Operation Rio Grande has disrupted homeless services under the guise of Public Safety. No phase of the Operation address the acute complexities of homelessness, including the biggest barrier: Affordable Housing. UT ranks 35th in the nation, and is no where discussed among the multi-level agencies involved. Over 2,500 citizens have been arrested with 250 currently incarcerated. In the $67 million to be allotted how will the funds be appropriated? Utah's homeless population is increasing beyond the dangerously negligent 700-only beds being proposed by Salt Lake County. Ryan understands the role of SL County's new resource centers should be to aide our current services. In the world of social work less in not more. As a state legislator Ryan knows the homelessness crisis extends beyond 2 square blocks in his District. While Salt Lake City is the 38th largest city, the Wasatch Front(Tremonton to Payson) is the Nation's 8th largest Urban Corridor, making Affordable Housing a priority. Through an increase in subsidized housing, tax credit properties, and protections for potential renters such as "Ban The Box" legislation ensuring property managers can't discriminate against individuals with poor credit, eviction history, or arrest record. Those transitioning out of homelessness need to have an opportunity to compete in the housing market. Utilizing our social safety nets is the preferred response to a humanitarian crisis, over a shock-and-awe campaign against our state's most vulnerable citizens
Utah's population growth has increased 54% in the last year with Salt Lake City expecting 100,000 new citizens in 10 years. To keep Utah's healthy economic curve viable, the State must allow cities to increase wages above the Federal Minimum Wage without enforcing an overall state increase. Allowing cities to compete against each other under the Free Market will ensure labor demand, protect workers rights, and grow Trade Unions by challenging Utah's Right To Work laws.
Since Salt Lake County begun the Justice Reinvestment Initiative in 2014, Utah has seen a decrease in it's Prison Population. To further the trend we must encourage counties and prosecutors to embrace Bail Reform programs. Over half of UT's incarcerated population are in local jails awaiting trial...unable to afford bail. Utah has made strides towards breaking our Prison Industrial Complex, Bail Reforms, Prosecutor Oversight, "Ban The Box" legislation to protect applicants from being discriminated by employers for past arrests, further JRI expansion, and eliminating Indeterminate Sentencing will see continued progression.
Utah has shown an increasing need for more efficient and affordable health care. One of the many things to be utilized would be a full Medicaid Expansion. House Republicans have discussed these efforts with a proposed "work requirement". Those applying for Medicaid are either to sick, or to physically incapable to meet such a requirement and shouldn't be at risk of losing critically needed healthcare. Utah citizens have as well overwhelmingly supported Medical Marijuana while a majority of legislators don't. Our campaign supports Medical Marijuana, Medicaid Expansion, protecting CHIP benefits, Harm Reduction models utilized thru syringe exchange programs, mental health resource expansions, and working to lower the cost of prescription drugs in the state.