Bill To Take Power From Courts In Education Funding, Give To Legislature

Feb 4, 2017

The Wyoming Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment Friday to give the legislature the power to determine how much the state should spend on public education.  The amendment, if supported by the public, would diminish the power of the courts.

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Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss said he voted against Senate Joint Resolution nine because it would adversely change the nature of the relationship between the courts and the legislature.

“Obviously in the past there’s been a nice tension there, where the funding levels of the legislature would have to be appropriate, they’d have to equitable in the court, provide the necessary feedback to make sure we are where we’re now, which is an excellent education system which is very well funded,” said Rothfuss.

Those in support of the bill said lawmakers don’t have enough flexibility to address the state’s fiscal situation when court rulings restrict what they can do with education funding. They said court rulings could force a tax hike.

The bill will now move to the House for further debate.