What's The Constitutional Amendment On Wyoming's Ballot About?

Oct 8, 2020

Credit Wyoming Secretary of State's Office

Along with voting for president, U.S. Senate and House Representatives, as well as state and local officials, this November's ballot will also ask Wyoming voters to consider an amendment to the state's constitution.

Constitutional Amendment A will ask voters if they want to remove the limit of debt municipalities can have on sewer projects. It will also allow the legislature to debate if a new limit should be placed. The constitutional limit is currently set at four percent of assessed valuation.

David Fraser, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, said allowing the legislature to consider a new limit would potentially create more options for local governments in how they finance wastewater projects.

"There are requirements for what a municipality has to do to treat the water that come from both the state and federal government. We are meeting those standards but we're restricted in the way we can finance those things," he said.

If passed, Fraser said it would allow greater flexibility for local governments.

"We certainly want to have the flexibility to of course make sure we maintain [Department of Environmental Quality] DEQ and [Environmental Protection Agency] EPA standards on how we treat the water, but of course to structure it in the smartest way possible so it has the least amount of impact on the users of the system," he said.

The goal is to protect the environment and water, and allowing cities to maintain a healthy wastewater system is critical to those goals, he said.

Fraser added it's unclear why the amendment is in the constitution originally, given there were few sewer systems in the state during the time of ratification in 1889.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.