These three legislative developments in Utah will change everything in 2022
The Utah Legislative session begins this month with a 45-day sprint to set the priorities and new laws for our state. Each year, the Salt Lake Chamber produces a set of legislative priorities to help guide legislators in their decision-making on important issues. 2021 saw Utah and her cities receive numerous awards for job creation, economic diversity, well-managed communities, strong output, and the fastest-growing population in the country. Growth and top performance are not easy in today’s competitive market. Our economic realities are the product of decades of good decision-making from our legislative, business, and community leaders.
One of the foundational items business leaders seek to maintain and champion is the enviable business climate of Utah. Our state boasts low and stable taxes, regulations, and fiscal prudence with budgetary issues. In short, the state maintains a rainy day fund, balances its budget, and keeps an eye on issues that will make the future strong for the state.
This year presents a new opportunity for leaders to focus on our state’s next stage of growth. Emerging with one of the strongest economies through the pandemic, Utahns now have the chance to scale out the infrastructure and innovation ecosystem. A key component of this will be the Wasatch Innovation Network (WIN), a new organization devoted to connecting and enhancing Utah’s new innovation companies into a force for the future. The WIN initiative will help strengthen Utah’s business climate and plant the seeds for continued prosperity.
Another critical issue for the business community is supporting good policy around education and workforce development. In order to keep growing, leaders must invest in educating our children with skills to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. Workforce training and development this past year has helped many in the workforce change careers. The disruption gave everyone an opportunity to evaluate and recommit to the pursuit of their dreams.
Transportation and infrastructure are core pillars of our policy, and the major real estate, residential, and commercial development at the Point of the Mountain will create a vision of inclusive, smart city planning. This once-in-a-lifetime project will showcase Utah’s commitment to environmental conservation, economic opportunity, and innovative transportation, as well as integrate a new work/life spatial model for living.
As we begin 2022, these three major developments are just some of the exciting things that will define the coming year and call for your involvement. Participation in the decision-making process will be key to success, and Utahns are invited to stay informed and share ideas with government, business, and community leaders. Likewise, your engagement will be important as we confront anticipated headwinds, including the lingering pandemic, supply chain challenges, and increased energy costs. Along with Utah’s housing gap and inflation in basic necessities, these challenges will require our best efforts, and the Salt Lake Chamber will continue to work with all stakeholders to find real and lasting solutions.
Toward this end, we have every reason to be optimistic. Utah has top talent and an entrepreneurial spirit that is second to none. We have a supportive legislature and a history of cooperative engagement between the public and private sectors. At the same time, we are a world leader in innovation—from technology and bioscience to aeronautics and agriculture—and as the crossroads of the West, we are connected to markets around the globe.
For these reasons, the state remains one of the safe-haven economies and best places for quality of life. Together, we must embrace the many things that are working and seek inclusion at all levels. Participatory democracy strengthens the public-private partnership and provides answers to problems that, when overcome, strengthen us even more. In 2022, please take the time to be involved. Learn and advocate for issues you care about. Support those who support you. Make civic engagement a New Year’s resolution.