Rep. Mike Winder’s Jordan River Recreation Area. 

More funding for education, a plan moving forward for transportation. This was overall a really good session.

The Legislature worked out a deal to better-fund public schools. It’s too bad that it asks the public to vote on a 10 cent/gallon tax increase to achieve the increased funding. Improved legislation to better control opioid prescription.

Martha Hughes Cannon.


Asking the public to vote on a 10 cents per gallon tax increase. They should have just done it themselves! Stupid!

The Utah House “rapping” to Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Inland port bill rammed through. UTA doesn’t need a new (uglier) name. So much money will be wasted on re-branding. Little money for Higher Education. College is broken. Tuition is a joke. Return on investment is pitiful. Lack of any meaningful Environmental legislation. Wasting time/money on stupid things (Trump Highway, Raccoons).

The Senate allowing Greg Hughes to roll them on key issues. Don’t they have the courage to stand up to a bully?

Everything other than restructuring UTA. But if I had to narrow it down; renaming UTA and increasing spending by a whopping $600 million.

Renaming UTA. A name change won’t work. Look at Delta Center. It’s still called that. Waste of my taxes.

Passing further non-compete legislation; Failure to effectively deal with the .05 BAC and 3.2% beer issues; Haphazard attempt at tax reform Attempt to name a portion of a highway after Pres. Trump.

There was not adequate funding nor any talk of affordable housing initiatives. It’s too bad that they did not pass Joel Briscoe’s bill for a $100 million bond. It was the perfect year to put that amount of money towards housing affordability.

Changing out the statues at the US Capitol.

A highway named after Donald Trump… really!?!?!?

The disturbing picture I saw of Sen. Dabakis hugging Gail Ruzicka…nightmares!

Even considering a “Donald J. Trump Highway” is a blight on our state.

Raising taxes when there is a surplus.

The House rap. That one will live in infamy. The Donald Trump Highway. Did we really need that debate the last week of the session?

Jon Stanard getting caught paying for prostitutes.

This session, the Legislature has passed several bills that supervise, nullify or disregard the decisions of local elected officials. This is a bad trend. A new low is the proposal to name the National Parks Highway after Donald Trump.

The Legislature’s top priority appeared to be finding a way to work around citizen initiatives, signaling that the legislators do a poor job of proactively addressing issues that are important to voters. Giving priority to and spending time and resources to debate Mike Noel’s bill that names a state highway in south-central Utah after Donald J Trump. Why was that such a high legislative priority?