Taxes, Pensions and Free Speech On Display in Salt Lake City
The ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform recently hosted a successful regional Tax and Fiscal Policy Academy, with Utah legislative hosts Senator Wayne Niederhauser, Senator Stuart Adams and Representative Kim Coleman. The event took place May 17-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah, with 25 legislative attendees representing 9 Western states. The purpose of the Academy was to provide nonpartisan policy training and a forum for legislators to discuss detailed policy solutions regarding pension reform, tax reform and priority-based budgeting.
Academy presentation topics included economic competitiveness among the states, best practices for pension reform, priority-based budgeting and overcoming obstacles to tax reform. Legislators participated in discussions where they illustrated the fiscal condition of their respective states and were then able to share thoughts with each other in an effort to determine best practices. The ALEC Center to Protect Free Speech also joined us for an issue briefing concerning campus speech, donor privacy and commercial speech.
In addition to policy sessions, Utah Governor Gary Herbert addressed attendees at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Governor Herbert shared his philosophy regarding tax and fiscal policy, which has helped Utah remain number one in terms of economic outlook for the last decade according to Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. The group also had the opportunity to visit the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir in downtown Salt Lake City.
We loved hosting the Academy in Utah. It was a sensational conference on taxes, pensions and free speech. The takeaways for me are a refreshed commitment to ALEC principles, substantive policy discussions and many new friends.
Utah Senate President and ALEC Board Member Sen. Wayne Niederhauser
As usual (for ALEC gatherings) the information presented was useful, interesting and timely, but what made it even more valuable was the small group size, which allowed for time to interact with the presenters and get more detailed info from those who actually made it happen. Knowing what to do is one thing, learning how to get it done is another. Talking one on one with those who got it done will help me get it done in my state.
Idaho Senator Steve Vick
ALEC Academies give attendees the opportunity to share ideas and network in an environment conducive to a deep-dive into particular issue areas. We are excited to see an increase in interstate collaboration following these events, and given the success of our first two regional academies we plan to continue them in our effort to bring together legislators serving in close proximity.