Governor Gary Herbert hopes to discuss public lands issues with President Obama when he visits Utah on Friday.
Herbert says he hopes to get some private time with the president when he comes to Hill Air Force Base on Friday, adding healthcare could also be on the agenda.
"I hope to take the opportunity to talk about issues that are near and dear to our hearts," said Herbert. "Maybe some of the healthcare issues that we debated during the last legislative session. I hope we can get some answers to capping costs so we don't have a program today that we can't afford tomorrow."
Herbert says he just learned of the president's planned visit within the last few days, so scheduling is still in flux.
Why is the president coming? Herbert says they invited Mr. Obama to speak to the National Governors Association meeting in Park City two years ago, but the scheduling did not work out. But, Herbert says he did not give up on a presidential visit to Utah.
"I had the opportunity to speak with the first lady when I was back in Washington for our NGA meetings, and I reminded her this was one of only two states the president hasn't made it to. Maybe it was Michelle saying 'don't forget Utah' from our dinner conversation."
Herbert says he also plans to discuss public lands issues with the president.
"I'm going to avail myself to talk with him about issues that I think are important to Utah that aren't understood on the East coast and inside the beltway. Public lands issues are one of them. It's difficult to access the resources on our public lands for energy development. The permitting process is slow. Consequently, venture capital goes to ventures on private land and ignores the opportunities we have on our public lands."
On Monday, the White House acknowledged Mr. Obama will visit Hill Air Force Base on Friday. Details of his schedule have not yet been made public.