As your Governor, I am looking forward to an exciting year for the state of Utah. We have many reasons to be proud and grateful as a state, and I am honored to serve as your Governor.
We were recently named by Forbes Magazine as the ‘Best State for Business and Careers.’ This is the second year in a row we have received this honor. It is like winning the National Championship – TWO YEARS IN A ROW. And I’ve got my eyes set on a “three-peat”!
Because of our adherence the conservative principles of free markets and fiscal discipline, Utah is leading the nation out of the great recession. In the last year, we added 33,000 jobs to our economy and reduced the unemployment rate from 7.5% to 6.4%.
As you are well aware, however, this economic crisis is far from over. We must hold fast to the conservative values we share as we fight to maintain our competitive advantage as a state. I invite you to tune in to my State of the State Address on January 25th at 7:00 PM, where I will highlight some of our many accomplishments and lay out my vision for continued recovery and prosperity.
Let me preview some of the things I will talk about in my State of the State. Last year I announced a full review of all state rules and regulations that impact business. Completed in October, the review has resulted in 368 rule changes, simplifications, and repeals. Reducing burdensome regulations will accelerate hiring and continue to improve Utah’s business-friendly environment. Those in Washington would be wise to follow our lead in this and many other areas.
In the coming year, I will continue to work with our state lawmakers and business leaders to attract the best businesses in the country to Utah and to ensure we have the best business environment for home-grown companies to expand. As part of my initiative to accelerate private sector job creation of 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days, I will announce in the State of the State my plans to reduce the unemployment insurance rates for all Utah businesses. This will serve as a tax break, primarily for small businesses and directly reduce the burden of hiring new employees. It will lead our state to full financial recovery, and ensure that, during this period of economic uncertainty and unprecedented overreach by the federal government, Utah maintains its sovereignty as a state.
I will be seeking reelection as your Governor and right now, I am focused on the upcoming legislative session and will officially announce my re-election bid shortly thereafter. However, I want you, the party faithful, to be the first to know of my intentions to continue to lead Utah to full financial recovery and ensure that, during this period of economic uncertainty and unprecedented overreach by the federal government, Utah maintains its sovereignty as a state.
Thank you for all that you do for the Republican Party and for our great State. I look forward to working with you.