Sutherland’s daily updates from the Hill begin


Photo credit: Scott Catron

During the 2012 legislative session, Sutherland Institute will provide insight and analysis of votes, meetings, debates, legislation and policy from a conservative perspective. The goal is to provide our readers with in-depth coverage of issues vital to them that might not be covered as closely by other media. We hope you enjoy Sutherland’s Capitol Daily Video and written coverage of the session posted each day to our blog.

To start, today’s Capitol Daily Video features Sutherland Director of Public Affairs Stan Rasmussen as he gives a brief tour of where to go and what to do if you visit the Capitol during the session. 

For today’s Capitol Daily Memo, Sutherland Daily spoke with Representative Brad Wilson after his HB 28 was unanimously voted out of committee to be heard by the House. HB 28 seeks to form the Economic Development Task Force to better handle the needs of the state’s economic efforts.

“We’ve got a lot of great small businesses in Utah that, given the right tools and resources, can be more and more successful,” Representative Wilson said. “They’re the economic engine in the state that really drives the economy.”

The task force, appointed largely by the House speaker and Senate president, would consist of the Government Office of Economic Development director, policymakers and members of the public, such as business owners. Representative Wilson defined three areas of focus for the task force: help homegrown, Utah businesses expand; lower the cost of doing business through appropriate reduction of business regulations; and ensure government “gets out of the way” to allow businesses to thrive.

Representative Wilson believes a key component of the task force would be to implement economic gardening strategies that give a helping hand to any Utah business seeking to grow and improve. Sutherland strongly supports economic gardening, which is explained in detail here.

In short, economic gardening helps lead to more jobs by providing businesses with informational tools and other resources they need to grow. Although economic gardening tools would be available to any Utah business operating in the state, they would be especially helpful to small businesses and second-stage businesses that are prepared to expand.

“Economic gardening is very consistent with my beliefs,” Representative Wilson said. “I think there are other things besides economic gardening around economic development, but I think it should be a really big part of the conversation. We have entrepreneurs in the state; we have successful small businesses; and we have folks who are looking to relocate here and all of those could benefit from the concepts around economic gardening.

The task force carries a legislative note of $46,000 over two years. Representative Wilson said he hopes to cover that cost with funds from other task forces that are set to expire.