Sunday, October 25, 2015

List of Legislators endorsing Jackie Biskupski for Mayor

For many legislators supporting Jackie, See this Op-Ed:

I didn't work with former Rep Becker as a Representative, but did as an architect. I have worked some with Mayor Becker as an architect and also a Representative. He has strengths and weaknesses like everyone.

In 2011, I worked with Rep. Jackie Biskupski on the House Judiciary Committee. When I needed help to kill a bill also sponsored by a Republican freshman, but which was really being run for our current Republican AG to further amend our 4th Amendment Rights I had sworn to defend, Rep. Biskupski was there. She helped this new conservative legislator kill the bill repeatedly in committee, despite a full court press by our AG. She won my thanks and my respect. She didn't stop there. She helped me many times that year. Any contact or help I have needed since, she has treated me with respect and help, even when we didn't agree.

While not on the above list, add Rep. Fred C. Cox as someone that supports Jackie for Mayor for Salt Lake City. She is deliberate but fair and she will make a great Mayor. 

Rep. Fred C. Cox, former and current member of the Utah House of Representatives.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Utah Access Plus Medicaid Expansion Proposal

[Update: Utah Access+ couldn't get enough votes to move forward.

Lets see, the Utah House GOP earlier this year was willing to invest $30 Million for Utah Cares, coupled with a 70/30 split would be $100 Million total to help the poor adults with health care. The kids are already eligible. That wasn't enough.

The Governor wanted Healthy Utah where the state would need $80 Million with the 90/10 split, but the $80 Million wasn't funded.

UtahAccess+ funds the $80 Million with the $30 Million from the state and $50 million from the health care providers, as new taxes and fees. What killed UtahAccess+, or likely did, was Greg Bell saying the Hospitals, who would make tens if not hundreds of millions a year on either Healthy Utah or Utah Access+, didn't want it if there was no cap other than the 6%.

They were willing to pay $25 Million total and if it was more, they weren't.

So, go back to Utah Cares, there are the votes and the funding for it. It covers those that can't make money because they need health care and more. 

[Original Post] 

Should Utah do something? Yes. The Federal Government, in the attempt to make sure everyone can have medical insurance has made it worse. What we should do re: Medicaid expansion is what we do in other areas where people need help. 

We should provide short term aid and work to provide a long term solution. Prove caps on time and money. Do not take away individual responsibility. This isn't Medicare, something that everyone retiring has to deal with. This is Medicaid, something that was designed for those that can't afford other options. ObamaCare trying to make more people fall into that category isn't the answer.

Don't Expand Medicaid in Utah. Do care, Do provide short term aid and work to solve the long term solution.

The Utah Access+ bill isn't final, but what is being proposed at this time is covered in the following documents:

A almost Draft Bill for Utah Access+ is at:

Earlier this year I voted for a proposal called Utah Cares. A copy of that bill is here:

The Cost to the State Taxpayers would eventually be approx. $30 Million per year.
We have people that can't work because they need health care and don't make enough money to qualify for help. Those are the ones we need to focus on and encourage people to make more money, not less. 

The other main proposal was called Healthy Utah.

The cost to the State Taxpayers for Healthy Utah would eventually be approx. $80 Million per year, would have no cap for budgeting, would cover people not in the "Coverage Gap", and would expand medicare to 138% of poverty level.

Currently on Medicaid or Chip, children are covered, as are adults with children under 50% are covered and approved disabled adults under 100%.

The largest healthcare coverage gap are for
adults that are not disabled under 100% of poverty and
adults with children between 50% and 100% of poverty. (The Children are covered)

Adults over 100% of poverty, but under 400%  qualify for subsidy plans through ObamaCare.

The only reason to expand Medicaid to 138% is so the state will get a 90/10 Federal/State split on the cost of the expansion population medical costs vs the 70/30 Federal/State split we currently pay and will continue to pay for the non expansion population medical costs. The 90/10 Split would allow Utah to provide coverage for more people using more Federal dollars.

Healthy Utah crossed the 100% of poverty line and would have moved those between 100% and 138% to Medicaid. Utah Access+ does the same thing. The biggest difference is the cost.

Utah Access+ uses about $30 Million in State money, similar to Utah Cares, but adds approx. $50 Million in new taxes to the Medical field. Many of those with the new taxes would benefit from the new federal money but not all.

I oppose the new $50 Million in taxes. I oppose expanding Medicaid to 138% of poverty.

Federally, we can revise solve many of the healthcare problems without ObamaCare. Expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare is the wrong direction.

We can help people that can't work because they need health care and don't make enough money to qualify for help, without expanding Medicare. I am working to move the discussion back to Utah Cares and that focus. A step, not as big as some want, but a step none the less is the correct approach.

To take the stand that it is all or nothing that the Governor did with Healthy Utah and now Utah Access+ with the $50 Million in new taxes and fees is just wrong.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Town Hall Meetings

Come meet Representative Fred Cox and ask questions at:
Town Hall Meeting, Tue., August 25, 2015, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting, Thu., August 27, 2015, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting, Sat., August 29, 2015, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
All at the Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South 

I really appreciate representing the great people of this area of West Valley City. I have worked hard to read the bills, speak up, and also vote on the bills, taking into account different viewpoints. I was able to have bills pass the legislature and signed by the governor. Many of the bills I sponsored were at your request.

For 2015, I was given a 100% rating from the Utah Taxpayers Association for voting against tax increases and looking out for the taxpayers. I also received a Salt Lake Chamber 2015 Business Champion award for working to help business grow.

I have worked hard recently to make sure the legislature doesn’t ignore the idea of keeping the prison in Draper, which I believe would save over $100 Million or more.

About Fred: Fred serves as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives for 2015 and 2016 representing approx. 1/4 of West Valley City residents. He also served in the House for 2011 and 2012.  A Utah native, and a lifelong resident of Salt Lake County, Fred graduated from Highland High School, studied at the University of Utah, graduating from what is now called Salt Lake Community College in Architectural Technology. A licensed Utah Architect, Fred started his own architectural firm in 1996, working and living in West Valley City. Fred and his wife Aleta have lived in West Valley City for over 27 years.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Utah Prison moving it or not to Salt Lake City

My response to recent emails:

PRADA and the PRC were not tasked with studying rebuilding the prison at Draper. While I was not in the appropriation meetings referred to a few years ago in a response to your email, I have been at all public PRC meeting this year, and attended the public meetings at the 3 communities, and I have reviewed studies that are public and requested and recently obtained other studies that have not been posted such as the Geotechnical and Utilities Reports.

While there was one report from the outside consultants recently re: building at Draper, I personally spoke to the consultant and he was not able to defend,  in my opinion, his claim that the prison would be more costly or could not be rebuilt safely at the Draper site. That is his opinion. His big concern was doing construction work inside the fence and not outside the fence. The State is expanding Gunnison Prison right now, but constructing it outside the security fence.

There is enough room to rebuild the current main men's facilities (South Point) and the new core area for a prison at Draper in the vacant land, "outside the fence". Construction traffic can come from the north, not impacting the current security gate systems. South Point can then be torn down and the rest of the prison can be rebuilt on site. The power lines could be moved onsite for $10 Million if we need to, based on estimates sent to me from RMP.

Phasing could run from $5 Million per year (local contractor number) to $17 Million per year, (PRC number). Depending on how it is phased, at least one year of extension of time would be required. Based on the proposal to use surcharging at the SLC site, it would not take more time to rebuild at Draper, in my opinion. Even not surcharging the SLC site, the time to build roads and utilities could be less at Draper as they are already on site. We don't have to spend the $150 Million just to get and use the site if we use Draper.

At Draper, we could phase it over a much longer time period, reportedly saving $Hundreds of Millions, but if we are going to build a brand new prison somewhere now, it is my opinion it can be at Draper, and I believe at a savings around $100 Million, and be closer to current employees and not be further from current volunteers.

There is some savings for other travel/transportation costs of the SLC site over Draper, but those two locations, Draper and SLC, are the least costly long term to have a prison at than the other 3 locations, according to the reports provided the PRC.

For the SLC site, the consultants geotechnical firm's "not for construction, preliminary" but lengthy report suggests 1 to 2 years of surcharging the site to remove excess water and to compress the site and then to remove part of that earthwork to allow the site to rebound. If the state does follow that suggestion, along with the piers recommended, their estimate is $60 Million and 18 months for that work.

Re: the Ground at SLC site, Do I believe the prison could be built at the SLC site with less costly methods than those suggested? I do. Do I think the geotechnical solutions will be more costly than budgeted, I don't. I am not a Geotechnical Engineer, but as an architect I have been reviewing geotechnical reports regularly for over 20 years and I am working on resolving any concerns I have with the site with a different geotechnical engineer that has the most experience, in my opinion, of any in the state and especially in that specific area.  It is likely the same engineer that other agencies of the state are asking questions about the site.

The water and sewer costs at the SLC site vary greatly depending of if the those utilities are obtained from Magna or SLC. Water is cheaper one place and sewer is cheaper the other. This item could effect the cost to construct a prison at SLC by [ ...] millions, either way.

Again, I am not an expert on prisons. I served as a volunteer at the Draper Prison for 2 years. many years ago I worked on the construction drawings for the Gunnison Prison, including the site and floor plans and also the site and other drawings for Oxbow in South Salt Lake, plus site master plans for several proposed prison locations around the county, while working for a local firm. I have spent 30 years designing sites for commercial shopping centers and other commercial sites. Utah has 680 acres at Draper and we could design that location to free up land for Draper to get additional prime commercial property, creating a win-win.

Do I believe it makes sense policy wise to move the prison from Draper? I do not.

If you are going to spend, what I believe to be $100 Million of more money to move the prison, the SLC site location makes the most sense long term for the state based on transportation and other ongoing costs. I don't believe the site there will stay vacant for very long. The Agricultural zoning will likely be changed to manufacturing and high tech firms will move there, near the airport. Will they also move to Draper, over time, likely.

Good questions.

Fred C. Cox,
Rep. House 30

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 2015 Town Hall Meetings

Come meet Representative Fred Cox and ask questions at:

Town Hall Meeting, Tue., August 25, 2015, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting, Thu., August 27, 2015, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting, Sat., August 29, 2015, 12:00-2:00 p.m.

All at the Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Melvin Nimer Utah GOP Treasurer

Mel Nimer is someone I trust that has the knowledge, experience and ideas to tackle keeping track of and protecting the Utah Republican Party funds.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Moving the Prison for money does not pencil out

Basically, the $95 Million in taxes that are expected to be generated each year from a fully developed Commercial Draper site will Not be used to pay back the cost of moving the prison as it is likely the development would be commercial office and not retail, so the taxes would be Property Taxes benefiting the city and the local school district and Income Taxes, that benefit education.

the $1.8 Billion economic effect per year is similar to GDP per year where Utah is doing almost $150 Billion currently (so a small percentage wise) and Utah can now grow more than that in a year now not over the 10 years or 20 years it would take to hit that level after someone invests a $1 Billion of private money at Draper. Several have argued that 700 Acres couldn't generate 1/10th of our GDP. The good news it can't and won't, (closer to 1%) but it isn't claimed that it will. 

Replace the infirmary at Draper. And the Wasatch cell blocks. The U shaped annex to the South East and the Reception and Orientation building to the north east. Put the new buildings north east of the main complex. Maintain what you have at Draper and you save hundreds of millions. Talk to the staff that work at Draper. We are already building a new Pod of cells at Gunnison. The new reform passed this year will help. Don't move the Draper Prison.

Even if you do decide to replace the Draper Prison all at once now, not moving it will save the property land cost, moving costs, and the utility and infrastructure costs. Moving will not benefit the inmates, the staff, the volunteers, the visitors or the taxpayers.

Who is left? The City of Draper, the local school district, the owners of the proposed properties, and the developers. 

Well, based on the list of who benefits, Keeping it in Draper should be the decision.

Update: Both numbers could be higher or lower depending on what is done with the property if it is sold to the private sector.

One piece not covered is if retail sales are much of the tax revenue the state received, from the 680 acre site, that would come back as sales tax which would help the general fund which is where the money to rebuild a prison would come from.

If however much of the tax revenue came from income taxes or property taxes, (typical of a high end office complex) that would not repay the general fund.

The other point not mentioned is the Value Added (GDP) for Utah is currently between $140 Billion and $150 Billion. The $1.8 Billion proposed, eventually in 2029 is a number we can and have hit in one year statewide, not 10 years.

Certainly Draper City can benefit from increased property taxes if the prison moves.

I look forward to the additional numbers on Thursday, and the additional geotechnical reports coming in the next few weeks.