Utah Thrives: Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

Written by: Dan Bammes

A recent Utah Foundation breakfast event on access to mental health services and suicide prevention brought up a little good news: Utah’s suicide rate isn’t rising as fast as it has in the past two decades. And professionals who treat those at risk for suicide say their interventions can work very well if they reach people in time. But there are still many challenges, including providing access to psychiatric care in Utah’s rural areas. In … Continued

Utah Thrives: Paying for Water

Written by: Dan Bammes

What’s the best way for communities in Utah to share the cost of providing water? How can municipalities and water districts encourage users to conserve so in the long run, there will be enough to go around? Utah Foundation looked at those questions in a new series of research reports. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from Research Analyst Christopher Collard, along with Ron Thompson from the Washington County Water Conservancy District, Tom … Continued

When considering teacher compensation, don’t forget the retirement benefits

Written by: Peter Reichard

It has been said that John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address inspired a generation to consider public service. But for those going into public service today, Kennedy’s words might be rephrased: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country — and be sure to ask about the pension benefits.” That’s because, in the decades since Kennedy, the public and private sectors in the U.S. have taken … Continued

Utah Thrives: Community Growth

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the challenges posed by Utah’s rapid population growth, issues explored in the research report Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah. The panelists included: Andrew Gruber, Wasatch Front Regional Council Robert Grow, Envision Utah Beth Holbrook, Utah Transit Authority Bryson Garbett, Garbett Homes Cameron Diehl, Utah League of Cities and Towns In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear … Continued

Utah Thrives: Robert Putnam

Written by: Dan Bammes

Harvard political science professor Robert Putnam talks with Dan Bammes and Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard about the idea of social capital — the central idea of his groundbreaking book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. He also talks about his more recent book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, that looks at the growing gap between wealthy American families and others who’ve found education and social mobility much harder to … Continued

New data show Utah still last in nation in per-pupil spending

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Is Utah still last in the nation in per-pupil spending? Yes. Census data released on May 21 show that Utah is still last at $7,179. Nonetheless, spending has been on the increase in Utah and nationally. In fact, U.S. per-pupil spending has increased for five straight years. It now stands at $12,201 per student. That puts Utah at 59% of the national average. But how are Utah students performing? Future Utah Foundation research will look … Continued

Efforts to address suicide in Utah gaining momentum

Written by: Peter Reichard

Springtime is now upon us. The bluer skies, brighter sun and singing birds offer a welcome relief from the long winter. But the joy of spring doesn’t touch everybody. In fact, suicide rates in the U.S. are highest this time of year. In recent months, suicide has received increasing attention in Utah. Higher education and K-12 officials are placing new emphasis on mental health. A recent report from the Utah Foundation, “Getting to Tomorrow: Addressing … Continued

Utah Foundation’s Top Research Findings of 2018

Written by: Dan Bammes

  Utah Foundation published research reports on a broad range of public policy issues in 2018, each with significant findings that will influence political discussion and decisions for years to come. At the end of the year, we asked our Board of Trustees, a diverse group representing a broad range of business and community leaders, to rank the findings they felt were most important. Here’s what they determined, along with links to each of the … Continued

Helping criminal offenders find freedom

Written by: Peter Reichard

Somewhere in our state right now, an inmate is struggling with the slavery of substance abuse. He has fallen into a downward spiral of addiction and criminality, and has landed behind bars. Drug use and crime are often entangled. Some offenders with substance use disorders are arrested on drug possession charges; others may be arrested for crimes committed to fund an addiction. In short, many criminal offenders are people caught in the downward spiral of … Continued