Chelseaby Chelsea Nelson
Interactive Communications Director

Today, United Way of Salt Lake, along with United Way of Northern Utah and United Way of Utah County, held its annual Legislative Preview Breakfast at the Marriott at City Creek. With over 400 attendees, it was the largest yet! United Way’s 2013 public policy agenda was presented and guests were able to hear from a panel of legislative leaders.

This year’s panelists include Speaker Rebecca D. Lockhart, House Minority Leader Jennifer M. Seelig, President Wayne Niederhauser, and Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis. Legislators answered questions from the audience about key issues focused in the areas of education, income, health, and basic needs.

_MG_2173Through a collaborative effort with business, community leaders, and the broader community, UWSL has identified the following public policy recommendations for 2013:

Education: The development of high quality preschool provides the necessary foundation for at-risk children to build upon, reducing long-term costs of remediation, special education use, possible juvenile justice, and welfare dependance. This objective, supported by Senator Osmond, will be heard on Capitol Hill this session. United Way supports a range of childcare and afterschool options, including nonprofit and government programs that ensure affordable access and high quality programming for all children.

Income: United Way hopes to spread financial literacy and education programs to help families and individuals avoid financial hardship and develop lifelong security. Through the “Earn it. Keep it. Save it.” program, United Way works to strengthen financial stability through the VITA program, in which qualified volunteers help families file their taxes for free and help claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Health: United Way supports cost-containment strategies and benefit redesign efforts in the ongoing healthcare reform battle. United Way supports efforts to streamline and simplify Utah’s public health programs in an effort to reduce costs and increase continuity of care through public programs.

Basic Needs: One of United Way’s main goals this year is to develop a standard of excellence for the crucial 2-1-1 service. United Way seeks to build a public-private partnership funding structure for 2-1-1 that includes funds from the state and continued private funding through United Way. United Way also continues to support state investments in basic needs programs related to food, shelter, health, and safety.

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Take action this legislative session! Stay informed, find your representatives, get connected, join the conversation, and know the issues!

A very big thank you to Chevron for generously
sponsoring this year’s Legislative Preview Breakfast.
Also, thank you to United Way of Salt Lake’s staff who
helped make this event possible.