Utah Priorities Project http://kuer.org en Utah Priorities Project: Jobs and the Economy http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-jobs-and-economy <p></p><p>At the bottom of the recession in 2009, Utah’s economy was losing jobs at the rate of six percent a year.&nbsp; A year later, the number of jobs was growing again, but slowly.&nbsp; Today, Utah is adding jobs at close to three percent annually and the state’s unemployment rate has dropped below six percent for the first time since 2008.</p><p></p><p>Residential and business construction was the hardest hit sector by far, and the Utah Foundation’s Morgan Lyon Cotti says it’s been among the slowest to recover.</p><p></p> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:36:21 +0000 Dan Bammes 19600 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Jobs and the Economy Utah Priorities Project: Public Education http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-public-education <p></p><p>Utah spends less per student in its public schools than any other state.&nbsp; Not just a little less – 15% less than Idaho, the next on the list.&nbsp; Utah’s been at the bottom since 1988.</p><p></p><p>There are several reasons for that last-place ranking, but the most important is the high ratio of children to adults in Utah – 20-percent more kids as a proportion of the population than most other states.</p><p></p> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:14:02 +0000 Dan Bammes 19598 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Public Education Utah Priorities Project: Energy http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-energy <p></p><p>Utahns cringe when they look at the prices on the gas pumps these days, though prices here haven’t reached the levels seen in California this fall.&nbsp; Most of the gasoline that’s refined and sold in Utah comes from oil produced in the Mountain West.&nbsp; But Utah Foundation researcher Shawn Teigen says the price still responds to national and international markets.</p><p></p> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 15:16:59 +0000 Dan Bammes 19474 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Energy Utah Priorities Project: Health Care http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-health-care <p></p><p>The Affordable Care Act promises to extend the reach of health care coverage to many people who don’t have it now.&nbsp; Critics say it will do that at a huge cost in both money and individual liberty.&nbsp; But the mandate in the law for nearly everyone to buy health insurance has been upheld by the U-S Supreme Court and that requirement will take effect in 2014. &nbsp;The question facing Utah and the rest of country is how to implement the provisions that are maintained by the states.</p><p></p> Tue, 09 Oct 2012 15:20:12 +0000 Dan Bammes 19420 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Health Care Utah Priorities Project: Taxes & Spending http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-taxes-spending <p></p><p>When Utah’s economy was roaring along in the middle of the decade, then-Governor Jon Huntsman and legislative leaders were looking for ways to reduce the burden of taxes on Utah’s economy.&nbsp; It seemed as though there was plenty of new money to raise pay for teachers, build new roads and expand the reach of social services.</p><p></p> Mon, 08 Oct 2012 15:25:43 +0000 Dan Bammes 19382 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Taxes & Spending Utah Priorities Project: Higher Education http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-higher-education <p></p><p>Higher education dropped out of the Utah Foundation’s survey of voter concerns over the past couple of election cycles, but it turned up again in <a href="http://www.utahfoundation.org/reports/?p=839">its 2012 poll</a>.&nbsp; It’s risen to the 6<sup>th</sup> position in the ranking of top ten issues identified by the Utah Priorities Project.</p><p></p> Fri, 05 Oct 2012 15:40:56 +0000 Dan Bammes 19280 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Higher Education Utah Priorities Project: Environment http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-environment <p></p><p>Concern about the environment moved up a notch this year in the Utah Foundation’s survey of issues important to voters.&nbsp; And while there are many aspects of that issue to look at, voters insist air pollution is at the top of their environmental agenda</p><p></p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 15:19:48 +0000 Dan Bammes 19225 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Environment Utah Priorities Project: Partisan Politics http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-partisan-politics <p></p><p>The increasing polarization of the political process in Utah and across the nation is the next issue identified by the Utah Foundation as part of its Utah Priorities Project.&nbsp; In their open-ended survey, voters ranked partisan politics the 8<sup>th</sup> most important concern.</p><p></p> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:29:45 +0000 Dan Bammes 19167 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Partisan Politics Utah Priorities Project: Poverty http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-poverty <p></p><p>In the second part of KUER’s series <em>The Utah Priorities Project</em>, Utah Foundation researchers take a look at poverty in Utah.&nbsp; It’s an issue that is new to the list of top ten issues identified by voters in a statewide survey, coming in at #9.&nbsp;</p><p>The recession is partly to blame for the number of people in Utah living in poverty. That total is significantly lower than the nation as a whole, but people living below the federal standard for poverty has continued to grow even as the state’s employment numbers have recovered over the past two years.</p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 15:44:45 +0000 Dan Bammes 19106 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Poverty Utah Priorities Project: Immigration http://kuer.org/post/utah-priorities-project-immigration-0 <p>The non-partisan Utah Foundation surveys voters every election cycle to find out what issues concern them most. &nbsp;It's called the Utah Priorities Project, and KUER is presenting a series of programs examining these issues with the help of Foundation researchers.</p><p>Talk to the candidates and they'll have a list of issues that they say their constituents respond to. &nbsp;But Utah Foundation President <a href="http://www.utahfoundation.org/contact/">Steve Kroes</a> says the Utah Priorities Project lets voters set their own agenda.</p> Mon, 01 Oct 2012 15:46:34 +0000 Dan Bammes 19049 at http://kuer.org Utah Priorities Project: Immigration