Today, Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson marked their 500th day in office by releasing a list of their major achievements to the public. They also thanked state employees, legislators and community members for their help in accomplishing these goals.
“The past 500 days have been exhilarating – full of challenges and rewards – and we’ve worked hard to invest tax dollars wisely, expand opportunities for all Utahns, improve quality of life, and plan for the future,” Gov. Cox said. “We know trust must be earned through both competence and ethical behavior. I’m extremely proud of our team for their high-level performance in both areas, and I look forward to the next 500 days continuing to serve the people of Utah with integrity.”
Within weeks after Inauguration Day on Jan. 4, 2021, the administration released its One Utah Roadmap, a set of guiding principles and goals in six primary areas of focus: economic advancement, education innovation, rural issues, health security, opportunity for all, and government efficiency.
“When Gov. Cox and I took the oath of office, we promised to work on behalf of every Utahn – in every corner of our great state – to give people a fair shake at living the Utah dream,” Lt. Gov. Henderson said. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. Together, we have made record investments in education and infrastructure and fostered an economy that is the envy of the nation. I cannot wait to see what the next 500 days have in store for our administration as we continue our work to expand opportunities for every Utahn.”
Developing an Economic Vision 2030; overhauling the state’s tax incentive programs; investing record amounts in technical and vocational training; aligning unprecedented funding resources to combat poor air quality and climate change, with more than $700 million for multimodal transportation; and pushing through an income tax cut, a Social Security tax and earned income tax credit.
Securing funding for at-risk students; implementing funding for optional all-day kindergarten; investing in early literacy programs; focusing on supporting parents, teachers, and children to achieve the Utah Portrait of a Graduate; and launching Utah’s new Adopt-A-School initiative, one of the first of its kind in the country to match schools with local businesses that want to give back.
Distributing more than 5 million COVID-19 vaccines and transitioning to the “steady state” phase of the pandemic; launching the Utah Sustainable Health Collaborative, which involved hundreds of stakeholders to improve health service delivery, access, and payment and reduce cost; enhancing access to mental health resources; securing telehealth kits for every school that wants one to improve children’s access to health care; and improving access to loan repayment programs for health care workers who work in rural Utah.
Appointing the governor’s first senior advisor for equity and opportunity; recruiting a more diverse group of candidates to serve in state government jobs and on boards, commissions, and judicial appointments; increasing investments in upskilling opportunities that support women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and individuals seeking to return to the workforce; eliminating barriers to childcare subsidies; and completing a gender pay gap wage study, resulting in the Division of Human Resource Management developing policies to refine recruitment and promotion practices, collect more data, and more.
Expanding remote work to give state employees more flexibility and more communities access to higher-paying jobs; shifting 200 state government jobs to rural communities; holding quarterly state employee town halls to listen to and answer questions; pushing for strategic investments in state IT needs; improving human resource practices based on employee feedback; and securing funding to increase pay for POST-certified state employees.
The administration will continue to build on these achievements in the next iteration of the Roadmap, which will include incorporating housing into the state’s economic development strategy; streamlining rural economic development programs to increase access for small communities; continuing our investment in rural Utah; establishing freight rail infrastructure to strengthen Utah’s energy independence; expanding the Utah Sustainable Health Collaborative and setting specific, measurable goals for individual businesses and organizations; finishing the state’s after-action COVID-19 report so that we learn from our response and prepare for future emergencies; launching an “Expanding Opportunities for Women In Utah” initiative; procuring the Parity.Org Index, a data system that tracks disparity in pay to ensure state employees are getting paid equally for the same work being done; focusing on IT solutions to improve Utahn’s user experience; collaborating with the legislative branch to connect meaningful performance measures to budget line items, and much more.
The next version of the One Utah Roadmap will be released in the coming weeks.