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Walker Charging Ahead on Her Key Issues

Walker Charging Ahead on Her Key Issues

Posted - Jun. 24, 2004 at 4:34 p.m.



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Richard Piatt ReportingShe's not a candidate, but Governor Olene Walker could still play a big role in the governor's race.

Govenor Walker is more relaxed these days. She can enjoy the perks of the job without worrying about campaigning. But she's not totally relaxed. At a monthly news conference, Walker talked about issues she's tackled that could become campaign issues.

First: Revamping Utah's entire tax structure.

Gov. Olene Walker: "Our plan is not to increase taxes, but to provide the very basic structure that makes sense."

But will a plan that could mean higher taxes make sense to Huntsman and Matheson? The two may avoid the ideas, dooming Walker's work to political oblivion. But Huntsman's idea to eliminate the sales tax on food may also have problems, according to Walker, because the state needs the 292 million dollars a year it generates.

Gov. Olene Walker: "I think if he becomes governor he's going to have to look at it in a little different light."

The campaigns are in low gear for now. But Walker says her work on watershed and wilderness road issues could gain momentum. So will her work to boost funding basic education skills.

Gov. Olene Walker: "I'd like to have them so firmly in place that they'll continue in some form."

The candidates are trying to give voters some substance already too. And there's a lot to pick from.

Scott Matheson, Jr., (D) Candidate For Governor: "My candidacy also offers an opportunity to bring some balance in state government that's we've been lacking for a very long period of time."

Jon Huntsman, Jr., (R) Candidate For Governor: "What is at stake is whether our next generation of kids will decide to stay in the state or move on to another state because there's more opportunity there."

The Governor has firm ideas on a lot of issues, but she's purposely not endorsing either of the candidates, at least not yet.

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