Richard Piatt ReportingUtah Governor Olene Walker is resisting the urge to act like a candidate, even though she is one. At her monthly news conference today, the Governor rejected the implication that the election will ever affect her decisions in office.
Governor Walker says she has no regrets about her time in office. But her critics can't wait to get at her, in fact, a veto override session over one bill in particular is possible.
Governor Walker keeps answering questions about her veto of one bill most of all. It’s a Tuition Tax Credit Bill for children with disabilities named after Carson Smith. It would have helped his parents--and others--pay the $21,000 a year bill at a school that handles kids with autism.
Cheryl Smith, Mother, Tuesday: "We weren't asking for the moon. We were asking for a little bit of help. So it's devastating to our families."
But political reality and ideology played into the issue, prompting the Governor to kill the bill, but leave the funding in place.
Gov. Olene Walker: "I found the solution that we found to solve the situation was better than the one proposed."
Now there are some who say she might pay for that stand.
Rep. Morgan Philpot, (R) Midvale: “I think she has an uphill battle.”
According to the sponsor of the Carson Smith bill, the Governor lost support of conservatives who could help her at the convention.
Rep. Morgan Philpot, (R) Midvale: "I think she made a choice true to her political convictions. And I think people have to question whether that's important to them. And I think the majority will agree it is not."
The Governor worries any Tuition Tax Credit-type might take money from public education. She may part ways with conservatives over that.
But Walker did sign other key bills conservatives support, including a bill exerting Legislative authority about gun laws, two anti-abortion bills, and a bill that defines marriage. Still, Walker says she won't shrink from the hard choices.
Gov. Olene Walker: "You have to have that kind of leadership even though you have political consequences."