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So members of the legislature are off to Fillmore for the day where Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. will deliver his first State of the State address.
On one hand, it seems an inconvenient undertaking - shutting down the people’s business for a time in Salt Lake City so the Chief Executive, lawmakers, and the media can make the 148 mile journey to the rural community for a ceremonial speech. On the other hand, why not this once! The Capitol Building is closed for renovation. The legislature’s temporary chambers hold no traditional or sentimental value.
So yes! Why not do something out of the ordinary! Besides, there’s a degree of nostalgia about Fillmore, the site of Utah’s first statehouse. 150 years ago the idea of conducting government business at the geographic center of the territory seemed like a good idea. However, after legislative sessions in 1855 and 1856, they realized the population center of Salt Lake City had better facilities and communication systems needed for effective government.
So, let the new governor try something different. Let the show go forth. Let rural Utah receive some deserved attention. But, let it also be a one-time affair. The seat of government is in Salt Lake City and that’s where the governor’s annual message to the legislature, according to the Constitution, is supposed to be delivered.