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Illusive commodities 

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Illusive commodities
Why polls? Of course it's election season, so we're inundated by them. Maybe candidates are using surveys to see where they stand or if they stand at all. But as the Brookings Institute says, "Public opinion is an illusive commodity." Let's take the most recent poll—or survey, as Utah Policy calls it—on taxes. It's one of those Y2 polls that Utah Policy says it "obtained," whatever that means. Still, the poll shows that "Utahns in general (74%), and Republicans especially, want the Legislature to give tax cuts now." The Legislature's still on, but The Salt Lake Tribune says they're considering some tax cut, even though tackling the coronavirus might require government funding. Yes, they're acting on taxes while other polls clearly state that the electorate wants to pass the ERA and leave intact the redistricting law. Priorities.


Breakfast Is Served?
Time is running out for the Legislature as a school breakfast bill gets tossed from one committee to another or stays in the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee where it failed. Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, opposed the bill but is asking for it to be revived. "[It] should have been sent to an education committee who understands school lunch programs," KUTV News reported. But after the public backlash, the committee is learning a lot about school breakfast and just how important it is. Hinkins doesn't want to expand the federal program because he's so danged concerned about taxpayer dollars. Oh, and he also thinks this is about "letting parents be parents." But Utahns Against Hunger stood firm. "Feeding kids isn't a political ideology, it is an investment in their success," Fox13 quoted the group as saying.


Public Solutions Needed
If ever there was a time to rethink our transportation options and the environmental impacts of development, it's now. Public protests are sprouting up everywhere as residents fear what's coming. We don't need to revisit the Inland Port and the environmental impacts it poses, but there's more. The Parleys Interchange Project is being touted by UDOT as a means of decreasing congestion and promoting safety. "UDOT needs to be more creative," ABC4 quoted an opponent. "We can't add more lanes and expect the environment to be good." And now there's Olympia Hills and the plans for a high-density 933-acre development just west of Herriman. Residents are preparing a referendum after the Salt Lake County Council voted to move ahead on the project. While everyone knows that population is the problem, apparently they don't know that planning for public transit and green building is a solution.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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