Public Policy Priorities

A Letter from our President and Chair

At the Salt Lake Chamber, we recognize that a thriving economy is the bedrock of our success. Through innovation, the support of local businesses and the attraction of top talent, we continue to build an elite economy that provides prosperity and opportunities for all Utahns.

Businesses recognize that more than ever change is the constant and a successful tomorrow requires innovation today. The Chamber also stands ready to adapt to the quickly changing landscape of business and policy. This focus will fortify our state’s resilience and bolster its competitiveness on the global stage. Together, we can chart a path to a stronger, more vibrant and richer Utah for generations to come.

The Salt Lake Chamber’s Public Policy Guide demonstrates our resolve to shape policies to benefit all Utahns. This guide outlines our commitment to policies that not only stimulate economic growth but also prioritize workforce development, environmental stewardship, quality of life and economic vibrancy.

We celebrate Utah’s rich heritage and are dedicated to listening to new voices in our community. In this, we seek not just less division, but more unity — a harmonious chorus of voices working together to ensure a bright and prosperous future. We believe in the power of collaboration, innovation and informed decision-making to drive the Utah economy forward, while simultaneously addressing the evolving needs of our residents.

Our dedication to these principles reflects our vision of a thriving, dynamic and equitable Utah, where every citizen has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from our state’s economic success. Join us as we explore the multifaceted approach to achieving these goals, hand in hand with the businesses and organizations that make Utah a beacon of economic opportunity and progress.


Derek Miller
Derek MillerPresident and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber
Gary W. Hoogeveen
Gary W. HoogeveenBoard Chair, Salt Lake Chamber


Recognizing the pivotal role businesses play in shaping the state’s prosperity, we are committed to the economic well-being of Utah. Our goal is to create an environment that not only attracts new enterprises but also nurtures the growth and success of existing ones. Through strategic initiatives, programs and policies, we aim to propel Utah toward a future marked by economic vitality, innovation and job creation.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Continue supporting pro-business policies that encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and job growth.
  • Foster a regulatory environment that balances economic growth with environmental stewardship and public safety.
  • Enact policies that enhance the overall quality of life in Utah, including housing affordability, health care access and environmental stewardship.
  • Invest in workforce development and education to ensure our citizens are equipped with the skills necessary to thrive in a rapidly evolving economy.
  • Prioritize initiatives that promote economic equity and inclusivity, ensuring all Utahns have an opportunity to benefit from the state’s economic success.

Energy & Environment

Responsible resource management is ingrained in our vision for a vibrant and resilient Utah. We recognize the critical importance of balancing economic development with environmental stewardship and enacting policies that promote sustainable practices, enhance energy efficiency and preserve Utah’s natural beauty for future generations.

Our energy policy approach champions a comprehensive and diversified portfolio, integrating renewable sources, resilient energy infrastructure and responsible critical minerals mining. These strategic pillars are carefully aligned with our overarching goal to create an energy future that is reliable, sustainable and affordable.

We urge our legislature to:

Diversified Energy Sources

  • Advocate for a diversified energy portfolio that includes renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal, alongside traditional energy sources like natural gas and nuclear power. This approach can enhance energy security and reduce carbon emissions.

Energy Infrastructure

  • Support investments in modern, resilient energy infrastructure, including smart grids, energy storage and electric vehicle charging stations. These improvements can enhance energy reliability and create jobs.

Critical Minerals Mining

  • Advocate for responsible critical minerals mining, ensuring environmentally friendly and sustainable practices while supporting the growth of this sector.
  • Encourage partnerships with research institutions to find alternatives to critical minerals where possible.

Resilience and Preparedness

  • Support policies that enhance the resilience of energy infrastructure against natural disasters and cyber threats.
  • Encourage businesses to adopt business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

Data Collection and Research

  • Advocate for investment in data collection and research to better understand the local energy and critical minerals landscape. This data can inform policy decisions, identify potential resources and guide sustainability efforts.

Air Quality
Our dedication to air quality is backed by legislative support for expanded public transportation, enhanced monitoring networks and incentives to encourage cleaner production practices. Additionally, we underscore the importance of green spaces, public awareness campaigns and emergency response planning, all aimed at protecting public health. Together, we actively strive for a sustainable, resilient and prosperous Utah.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Enact legislation that allocates additional funding for the expansion and improvement of public transportation services, including buses and rail, with a focus on reducing traffic congestion and emissions.
  • Support science-driven air quality policy that enables business innovation as well as economic and environmental progress.
  • Make investments in research and development, incentives for technology modernization and public initiatives and infrastructure as part of the solution to the region’s air quality challenges.
  • Provide tax incentives, grants and other incentives for businesses to adopt cleaner and more sustainable production practices, reducing industrial emissions.
  • Support the preservation of green spaces and the inclusion of urban planning regulations that prioritize trees and vegetation to improve air quality.
  • Pass legislation to create public awareness campaigns that educate residents about the importance of air quality and actions they can take to reduce pollution.
  • Outline emergency response plans for air quality events, especially during wildfire smoke episodes, to protect public health.

The Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake holds a special and cherished position in our region, and our advocacy extends comprehensively to areas such as water management, wetland preservation and scientific research. Our collective efforts are dedicated to safeguarding the lake’s long-term vitality, recognizing its ecological and cultural importance to the community.

We urge our legislature to:

Water Management and Conservation

  • Advocate for sustainable water management practices that ensure the inflow and outflow of water to the Great Salt Lake.
  • Promote and support initiatives that reduce water consumption and improve water quality throughout the watershed.

Wetland and Habitat Preservation

  • Support policies and programs that protect and restore the wetlands and critical habitats surrounding the Great Salt Lake.
  • Encourage responsible land use planning and development to minimize habitat disruption.

Scientific Research and Monitoring

  • Advocate for funding and support for scientific research and monitoring programs focused on the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.
  • Promote collaboration between academic institutions, government agencies and private sector organizations to advance our understanding of the lake.

Utah faces pressing challenges concerning water infrastructure and conservation, both integral to the state’s enduring water security. The aging water infrastructure, especially in densely populated regions, poses considerable and imminent risks that demand immediate attention and strategic solutions.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Support the efforts of local water districts and cities to secure additional funding for essential water infrastructure projects, including the replacement of aging aqueducts serving significant population areas.
  • Support funding to address identified unsafe dams and ensure ongoing dam safety improvements.
  • Advocate for research initiatives to determine the most effective strategies for conserving agricultural water across the state.
  • Support the establishment of research and demonstration facilities to promote water conservation.

Health Care

At the heart of our mission is a commitment to enhance the overall well-being of our community and workforce. Utah stands as a national leader in employer-sponsored insurance coverage, a crucial factor as this expense usually ranks second only to wages for companies. Furthermore, the thriving life sciences industry in Utah plays a pivotal role in supporting and advancing our state’s economy. Consequently, health care is undeniably a business issue.

In this section, we delve into the critical aspects of health care that impact every Utahn, ranging from ensuring affordable access to health insurance to the seamless integration of groundbreaking health care technologies. Our advocacy for affordable health insurance and the promotion of ongoing innovation underscore our belief in the role that businesses play in providing accessible and cost-effective health care solutions.

We urge our legislature to:

Affordable Health Insurance Access

  • Advocate for policies that lower total health care costs and make health insurance more affordable for individuals, businesses and the state.
  • Support initiatives to expand access to affordable health insurance options, such as state-level public health insurance programs or private market reforms.

Telehealth Expansion

  • Encourage the expansion of telehealth and other cost-efficient virtual care services. Telehealth can improve access to care and reduce health care costs, particularly for behavioral health services and in rural areas.

Consumer-Driven Health Care

  • Support legislation that promotes transparency in health care pricing and encourages Utahns to choose high-value care. This empowers consumers to make informed decisions about their care and promotes competition on price and quality among providers.

Mental Health Services Expansion

  • Advocate for increased funding and access to evidence-based mental health services.
  • Promote policies that break down barriers to mental health care and support programs that address the mental health needs of the community.

Workforce Health

  • Promote policies that incentivize and support workplace wellness programs. Healthy employees are often more productive and take fewer sick days.
  • Recognize the role that employers have in offering health and wellness benefits to their employees, and support their ability to continue doing so without fear of interferences that raise costs, add burdens, limit choices or introduce uncertainty.

Health Care Innovation and Technology

  • Support initiatives that foster innovation in health care, including the adoption of advanced technologies that can improve patient care, reduce costs and create jobs in the region.


Effectively addressing homelessness requires a comprehensive approach, centering on housing stability, support services and community collaboration. By combining these elements, we strive to offer individuals and families the opportunity for a stable and secure future.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Support policies that prioritize addressing homelessness, coupled with effective enforcement measures, as it is essential to ensuring the well-being and dignity of all individuals by actively working to get them off the streets and into stable living conditions.
  • Support access to essential support services such as mental health, substance abuse treatment, job training and case management to address the root causes of homelessness and help individuals regain independence.
  • Support proactive strategies to prevent homelessness, such as rental assistance programs, mediation services for at-risk individuals and families and community outreach programs.
  • Support collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations and service providers to streamline resources and share data effectively to target resources where they are most needed.


Utah’s housing affordability challenges will undoubtedly have an impact on our long-term prosperity. It is of the utmost importance that we address this issue now rather than wait for tomorrow. This issue demands urgent attention as a collective responsibility, with each community taking accountability for ensuring an abundant housing supply that enhances the well-being of their residents and contributes to the overall welfare of the state.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Advocate for residential land use outcomes that promote affordable housing and enhance overall quality of life for residents.
  • Seek funding and financing tools to aid local governments in developing the necessary infrastructure and incentivizing zoning for diverse housing options.
  • Support a comprehensive market analysis to determine growth patterns and capacity, which should guide future developments.
  • Allocate ongoing funding for attainable housing grants, housing preservation, homeless shelter crisis mitigation and staff support, as well as funding for deeply affordable housing grants, housing preservation and affordable homeownership programs.
  • Support the introduction of state infrastructure funding to facilitate housing production, as the alignment of state funds with good planning can encourage various housing options.
  • Support the alignment of state economic development incentives with workforce housing production.
  • Advocate for resources, such as the creation of a “missing middle housing toolkit,” to assist local governments and home builders.

Innovation & Technology

In an ever-evolving, interconnected and technology-driven world, we acknowledge the pivotal role played by innovation and technology in shaping our collective future. Our advocacy is firmly rooted in a commitment to cultivating a thriving tech ecosystem that not only propels economic growth, but also spurs entrepreneurial ventures, ultimately contributing to the enhanced well-being of our community.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Support tax incentives, grants and other financial mechanisms to encourage research and development activities and startup growth.
  • Advocate for the creation of innovation hubs and incubators to foster a thriving tech ecosystem.
  • Promote policies that protect individual privacy while allowing for responsible data sharing and utilization.
  • Advocate for strong cybersecurity measures and education to safeguard businesses, government entities and individuals.
  • Encourage a business-friendly regulatory environment that fosters innovation without stifling entrepreneurship and economic growth.
  • Advocate for a streamlined permitting and licensing process for tech companies and startups.
  • Support investments in smart transportation and infrastructure that enable the integration of new technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and IoT devices.
  • Advocate for increased public and private investments in research and development, particularly in emerging tech sectors like artificial intelligence, biotechnology and clean energy.
  • Promote collaboration between research institutions and industry to translate research into practical innovations.

Taxes & Regulation

A thriving economy depends on the foundation of an equitable tax system and prudent financial management. At the core of our advocacy lies a deep-seated belief in transparent and fair tax policies, designed to foster economic growth without disproportionately burdening any sector.

We understand that a balanced approach to taxation is crucial, ensuring an equitable sharing of the tax burden and preventing hindrances to economic progress. Our commitment to fiscal responsibility extends to state budgeting, where we stress the importance of long-term sustainability. By managing resources responsibly and strategically investing in areas such as education, infrastructure and health care, we can secure the financial health of our state for generations to come.

In navigating the intricate terrain of taxes and regulation, our aim is to shape a prosperous and resilient Utah grounded in the principles of fairness and fiscal prudence.

We urge our legislature to:

  • Advocate for transparent and fair tax policies that promote economic growth without disproportionately burdening any sector of the economy.
  • Advocate for fiscal responsibility in state budgeting to ensure long-term sustainability.

Transportation & Growth

In the face of Utah’s rapid growth and transformation, it is imperative to synchronize our policies and priorities with the dynamic and evolving needs of our state. The Chamber is committed to fostering collaboration with key transportation and planning agencies, including the Wasatch Front Regional Council, Mountainland Association of Governments, Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Transit Authority. Through these partnerships, our aim is to create a vibrant and resilient Utah, where the well-being of its residents takes center stage in our collective vision for the future.

We urge our legislature to:

Multi-Modal Transportation Investments

  • Advocate for well-functioning, multi-modal transportation systems that provide mobility options, promote healthy, connected communities and support a strong economy.
  • Continue investing in Utah’s transportation infrastructure through professional planning and prioritization processes as outlined in Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan.
  • Provide funding for state and local roadway projects to address capacity, maintenance and preservation needs to accommodate growth.
  • Provide ongoing, long-term and stable funding for transit infrastructure, supporting regional projects like the Point of the Mountain Station and Strategic Double Tracking of the UTA FrontRunner.

Enhancing Utah’s Quality of Life as We Grow

  • Support coordinating growth impacts across various sectors, including water, transportation, housing and economic development, in funding, policy and program design, consistent with the framework in the Wasatch Choice Vision.
  • Advocate for the proactive establishment of parks, open spaces and public areas within urban and rural areas to promote public health and enhance quality of life.

Transportation Technologies and Funding Strategies

  • Support the efforts to continue the development and implementation of the Road Usage Charge (RUC) program and advanced air mobility.
  • Support efforts to evaluate the power demands for Utah’s transportation system, including electrification and other alternative power sources as a complement to traditional sources.
  • Advocate for the establishment of transit innovation grants to enhance local transit services based on community needs.

Workforce & Education

In today’s rapidly evolving economic landscape, building a strong and well-prepared workforce is paramount. To do so, we must have a multifaceted approach encompassing a range of strategic initiatives reflective of the communities we serve. By empowering individuals with the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to succeed, we contribute to the long-term prosperity of our communities and the continued growth of our economy.

We urge our legislature to:


  • Support ongoing funding to advance the expansion of Utah’s apprenticeship programs to promote workforce development and bridge the skills gap. Apprenticeship programs and skills-based learning are essential tools for building a strong, well-prepared workforce.

Child Care

  • Advocate for the establishment of private-public partnerships to increase child care availability as businesses require the opportunity to contract with high-quality child care providers, expanding access to reliable child care options.

Computer Science & Emerging Technology Training

  • Ensure access to computer science education in order to prepare Utah’s students for the demands of the 21st-century workforce. While some progress has been made in securing ongoing funding for the computer science for all program, significant gaps remain.
  • Increase computer science offerings in K-12 schools and provide essential training for educators in this field.
    Support the implementation of computer science master plans, integration of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity training and training of more licensed educators.

Global Talent

  • Support and advocate for the establishment of a “Global Talent Accelerator” program that will foster partnerships with entrepreneurs, residents and business resource centers. Utah’s ability to attract and retain international talent is vital for our state’s growth, innovation and global competitiveness.

Mental Health

  • Support the Department of Commerce’s efforts to bolster mental health support in the workplace by increasing the capacity of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programs in behavioral health. Mental health in the workplace is of critical importance on the overall well-being of employees and the success of businesses.
  • Prioritize community safety by supporting funding to evaluate and repair seismic vulnerabilities in unreinforced masonry schools and conducting a comprehensive public information campaign to increase awareness about the risks and importance of retrofitting measures.