STATE OF UTAH — The 2024 Utah Legislature having just concluded their session, Utah Governor Spencer Cox felt it was a very productive session.

“It was a very productive session, I like to tease legislators a little bit for their productivity and efficiency maybe. But they did accomplish some really great things including the Great Salt Lake and water conservation, making sure that we have the water necessary for farmers and ranchers,” he said.

The governor was back on his semi-regular Utah Broadcasters Association  – Direct Link statewide radio  broadcast, that originated  with Newstalk KVNU on Tuesday night.  Cox said he was very pleased with the legislation for a project that is close to his heart – making affordable housing available to Utahns, especially young families.

“Specifically, our administration’s focus on the building of 35,000 starter homes over the next five years, so that our kids and grandkids can actually own a home again. These would be homes under $350,000, things that we’re just not building anymore, single family detached housing.”

He said he thinks Utah took the biggest step of any state in the nation when it comes to housing attainability.

Cox said he still has relatives in Cache Valley, which he sees as still very rural despite recent growth. His wife, Abby, has a sister in Wellsville, he has an aunt and uncle in Lewiston, plus a sister-in-law who lived in Benson for a long time.

“So there are still very rural places there, but we are changing as a state, we are growing, we were the fastest growing state over the last decade according to the census. And that certainly exacerbates the challenges, but I do believe that rural Utah still matters.

I’m very committed to it, I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do. Job growth in rural Utah’s important to me, my Dad and grandfather used to say that our best crop on the farm, I grew up on, is our kids. It’s also, sadly, our best export.”

The governor said they had to send a lot of kids off the farm because there were limited jobs.

He said the Wasatch Front is dealing with a similar problem, but for a different reason. Cox said that too many kids have to leave the more urban and suburban areas because they can’t afford buy a home.

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