Utah governor tells Californians to ‘stay in California instead of coming as refugees’

You should reconsider moving to Utah if you are from California. The Beehive State may not welcome you.

Gov. Utah Governor Spencer Cox said Friday that Californians should stay in California, partly because of the state’s problems with housing and water scarcity.

Cox, a Republican delivered his remarks last week in front of Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat from New Jersey, delivered his remarks while the pair was in Washington to attend the National Governors Assn. annual winter meeting.

Murphy and Cox, the NGA’s leaders, spoke with reporters about their meeting in which they discussed immigration, border security and the debt limit.

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Cox responded to a question regarding population growth and what Utah is doing in order to bring more residents to the state, saying that “it’s failing to attract more people.”

Cox stated that “this last census confirmed Utah was the fastest growing state over the past ten years.” “Our greatest problems are not related to growth. We’d love to see people stay in California and not move to Utah as refugees.

According to the U.S. Census in Utah, Utah’s population grew 18.3% from 2,763,885 people to 3,271,616 people in 2020. This is the highest increase in the country.

According to a June 2021 report from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, California is the most popular destination for people moving to Utah from other states. In 2018, 18,000 people came to Utah from California. This compares to the over 50,000 Californians who traveled to other states within the union like Arizona and Washington.

It was also revealed that Utah had the highest percentage of domestic transplants from abroad to California.

Cox stated that the state has “grown so fast” while simultaneously facing ongoing water supply and housing shortage problems.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the West’s historical drought has affected a majority of the state’s residents. All 29 counties in the state have been given disaster designations by United States Department of Agricultural.

Recent estimates show that Utah saw a record number of home-building units in 2021. However, the state is still short 31,000 units. Dejan Eskic is a senior researcher at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. She estimated that the median monthly cost of a Utah home was $2,600 in October. This would have a significant impact on the affordability of about 3/4 the state’s residents.