(KUTV) Gov. Herbert addressed had a lot to say at his monthly news conference, but one thing stood out.
"I'm not interested in Dr. Feelgood out there saying, 'hey Q`ue Pasa? Here is your doobie for the day and you'll feel better.' "
Herbert made it clear, he's not ready to be the next Colorado in terms of legalizing marijuana for recreational use or even loose medical use. The governor is however, open to medical marijuana calling it, "a commonsense thing,"
Herbert wants solid science, regulation and FDA involvement for national standards saying, "the concept of a medical marijuana and a use to help people alleviate medical problems as a controlled substance ought to be discussed and debated."
The governor is hoping medical marijuana won't be the only health-related discussion during the upcoming legislative session set to start Monday and run for 45 days. He wants Medicaid expansion back on the table saying, "for something is better than nothing."
His preference is his own "Healthy Utah" that couldn't get enough votes in the last session- but he is willing to take what he can get.
"We need to find a solution, it may not be a perfect solution and may not be what I want"
Herbert's budget asks for cash to research Utah's bad-air days and solutions to the problem, not just to better the health of everyone in the state, but the economic health.
"It is an economic development issue. People are not going to want to come and set up their business here and expand economically if we have gunky air out there."
Speaking of business, the governor is pushing for a local state and national bill that would make Utahn's pay sales tax for online purchases. He estimates the state loses $180 million annually on sites where sales tax is not charged and returned to the state.
"If we could collect at $180 million" the Governor says "we could probably give a tax cut."
That money could also fund education, a priority for the governor who said, "my number one issue is education and the funding of education."
The governor is asking for $422 million additional education dollars in his new budget.
"We recognize we will not be successful long-term unless we have a very educated labor force."
Herbert was asked about his upcoming re-election process and he said he would both gather signatures and go before the caucus. Jonathon Johnson, who is running against him, is forgoing the signature option and will likely use that against the governor at caucus.
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