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Republican Governor Tells Californians to Stay In Their State Amid Rising Crime and Taxes

Spenser Heaps/The Deseret News via AP, Pool, File

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R-Utah) has a message for Californians trying to flee their blue state for a more accessible and cheaper place to call home. 

In response to Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's plea to get people to move to his state, Cox said that isn't an issue for him. 


"We're having the opposite problem; this last census confirmed that Utah was the fastest-growing state in the last ten years," Cox told reporters. "So our biggest problems are more growth related. We would love for people to stay in California instead of coming as refugees to Utah, so we're always trying to figure that out."

Cox touted that Utah was reportedly named the best place to start a business. However, water and housing are two problems his state is facing. 

"We're not working to attract more people," Cox said, adding, "we're doing just fine that way. Utah was named the best state to start a business, with Texas and Florida number two and three, so we feel good about that balance and where we are right now."

Murphy said New Jersey would welcome those leaving California with open arms. 

California has seen record-breaking crime rates in the last several years, causing a mass exodus of residents to relocate. 


In 2022, California's population fell by more than 343,000 people, the most significant decline of any other state in the U.S. 

On top of crime, the state has faced a heavy burden of homelessness. According to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 30 percent of the nation's homeless reside in California, which had the most significant rate of increase in its homeless population in the country at 6.2 percent. 

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