Now Recruiting a Research Analyst

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Research Analyst Position Announcement APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 2, 2017 JOB DESCRIPTION: Utah Foundation is seeking a Research Analyst to perform public policy analysis and outreach. This is a full-time, salaried position. Candidates must have a strong desire to perform analysis of public-sector issues in a professional, nonpartisan setting and must demonstrate an understanding of public policy topics such as healthcare, voting, demographics, and/or infrastructure. Although Utah Foundation is not an advocacy organization, this position offers … Continued

Utah Thrives: Coal Ash — Waste or Resource?

Written by: Dan Bammes

Coal-fired power plants have to deal with one problem that won’t go away — the ash left over from burning their fuel. It’s typically put in ponds and piles near the plants, where it poses a risk of environmental contamination to nearby rivers and streams. But the news about coal ash is not all bad. It contains, among other things, concentrations of rare-earth elements that could turn it into a resource. In this edition of … Continued

Now Recruiting our Next President

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In January, our president, Steve Kroes, announced his departure after 16 years leading Utah Foundation. Our Executive Board is currently seeking applications from interested candidates through March 31, 2017. See the job description and process for applying below: President: Job Opening Utah Foundation is seeking an energetic, principled thought leader to serve as its next president. This is a respected position in the community, working directly with the Governor, legislators, leaders of public and higher … Continued

Utah Thrives: Taxing Online Commerce

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah is one of several states working to find a way to tax the millions of dollars its residents spend buying things online. Of several different legal strategies, the approach being taken in South Dakota appears to be leading the way, at least until Congress chooses to act on the issue. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we hear from Utah State Senator Curt Bramble, Overstock.com executive Jonathan Johnson, Holladay City Council member Steve Gunn … Continued

Utah Thrives: Education Funding

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah Foundation published a report in November, 2016 looking closely at the evolution of funding for Utah’s public schools over the past 20 years. Getting By with Less: Two Decades of K-12 Education Revenue and Spending pointed out that changes in the state’s tax structure over time had resulted in a net funding shortfall of more than $1.2 billion annually in spite of recent allocations of funding meant to keep pace with enrollment growth and … Continued

Looking Back at Utah Foundation Research in 2016

Written by: Dan Bammes

Maybe there’s enough time in these final days of 2016 to catch our breath. We’re looking back at Utah Foundation’s research reports as well as the Utah Priorities Project. A monumental election season has concluded, with a challenging session of Utah’s legislature just ahead. Here’s our ranking of the top ten research findings of the past year, along with links to a report or research brief on each. 1 Only half of new education funds go … Continued

Utah Thrives: Healthcare

Written by: Dan Bammes

Healthcare was the #1 issue identified in Utah Foundation’s statewide survey of voters. It was 4th on the top ten list in 2012, but current political debates and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act have helped to push it to the top of the list in 2016. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from some top thought leaders in the healthcare field, including Dr. Vivian Lee, Senior Vice-President for Health Sciences at … Continued

Priority #11: States’ Rights

Written by: Christopher Collard

This post concludes our blog series on concerns that many Utah voters expressed in our survey that didn’t make the cut for our top ten list. The debate on the division of powers between states and the federal government is in many ways the essence of American politics since the proposal of the U.S. Constitution. The disagreement between the Hamilton Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans carries on today in a number of issues important to Utahns. While … Continued

Priority #12: Public Lands

Written by: Christopher Collard

One national issue unique to the West is that of public lands. Utah, in many ways, has been at the forefront of that issue. Nearly half of all the land in the western United States is owned by the federal government. In Utah it is just under two-thirds. In fact, Utah is second only to Nevada in the share of land owned by the federal government (although Idaho and Alaska are close). Utah is one … Continued

Priority #13: Energy

Written by: Christopher Collard

There is certainly a lot of discussion in the state about energy. For example, Utah is seeing historic installation rates of residential rooftop solar arrays, and the Utah Legislature is considering whether to end state solar tax credits early. Additionally, Rocky Mountain Power has a new solar array coming on line from which consumers can purchase blocks of renewable energy. However, the energy topic in the Utah Priorities Survey goes beyond electricity generation to include … Continued