Addressing Utah’s Air Quality and Environmental Concerns

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In Utah Foundation’s 2008 Utah Priorities Survey, Utah voters rated the environment as their eighth-highest issue of concern. The environmental issues of most concern were Utah’s air quality and the health effects of pollution. Other concerns were environmental effects of pollution and the storage and transport of hazardous waste. This research brief discusses each of these four areas of concern and provides a brief overview of the state’s position on climate change.  

The Impacts of Utah’s Population Growth

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Dealing with Utah’s Growth ranked tenth on Utah Foundation’s 2008 Utah Priorities Project Survey. Four growth-related issues in the survey showed high levels of concern. The top issues were traffic congestion, crowding in public schools, water supply concerns, and changes in crime rates. This research brief provides information on how Utah’s population growth has and will affect these four and other issues.

Utah’s Health System Reform: Key Issues to Resolve

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah voters ranked healthcare as the fourth most important issue of concern on Utah Foundation’s 2008 Utah Priorities Project survey. The high ranking of healthcare reflects Utah voters’ concerns with the current health system. This research report reviews some of the major problems underlying the current system, summarizes Utah’s initial steps for reform, and identifies the issues that need to be resolved for real systemic reform to take place at the state level. Based on … Continued

A Look at Water Conditions in the Second-Driest State

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah is the second-driest state in the nation and home to over 2.6 million people. When Utah experiences drought conditions, water becomes a high-priority issue for Utah voters. Utah’s water supply and quality ranked as the seventh most important concern in the 2008 Utah Priorities Survey. To help voters and candidates understand the issue better, this brief provides information on drought conditions, precipitation, water storage, water usage, and water quality in Utah.

Improving Teacher Quality in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Teacher quality was rated by voters as a top concern about education in the 2008 Utah Priorities Survey. This brief explains why teacher quality improvement is such an important issue, how it can be measured, some strategies attempted around the nation for improving teacher quality, and a review of research showing which tactics are most likely or unlikely to work.

Taking a Bite Out of Crime: 46 Years of Utah Crime Statistics

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Did you know Utah is the sixth-lowest state in the nation for violent crime rates? Or that we have more property crime than the national average? Did you also know that the popular allegation that Utah is the nation’s leader in white-collar crime is a myth? Read this research brief to learn more about crime in Utah, including crime rates in the five best and worst cities by category.

Spending Your Tax Dollars: Two Decades of Utah Tax and Spending Trends

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Since 1991, Utah state government spending has generally grown slower than Utah’s economy, except for brief “bumps” during economic booms. Through most of this period, health spending and transportation capital spending grew faster than the economy, while all other categories, including public education (the largest state spending area) declined in terms of spending per $1,000 of personal income. The most recent two fiscal years, however, brought large increases in state spending, mostly focused in public … Continued