LOGAN — The second installment of Direct Link with Utah Governor Spencer Cox was held Tuesday evening. The bi-monthly broadcasts are facilitated through the Utah Broadcasters Association and this month’s broadcast was moderated by KVNU’s Jason Williams.
With Utah going through the worst drought in over 60 years, the governor said many may not realize just how bad the drought is with over 90 percent of the state in extreme drought and 70 to 80 percent a notch above that, in exceptional drought.
“We need everyone to conserve regardless of where you live. Today(Tuesday)we were asking people to water their lawns less, the good news with grass is that it’s very resilient. If it turns yellow or brown that’s okay, it will come back green next year. We’re encouraging people to do one less watering, so just two waterings a week in northern Utah, three waterings a week in southern Utah. An d then to pay attention to local water districts and the restrictions that are in place there,” he explained.
Cox said the situation is really dire and the last thing the state needs is another disaster after a pandemic and a moderate earthquake, like occurred last year near Salt Lake City.
“We just really encourage people to be smart, and along with that comes the fire danger. We’ve had two fire starts today, one in Summit County, one in Carbon County, two different parts of the state. But our fire crews reported back that they are seeing August-like conditions, and we’re still in the first part of June. That’s a problem, that does not bode well for us.”
Governor Cox last week asked residents to pray for rain, and some rain did fall in the state. He said residents need to continue doing that, but also to conserve.
On another topic, a caller asked if the governor would consider legislation that would push back on any federal move that would involve changes in the right to bear arms.
“The answer is yes, and let me just share a little bit more about this. So I signed the constitutional carry bill, something that I know a lot of people have been working on for a long time. I’ve said this before, I believe Utah isn’t just a second amendment sanctuary state, but we’re a constitutional sanctuary state. I meet at least once a month with Attorney General Sean Reyes, and we go over everything that is happening with the federal government, to push back on things that we believe are unconstitutional.”
Cox said the way they do it is to file lawsuits and then let the courts determine whose interpretation of the constitution is correct, the state’s or the federal government.
Another caller asked the governor what he thought about the controversial critical race theory being taught in some public schools in the U.S.
“Critical race theory is one of these really interesting things that has come up, it’s been around since the (19)70’s. I’m not exactly sure why it’s gotten so much attention lately, but I do know that people are really passionate about it. It’s been really interesting. I’ve probably talked to a hundred people about critical race theory, and I’ve asked them all what it means and I’ve gotten a hundred different answers as to what critical race theory is. What I can tell you is it is not being taught in any Utah schools, nor should it.”
Cox said just this past week, the state school board had been working very hard on rules around this issue.