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Gov. Spencer Cox will focus on six priorities in his first 500 days


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is touting a 500-day plan for his new administration. He says the administration will focus on six key priorities, which reflect pledges made in his recent campaign. 

Gov. Cox: Six priorities

The six areas are economic advancement, education, rural affairs, health, equality and opportunity, and government efficiency and modernization. According to Cox, more than 100 community leaders helped draft the policy suggestions, which ultimately led to the creation of a 12-page “One Utah Roadmap.”

In a prepared statement, Cox said, “The road ahead will have detours, yield signs, fast and slow speeds and bridges, which we will navigate.”

Diving into the priorities

Economic advancement:

  • Cox calls for talent development, strategic industry advancement, innovation and entrepreneurship, infrastructure investment, sustainable growth promotion and fiscal responsibility. As part of continued fiscal responsibility, he’s looking to build the state’s “rainy-day funds” to $1 billion.
  • As part of his plan for economic advancement, Cox identified Utah’s current target industries as aerospace and defense, energy, financial services, life sciences, outdoor products and software technology.

Education innovation:

  • As part of education innovation, the plans calls for increased funding, providing access to optional high-quality early learning, improved teacher compensation, improved equity and making post-secondary education the norm for all Utahns.
  • Additionally, Cox is promoting a governor-appointed state school board model of governance.

Rural matters:

  • The plan lists a number of projects to develop, including a Lake Powell pipeline, inland port and rural satellite sites, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Bear River water project, Uintah Railway, San Rafael Innovation Center and San Juan County water and transportation project.

Health security:

  • At the top of the list of priorities for Cox is continuing to combat COVID-19. Cox is advocating for additional community health workers to be hired and trained. He also is looking to deploy a data-driven approach to risk stratification. 

Equality and opportunity:

  • Here the governor lays out a plan to support the Utah Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Compact. He also is looking to ensure all of Utah’s children will have access to health insurance.

Modernize state government:

  • Lastly, the plan would require each department and agency to prepare an action plan to improve efficiency, productivity and customer service. Additionally, it calls for state workers to be surveyed regularly to better assess their job satisfaction and obtain suggestions for greater efficiency and overall quality. 

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