Times are still tough in a lot of areas and the economy is in a critical situation, according to Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell. But, filling in for Republican Governor Gary Herbert at last week’s State Farm Bureau convention in Logan, Bell said Utah is getting a lot of positive headlines.”The American Legislative and Exchange Council says that Utah keeps taxes, spending and regulatory burdens low,” Bell said, “while the biggest loser states tend to share similar policies of high tax rates, unsustainable spending and regulation. They gave us the best economic outlook for 2010.” Bell said in contrast with too many states that are getting it wrong in terms of policies and business friendliness the state of Utah gets it. Bell and Salt Lake County Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Peter Corroon agree that farmers and ranchers are making a great contribution to the state and its economy. The two also agreed that Utah is a great state, but Corroon said there are some issues that need to be addressed.”While we have many great things in this state, we also are the state with the fifth highest bankruptcy rate,” Corroon said. “This year we have the twelfth worst budget gap in the nation. I think, honestly, much of that was filled with one-time moneys. “So there’s work to be done there. I think we had, as well, the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the nation and the highest misuse of prescription drugs in the nation.”When asked about immigration problems, Corroon said he’s concerned that the recently-passed immigration enforcement law in Arizona could result in unfunded mandates for the county and he also worries about racial profiling. Bell said he believes the federal government has dropped the ball on the immigration issue forcing Arizona to do something to protect its way of life.
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