Entries by Derek Monson

Legislature has it right on budget approach

The Utah Legislature recently received updated budget projections that give policymakers hundreds of millions in new state taxpayer dollars to allocate. The governor’s office subsequently recommended a $14.3 billion budget, which reportedly encourages legislators to spend almost all of this new revenue. With that as background, we can now expect special interests to begin lining […]

Encouraging steps in Utah criminal justice reform

Sutherland Institute is encouraged by the direction of the policy recommendations presented to two legislative interim committees yesterday, and to the governor last week, by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Overall, they represent a reasonable and, just as important, a moral perspective on criminal justice reform. As a whole, they point lawmakers […]

To ease income inequality, smooth the path for innovators — Sutherland Soapbox, 11/4/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.   Today is Election Day, so I want to talk about an issue that is the driving electoral message of hundreds of political candidates nationwide. That issue is income inequality. Now the first thing to understand is that, […]

Sutherland commends Gov. Herbert for not calling Medicaid special session

Sutherland Institute commends Governor Herbert for his wise and prudent decision not to call a special session to consider his proposed Healthy Utah Medicaid expansion plan. The question of whether Utah should add a second, private-insurance tier to its Medicaid program for the sake of federal funding is a momentous one. This decision has significant […]

Infographic: How many drinks per week?

The above chart contains some interesting – and eye-popping – information about American alcohol consumption. First, 60 percent of Americans either don’t drink at all (30 percent) or, on average, have less than one drink per week (30 percent). But the top 10 percent of American drinkers? Let’s just say their livers might some day be used […]

State school board selection: The ‘partisan elections are unconstitutional’ argument

After federal Judge Clark Waddoups’s recent ruling that Utah’s current state board election system is unconstitutional, a new argument from advocates of nonpartisan state school board elections has begun to make the rounds: that partisan state school board elections are barred by the Utah Constitution. While this argument represents a novel reading of the state […]

Is Healthy Utah a good idea? More information changes people’s minds – Sutherland Soapbox, 9/16/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. Sutherland Institute commissioned a poll by Magellan Strategies that was released yesterday about Utah voters’ support for Medicaid expansion in its various forms, including Governor Gary Herbert’s preferred “Healthy Utah” form of expansion. The question we aimed to […]