Inauguration 2021: Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson sign first executive order

FILLMORE, UTAH (Jan. 4, 2021) — In their first official action, Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson signed an executive order dealing with occupational licenses in front of the historic Territorial Statehouse in Fillmore. 

Executive Order 2021-01 (link to unsigned copy) requires state agencies to review all occupational licenses to ensure they are truly necessary and are not outdated or incomplete. The review orders these agency reviews must be completed by June 30. 2021.

Gov. Cox cited an example from 2011 when a woman sued the state over the requirement to get a state license to braid hair. She contested the cosmetology licensing requirement in federal court and won.

“Government regulation is often necessary to protect people, but sometimes requirements end up hurting people who are trying to enter an industry or profession,” Cox said. “We now have an opportunity to take a fresh look at our licensing requirements to make sure that we don’t have more rules than are necessary and that the rules we have continue to make sense.”

Gov. Cox also signed a symbolic copy of the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The busy transition period prevented Cox and Henderson from signing on Dec. 22, 2020 when it was introduced by former Gov. Gary Herbert.

Lt. Gov. Henderson signed the documents as a witness on both measures. 

“It’s very important to remove barriers to entry in all aspects of Utah life,” Henderson said. 

The signing ceremony included the firing of a cannon, a tradition that takes place at the Territorial Statehouse every Jan. 4th for Utah’s Statehood Day. Today marks the state’s 125th anniversary. The Territorial Statehouse in Fillmore is Utah’s oldest existing government building in Utah, and now one of 44 state parks throughout the state. It was actually Utah’s first-state park, dedicated in 1957 after the formation of the new Utah State Parks Commission. 

The stop in Fillmore followed their inauguration ceremony in Ivins. Cox and Henderson continued on to Fairview, Cox’s hometown, and Spanish Fork, Henderson’s hometown on their way to the State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

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