January 24, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SALT LAKE CITY—Today Sutherland Institute President and CEO Rick Larsen delivered the following statement:
Something significant occurred this week. With the referendum effort around tax reform culminating in an announcement that the new tax law will be repealed, there is reason to reflect.
Some will have concern when they consider the state of public confidence in legislative efforts. Others will find hope in the example of citizens being heard. Sutherland Institute sees both.
Sutherland’s information campaign was never about winners and losers – that would be both divisive and political. We are neither. We were and are interested in understanding and learning from the lessons the referendum effort has presented.
We take seriously the economic and fiscal realities driving the need for tax reform, as well as the impact tax reform will have on each and every Utah citizen today – and for years to come. We also take heart in the fact that citizens could organize so quickly and so effectively to protect those among us who could be at risk.
Recognizing constructive intent on all sides, and the application of a policy process for which we should all be grateful, Sutherland is committed to further study of principled tax reform. Our priority is, and will continue to be, public policy that empowers and respects Utah families and communities.
Being truly educated means understanding one of the most powerful forces in the world: religion. Being a truly educated American means understanding the importance of protecting that force: freedom of religion.
The Washington model illustrates that by recognizing potential conflicts and enacting appropriate accommodations, schools can do their work without unnecessarily infringing the religious exercise of students. It is a model other states, including Utah, should follow.
Caring for children and families in vulnerable situations is an undoubted public priority, and everyone willing to provide good-faith help is needed.