Bill To Prevent School Districts From Suing State Fails

Jan 25, 2017

Representative Chris Rothfuss.
Credit Wyoming Legislature

A Wyoming Senate committee voted down a bill today that would have prevented Wyoming school districts from using education funds to sue the state over budget cuts. The Senate Education Committee voted three to two against Senate File 135.

Sheridan Senator Bruce Burns sponsored the bill and said it would not keep districts from suing the state, but would keep state funds from financing such litigation.

Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss voted against the bill. He said sometimes courts need to resolve differences between entities.

"That tension has to have a way to resolve itself, and it isn’t going to go well if it’s just the legislature always dictating to the school districts this is the right answer," said Rothfuss. "And it certainly wouldn’t work well if the districts said to the legislature this is the right answer. So the courts are a necessary component of that."

Rothfuss said a school district’s access to the courts would be hurt if they could not use state money, since they don't have other funds.