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When Olene Walker leaves office Monday at noon, she can depart knowing she not only made state history as Utah’s first female governor, but that she also had a positive lasting impact on the lives of the people she has served.
Of course, we reflect most recently on her relatively brief tenure as Utah’s Chief Executive, an office she acceded to just over a year ago. She immediately set out an aggressive agenda. “Caretaker” would not be her moniker. Foremost, she reminded Utahns of the value of reading daily with a child, and then proceeded to muscle through the legislature a $30 million school reading initiative.
Her belated, but well-conceived blueprint for overhauling the state’s antiquated system of taxation, if followed, could potentially impact Utahns for generations. And as punctuation to her year in office, she has proposed a credible budget for the coming year that lawmakers would do well to heed.
Not to be overlooked as she returns to the private sector are her many contributions to the state’s well-being as Lieutenant Governor for 11 years, as well as the dozen years she spent in the State Legislature.
For a quarter century Olene Walker proved to be an astute and gifted politician who has left an indelible mark on her community and state. KSL honors her and thanks her for a job well-done.