Politics

State of Wyoming

A long time State Senator said his experience as a liaison to the state retirement board makes him the best fit to become the next state treasurer.   

Republican Curt Meier said he wants to both streamline investing at the treasurer’s office and look to get a better return.  Meier pointed out that investments for the Wyoming retirement system do better than the state’s permanent funds because they use their own board to make decisions.  He wants to move to a similar system in the treasurer’s office.

Some Republicans are angry with a concert poster by iconic rock band Pearl Jam.

It’s an absurdist cartoon featuring an apocalyptic scene with an eagle picking at the skeleton of President Donald Trump, a UFO and Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester flying a tractor over a burning White House.

The 2018 midterms could be the year of the woman and the possibly the independent as well - especially in Colorado.

wyoleg.gov

In the last couple of weeks, Republican voters in Wyoming received at least two mailers from so-called “dark money” groups. Those are political groups that do not disclose their funders. Now, state representative and Elections Committee Chairman Dan Zwonitzer is condemning those types of ads.

lelandforwyoming.com

Republican state senator Leland Christensen of Alta is running for Wyoming Treasurer. He does not have a background in finance, but said the treasury staff is highly skilled, and that he would act more as a manager of people. Previous treasurers have also entered the position without a finance background.  

taylorhaynesforgovernor.com

A Wyoming judge has denied a state request to force Republican candidate for Governor, Taylor Haynes, to stop his campaign and withdraw.   

The Executive Committee of the Teton County Republican Party says it’s formally supporting a Jackson ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Wyoming Department of Corrections

An organization that offers non-partisan recommendations on a variety of issues says in the last ten years Wyoming's prison population grew by 12 percent. This number makes Wyoming the 9th largest percentage change in the country.

Kamila Kudelska

The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee met Tuesday to discuss ways to increase probation and parole efficiency and effectiveness. This comes after the state Department of Corrections sent 88 inmates to a private facility in Mississippi due to overcrowding in Wyoming’s prisons.

Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester is hoping Montanans will give him a narrow victory this fall.

But President Donald Trump isn’t making it easy.

University of Wyoming

If your name is John, you’re more likely to run a large company or be a politician than if you’re a woman with any name. That’s according to the latest "Glass Ceiling Index" by the New York Times. So does this under-representation hold true in our region’s so-called "Equality State"?

Asha Rangappa

The news surrounding the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election can at times seem overwhelming. To help break it all down, Asha Rangappa has been visiting Wyoming this week, giving talks in Jackson and Laramie about the investigation, social media, and democracy. 

Foster Friess twitter

Republican and Jackson resident Foster Friess is running for Wyoming governor. The announcement was made Friday at the Wyoming Republican Party Convention in Laramie.

U.S. Conference of Mayors

A new question on the 2020 census about citizenship is heading to court.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors is filing a suit contesting its inclusion. But not everyone in the region is on board.  

Sam Galeotos Campaign

Travel industry businessman Sam Galeotos, a Republican, grew up in Cheyenne and went on to serve as an executive of an airline company and eventually ran other travel-related companies including CheapTickets.com and Worldspan. 

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has now signed into law several bills dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault. Advocates at the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault are mostly pleased with lawmakers’ efforts.

The Wyoming Legislature wrapped up its work after waiting a few days to finish some outstanding issues. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck discussed the session's end with Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard.

Wyoming Legislature Senator Eli Bebout
Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature still has work to do. Despite working for 20 days the House and Senate will reconvene later this week to hopefully reach a compromise on one bill that funds building projects and another that trims school funding. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A bill that would allow educators and students to be trained about child sexual abuse squeaked through the Wyoming Legislature Saturday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Leland Christensen
Wyoming Legislature

A bill that would allow the prosecution of those who damage critical infrastructure or try to prevent its use, is on its way to the governor. Saturday, the Senate voted to accept House changes to the bill that clarified that protesting is okay as long as access to the infrastructure is not blocked.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming Legislative session is coming to an end and Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss the lawmakers' progress.

http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2018/billreference/BillReference.aspx?type=ALL

Despite strong concern over the appropriateness of spending state money to partner with an airline, the Wyoming House of Representatives approved a bill that is intended to stabilize air service in the state. The plan is to set aside $15 million to partner with an air carrier for 10 years. Supporters say it should reduce current costs that the state pays airlines and should improve air service, which they say is critical for economic development. 

http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LegislatorSummary/LegDetail.aspx?LegID=1241

After a late night debate, the Wyoming House of Representatives gave initial support for a controversial bill that intends to punish people who damage or tamper with infrastructure such as pipelines or oil and gas facilities. The House amended the measure to narrow what would be declared a felony and reduced the fine for someone convicted, down from $1 million to $100,000.

Wyoming Legislature

The Senate Education Committee stripped out innovative school funding amendments out of a bill after committee members declared the ideas move not germane to the original bill. They also amended the bill so that it resembled a measure that died in a house committee earlier this year.   

Speaker of the House Steve Harshman and House Education Chairman David Northrup were frustrated with the move. They disagreed that the funding proposals didn’t belong in the bill. Northrup says new revenue for education is needed.

Bob Beck

The issue of making edible marijuana a felony is still alive...for now. The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a heavily amended bill that is much different than the Senate version. 

The problem is that some judges won’t sentence someone for a felony of procession of edible marijuana. John Knepper of the Wyoming Attorney General’s office says they are starting to see serious problems with edible marijuana in the state.

LSO

The Wyoming House of Representatives gave initial support to a pair of bills focused on improving Wyoming’s economy. 

The bills would help bring high-speed broadband to more areas of the state and start to find ways to improve air service in Wyoming. Some House members were skeptical about the need to eventually spend $15 million on air service, but House Majority Leader David Miller told a few horror stories about getting major business leaders to Riverton. 

Miller said service gets canceled and flights are delayed on a consistent basis.

WCADVSA

A bill strengthening how stalking offenders are prosecuted and sentenced is moving through the Wyoming legislature.

 

But Tara Muir, Public Policy Director with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said the bill has met debate every step of the way. She said lawmakers have been caught up on whether a prosecutor has to prove a victim suffered a substantial amount of fear. Muir added most states are moving towards an objective test that focuses on the behavior of the perpetrator.

 

The Wyoming Senate made major changes to a bill that would allow someone to use deadly force if their life is in danger or they face the threat of bodily harm. 

The biggest change to the Stand Your Ground Bill removed immunity from prosecution and civil liability for someone who uses deadly force. Senator Drew Perkins says his amendment moves the bill closer to what other states are doing. Senator Anthony Bouchard said the Perkins amendment guts the bill. He added that people in Wyoming have gone to prison for just defending themselves.

A bill that would remove several million dollars from the education funding model was approved on second reading despite some amendments.  The bill was changed to reduce cuts that most school districts would face to roughly three percent.

Wyoming State Legislature

It’s the halfway point of the Wyoming legislative session, and Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck joins Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to discuss what the big issues are for the state's lawmakers.

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