LGBTQ, immigration, medical marijuana, immigration and more — What is ‘the Utah way’ on these issues?Posted by On


It’s a phrase politicians say when they talk about everything from gay rights to state finances, from police reform to medical marijuana. When they are proud of their work on a tough issue, they say they used “the Utah way.”

Think of those three words and what they mean: the Utah way. The maxim smacks of exceptionalism. That we compromise in a way that should be emulated. But what is the Utah way? What does it even mean? And do these compromises have their limitations?

The Salt Lake Tribune reached out to two dozen prominent Utahns from across the political spectrum. The group included elected officials, those who once held office and people who are active in business and public policy. We asked them to give us their definition and to pick the next thorny issue deserving of the Utah way.

How do you define ‘the Utah way’?

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Then-Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at the Utah Association of Realtors office Nov. 3, 2020. Herbert coined the phrase “the Utah way.”

Former Gov. Gary Herbert has many thoughts about this. He should. He coined the phrase. Exactly when, he can’t remember, but Herbert, who became governor in 2009, said he first mentioned “the Utah way” when he talked about the state’s enviable budget. Utah regularly has surpluses, and it boasts the highest credit rating a state can hold.

“I’ve said many times, ‘Well, that’s the Utah way. We’re fiscally prudent. We’re wise in the use of the taxpayer dollars,’” he…

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It’s a phrase politicians say when they talk about everything from gay rights to state finances, from police reform to medical marijuana. When they are proud of their work on a tough issue, they say they used “the Utah way.”

Think of those three words and what they mean: the Utah way. The maxim smacks of exceptionalism. That we compromise in a way that should be emulated. But what is the Utah way? What does it even mean? And do these compromises have their limitations?

The Salt Lake Tribune reached out to two dozen prominent Utahns from across the political spectrum. The group included elected officials, those who once held office and people who are active in business and public policy. We asked them to give us their definition and to pick the next thorny issue deserving of the Utah way.

How do you define ‘the Utah way’?

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Then-Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at the Utah Association of Realtors office Nov. 3, 2020. Herbert coined the phrase “the Utah way.”

Former Gov. Gary Herbert has many thoughts about this. He should. He coined the phrase. Exactly when, he can’t remember, but Herbert, who became governor in 2009, said he first mentioned “the Utah way” when he talked about the state’s enviable budget. Utah regularly has surpluses, and it boasts the highest credit rating a state can hold.

“I’ve said many times, ‘Well, that’s the Utah way. We’re fiscally prudent. We’re wise in the use of the taxpayer dollars,’” he…



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