The Wyoming Legislature just wrapped up a session where $430 million was cut from the existing budget to make up for major losses of revenue connected with COVID-19.
Local governments watched the 2021 legislative session closely. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Wyoming County Commissioners Association's Executive Director Jerimiah Rieman about how county governments fared in two issues the association was keeping an eye on throughout the session. Rieman began by discussing what changes lawmakers were considering on how local governments get revenue.
One of the top priorities of many legislators was to reduce spending for K-12 education. Governor Mark Gordon has mentioned it in his last couple of State of the State messages and the legislature was just a conference committee away from passing a bill to do that. But a major disagreement between the House and Senate over whether there should just be reductions or reductions that included some revenue led to the bill's demise.
It led Casper Senator Charles Scott to claim that the House was a bunch of tax and spend liberals. That overreaction probably won't help future discussions go any smoother, but it's also likely the issue isn't off the table. The good news for school districts is that they won't see cuts this year. Brian Farmer is the Director of the Wyoming School Boards Association. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck asked him to break down what happened.
The past year has shown evidence of an increase in Anti-Asian violence in major cities. All of that escalated when six Asian women were murdered in last month's Atlanta spa shootings. But has that anti-Asian sentiment permeated into smaller, rural areas in the U.S.? If so, what does it look like?
While we all love our pets, in Fremont Country there's more dogs than the local shelters know what to do with. Activists on the Wind River Indian Reservation are looking into ways to make the local community more safe for owners and pets. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner has more.
It's a new day in Washington in terms of energy policy - and that has Wyoming's congressional delegation scrambling to protect the state's fossil fuel industry. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.
Many know that the monarch butterfly is declining. It's linked to human expansion and the rise of global temperatures. But monarchs aren't the only butterflies dealing with these threats. Wyoming Public Radio's Ivy Engel has the story.
If you go outside and take a walk, you might sense it's finally spring. If not from the temperatures, or budding grass, you can certainly tell by what you hear. The Mountain West News Bureau's Madelyn Beck reports.