Both Sides of the Aisle

Once a week I spend time in the KCPW radio studio debating the issues with State Senator Jim Dabakis and State Representative Greg Hughes. It’s a lot of fun and I always learn something when I interact with these two great guys. I represent the political center and fend off the extreme positions of my two colleagues. Give it a listen and see what you think:

Episode 18: February 13th

A consensus on moving the prison, the Pre-K bill, and a blockade formed by LGBT protesters.

Time to raise Utah’s motor fuel tax

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.

This quip, made by Louisiana Sen. Russell Long, captures Utah’s approach to the motor fuel tax. We’ve been kicking the can down the road for 17 years. It’s time for a serious and informed discussion about raising Utah’s motor fuel tax to make up for lost purchasing power and improved fuel efficiency.

Continue reading Time to raise Utah’s motor fuel tax

Fast and Furious: Utah’s economy is ready to rock in 2014

Originally published in Utah Business.

I love the start of a new year. It’s a time to begin anew and take a fresh look at life. I find it’s also agood time to take a pause, learn from the past and build a better tomorrow.

The Utah Legislature understands the value of this type of introspection and long-term thinking. Last month they took time out of their busy schedules to attend a Legislative Policy Summit hosted by the David Eccles School of Business. It was my job to brief them on Utah’s current economic positioning. Here’s what I told them: Continue reading Fast and Furious: Utah’s economy is ready to rock in 2014

Starting 2014 out right

2014 is here and I love it. It’s a chance to begin anew, start fresh and adopt new found optimism. One of the new things I’m going to do is post my writings and reflections on this website. Each month I write a column for the Deseret News and Utah Business magazine. I also participate in a weekly radio program on Salt Lake City’s KCPW radio station. For those who are interested I will post links from this website. You can also follow me on Twitter at @gochnour. Thanks for your interest.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s budget hits the mark

Originally published in the Deseret News.

This week Gov. Gary Herbert released his fiscal year 2015 budget. He recommended $13.3 billion in spending – a cool $36 million a day to pay for Utah’s education system, transportation network, human services, public safety and other important public functions. I worked in the state budget office for 18 years, and I think the governor got it right. Here’s my take on state finances:

Continue reading Gov. Gary Herbert’s budget hits the mark

The Productive Middle

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes observed that without government, the life of man becomes “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Lately it’s seemed just the opposite—with government our economic lives are at risk. It’s as if we have a heart attack every three months, gradually ruining our economic health, causing self-imposed economic pain and diminishing our standing in the world.

There’s got to be a better way.

Continue reading The Productive Middle

Utah needs more women in decision making roles

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Next week, Utahns will be summoned to the election booth to vote in municipal elections. Those who do will find far too few women on the ballot. And it’s not just at the ballot box: it’s in boardrooms and businesses. It’s even in our faith institutions. Women, for all of their native talents, are completely underrepresented in leadership positions. Our community is the lesser for it.

Continue reading Utah needs more women in decision making roles

A Real Impact

Originally published in Utah Business.

I can still remember the flyers plastered in the hallways of my junior high school: “Bonnet ball begins next month. Sign up now.” The flyers started a conversation between a good friend and me—should we sign up for bonnet ball or try an alternative sport known as soccer? The year was 1975 and soccer, especially for women, was a largely unknown sport in the Beehive State.

Continue reading A Real Impact

Writings and Reflections