Governor Herbert Visits U, Talks Politics, Tuition

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Gov. Gary Herbert spoke to U students on Monday about his goals for Utah at the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Herbert, currently serving as the chairman of the National Governor’s Association and the state’s leader since October 2009, discussed a range of topics, such as transportation, business, education and debt.

“I do think that the states are showing everyone that we are in fact finding solutions to the people’s challenges and problems and improving people’s lives,” he said.

Zinaida Bougri, a senior in international politics and sustainability, was one of the first to raise her hand during the portion of the event where students could ask questions. She asked about the negative effects of a lack of contraceptive education and funding to Planned Parenthood. Herbert said Utah has been redistributing funding to other clinics to expand services to women throughout the state.

While Bougri said this was not an answer to her question, she was appreciative that he gave a response.

“He’s a politician, and politicians talk in circles,” she said. “I liked that that he spent half of the time answering questions.”

Scott Dresher, a junior in political science, asked about tuition but wasn’t thrilled by Herbert’s response.

“They pledge a commitment to funding public education, but the pledge seems to be larger than the actual commitment,” he said.

There were only about 15 students, faculty and community members present at the event. This was a little more than half the attendance Utah Sen. Mike Lee had later in the day. Lee focused on prison reform and the high rates of incarceration in the state.

Jayne Nelson, associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, attributes low numbers to the uncertainty they had of this event until just a couple days before.

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