Legislative Update: October 2016
Utah Experiencing Job and Wage Growth
Utah is in its 80th month of sustained economic growth, outpacing most other states and the country as a whole. We have a broad and diverse workforce and an economy made up of a wide range of industries. This helps to protect us from sector-specific downturns that occur on a regular basis throughout the business cycle.
We have enjoyed a consistently high rate of job creation throughout the recovery and, consequently, have experienced one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the nation. Even so, we continue to grow at a rate that puts us in the top five states for non-agricultural job creation.
This tightening of the labor market has led to robust growth of both wages and personal income for our state’s residents, which has in turn driven the growth in retail sales that is nearly double that realized throughout the entire U.S. economy.
More detailed information can be found here.
Utah’s Fiscal Health Dashboard
The Utah Legislative Fiscal Analyst’s office, in an effort to make information easily accessible and digestible, has created a page that can be accessed by the public and allows individuals to search for all kinds of fiscal facts at a glance.
Topics include a graphic illustration of the state budget, information on the state’s fiscal health, the full 400-page budget, a breakdown of how state tax money is spent and illustrations and facts regarding Utah tax exceptions and inducements.
All of this information is compiled to inform legislative actions and prepare a final budget each year, and technology has made it more available than ever to the public at large. We hope that you will avail yourself of the many tools that have been provided by our legislative staff to keep our constituents informed and educated.
Utah State Capitol Centennial Celebration
It was a great honor to participate in the 100th anniversary of the Utah State Capitol dedication this past month. Many events were held to commemorate this historic occasion, including extracting the 102-year-old time capsule from thecapitol cornerstone that was hidden inside one of the granite columns prior to the building’s dedication in 1916.
Rep. Brad Dee, who serves as vice-chair of the Capitol Preservation Board; Ron Fox, a community historian; John Lambert, founder and CEO of Abstract Masonry Restoration; Senate President; Lt. Governor and Allyson Gamble, executive director of the Capitol Preservation Board, removed the time capsule on September 28. Though the copper box had a few dents and dings, it was still intact.
The following week, members of the Utah Legislature and the governor’s office opened the 100-year-old time capsule. About 200 people, including Utah centenarians who were alive when the capsule was placed inside the granite column, gathered in the Rotunda to see the unveiling of the contents. Items included newspapers, books, business cards and coins. See the complete list here.
Festivities came to a close with the Commemorating a Century Gala. Attendees dressed in period style clothing and speeches and community performances honoring the building and Utah’s history were given.
Exactly one hundred years after the dedication, to the day, October 9, 2016, members of the media went on a rare tour to the top of the Capitol dome. The concrete inside the dome is decorated with initials carved, painted and drawn, some dating back to the 1920s.
This building represents the hard work, creativity and vision of those who dedicated themselves to its construction. In the work that we do within the walls of this Capitol, we will sustain the legacy of those who went before as we seek innovation solutions to the challenges we face, in a way that will continue to place our state at the forefront of this nation.
What do you think should be placed in a new Utah time capsule to be opened in 100 years? Comment on our Facebook page.
See additional pictures here.