OK, so Gov. Gary Herbert doesn’t share the zeal and enthusiasm for President Donald Trump that some others in his party do, but he appreciates Trump’s stances on things like states’ rights. Still, does Utah need to name a road after him?
Asked at a press event Tuesday, the popular Utah governor was tepid.
“It’s a little premature, it seems like to me,” he said. “But I understand that we like to reward people for doing things that we think are important and proper.”
The only reason this is a thing is because Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, made it such by sponsoring House Bill 481. If passed, it would rename a lengthy stretch of road in southern Utah the Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway. It was his way of showing gratitude for Trump’s executive proclamation shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by nearly 2 million acres.
But on Tuesday, Herbert wondered whether it was too early in Trump’s tenure to start naming things after him.
“There’s probably a reason why we wait five years for people to vote to be put into the Hall of Fame,” he said. Typically, Herbert noted, when elected leaders receive such honors, it happens after they’ve left office or, oftentimes, posthumously.
Herbert opted not to say whether he would veto the bill if it hits his desk. “Let’s see what happens,” he said.
If the bill makes it to the Senate, Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, threatened to propose an amendment renaming a frontage road after porn star Stormy Daniels, who allegedly slept with Trump before he was president, and years later pocketed $130,000 in hush money from Trump’s lawyer.
HB 481, “Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway Designation” passed House Committee 9 to 2. If it gets to the Senate, I will present an amendment that the frontage road be designated as the Stormy Daniels rampway. #utpol pic.twitter.com/GvuVv0me98— Jim Dabakis (@JimDabakis) March 5, 2018
At the brief press conference, Herbert also expressed support for a deal between lawmakers and Our Schools Now that would generate additional money for public- and higher education. Herbert also speculated that he’d veto very few of the estimated 500 bills that make it to his desk as the current session concludes.
“We’re very proactive in working with the Legislature to make sure that we get good legislation passed in the beginning,” he said. “So, there may be a handful of bills that rise and need to be vetoed.”