On Monday, Governor Spencer Cox released his official budget. There was one portion of the budget that caught quite a bit of attention in Northern Utah, having to do with rural investment, from rural broadband to rural roads and transportation.
On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday, Sophia DiCaro, the new executive director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, summarized the budget.
“Really, the budget can be summed up to a couple of things, and not just providing opportunity for all. That includes the population that tends to not have access to opportunity, but also to rural Utah.
“You’ll see that just trickled out throughout the budget in terms of small items as well as some big ticket items, like infrastructure and some education enhancements,” she explained.
As part of the Governor’s campaign, Cox stressed that the future of Utah’s economy is in these rural areas that have been left to the side while much of the focus has been on the Wasatch Front. DiCaro said that is manifest in this budget.
“And what you’ll see is just a way to leverage the talent that we have outside of the Wasatch Front, and to take advantage of every corner of the state. We have a great labor force that’s out there that’s able to be utilized and the more we can do that and shift some of the economic activity to outside of the Wasatch Front to rural Utah, it will translate to helping to elevate those communities.”
DiCaro said when they talk about rural Utah, it’s not just jobs but also education and access to education and the challenges due to the lack of access to broadband, and this budget addresses that.