Wyoming Legislative Coverage

Wyoming Public Radio will bring you coverage of the 2020 legislative session. Read and listen to our coverage from the session. You can also follow our coverage on Twitter using the hashtag #wyleg.

The 2020 Budget Session begins February 10th.

Keep updated with this session:

Cooper McKim

The House Revenue Committee sat down on an early Wednesday morning to a full audience. Chairman Dan Zwonitzer, who represents Cheyenne, switched seats in order to testify on a bill called "Reliable and Dispatchable Low-Carbon Energy Standards."

Governor Mark Gordon announced this week that Wyoming is looking to buying a million acres of land across southern Wyoming and surrounding states along with 4 million acres of mineral rights.

The Dry Fork Station, a coal-fired power plant, sits next to the Integrated Test Center which aims to research and develop carbon capture technology
Cooper McKim

The House Revenue Committee heard testimony today on a bill that would require public utilities to provide a certain percentage of their generation from "dispatchable and reliable low-carbon electricity."

House Bill 200 describes "low-carbon" as electricity generated using carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology - a process that can store or reuse carbon dioxide. In Wyoming, that would mean utilities have an incentive to preserve coal-fired power plants by equipping new technology. They would have until July 1, 2030 to meet the standards.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming House of Representatives finally passed a statewide 5 percent lodging tax and voted down an attempt to exempt Wyoming residents.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The State of Wyoming is working on a massive land deal that would involve one million square acres across southern Wyoming.

Blackjewel LLC Operations
Prime Clerk

The House Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee advanced one of two bills looking to help out-of-work coal miners receive unpaid wages.

Downtown Laramie

Laramie could lose $400,000 over two years in state funding under a formula approved by the Wyoming Senate last week.

Wind Farm in Medicine Bow, Wyoming
Tony Webster, Portland, OR

The House Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee moved forward on a bill that would allow coal mines to become a disposal site for decommissioned wind turbine parts if it's part of the company's reclamation plan.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming House of Representatives has started debate on a bill that would impose a statewide five percent tourism tax. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon praised a number of groups for working together as he officially signed his migration corridor executive order.

Inside the Wyoming State Capitol Building
Bob Beck

The Wyoming House voted to introduce a bill sought after by cities and towns. The bill will give municipalities the ability to ask voters to pass a tax to benefit their community as long as voters also support a countywide sales tax. 

Wyoming State Legislature

A northeast Wyoming lawmaker is proposing a bill that would require U.S. Congress to formally declare war before the Wyoming National Guard can be called up.

Naughton Power Plant - one of Rocky Mountain Power's plants that's scheduled to close earlier than anticipated
Pacificorp

Last year, the Wyoming legislature passed a bill called "New opportunities for Wyoming coal fired generation" requiring any utility retiring a coal plant earlier than scheduled would make a good faith effort to find a buyer.

Through the interim, legislators have been putting together a bill that would lay the groundwork for that to happen.

whytoread.com

During his State of the State message, Gov. Mark Gordon indicated that there is a need to reduce education spending.

Michael Pearlman / Governor's Office

Gov. Mark Gordon told lawmakers that Wyoming is envied by other states since it has savings. At the State of the State address on Monday, Gordon said that will allow the state to delay any massive cuts before the implications for the reductions can be understood.

Bob Beck

A bill before the Wyoming Legislature this session would extend the amount of time survivors of child sexual abuse could bring a civil suit against their perpetrator.

Wikipedia Creative Commons, by Greg Younger

A proposed bill before the Wyoming Legislature this session is considering tolling along Interstate 80.

American Heart Association

The Wyoming Legislature will be addressing a number of issues surrounding health care when it convenes next week. One will be Medicaid expansion and another is the return of an effort to give optometrists the ability to perform certain eye surgeries.

Some believe that should be left up to Ophthalmologists who specialize in such things. Doctor David Wheeler is the President of the Wyoming Medical Society joins Bob Beck to discuss views on those bills.

Public Domain

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected a proposal that would have lowered air ambulance cost for Wyomingites.

NPS Photo / Ken Conger

A new bill has been introduced to the Wyoming Legislature that would create a compensation program for livestock-wolf conflicts outside of the trophy area.

Campbell County

Three judges in Wyoming's Sixth Judicial District are handling the court's weighted caseload that should be handled by four judges. That's why Gillette Sen. Michael Von Flatern said it's time to hire a new judge for the district, which covers Campbell, Weston and Crook Counties.

State of Wyoming

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon presented his budget to the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee this week and it didn't feature massive budget cuts some were predicting due to a downturn in revenue. The governor joins Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to discuss his strategy along with some other topics.

The Select Committee on Coal/Mineral Bankruptcies At Its Cheyenne Interim Meeting
Cooper McKim

Hours into a meeting of the Select Committee on Coal/Mineral Bankruptcies, Chairman Eric Barlow brought up a draft bill called "Protested Tax Payments." With little pause, Barlow welcomed in the day's regular testifiers.

State of Wyoming

Gov. Mark Gordon said although Wyoming's revenue picture is changing, the state should take the next two years to determine priorities and decide where future revenue may come from.

 Comparison of Natural Gas Production and Price Forecasts.
Consensus Revenue Estimating Group

Natural gas producers in Wyoming are facing a dramatic new normal as prices drop and supply explodes. The state Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) report estimates natural gas production is falling at similar levels to coal projected to be down nearly 40 percent this year from 2009.

Corporations Committee hears from its first public commenter
Cooper McKim

A crowd lined a room in the Wyoming Liquor Division as the Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee heard testimony on two bills that would affect the solar industry. After nearly four hours of impassioned speaking, both bills died on split seven to seven votes.

Naughton Power Plant; Rocky Mountain Power's coal-fired power plant looking at early unit closures
Pacificorp

Wyoming's Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee tabled a bill that would have changed how the Public Service Commission (PSC) oversees coal-fired power plants that are closing early. The bill considered requiring the PSC to consider socioeconomic factors, reliability impacts and any other information deemed necessary when looking at early retirement.

State of Wyoming

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon unveiled a mostly flat budget, rejecting a number of budget increases. But he did not cut the existing budget, using reserve funds to balance the budget over the next two years. The governor did predict that budget cuts could be forthcoming as the state's revenue picture looks dicey.

Public Domain

Jackson State Representative Mike Yin is proposing a bill that could help address the affordable housing shortage in his district. It would allow counties to charge a fee for homes left empty more than six months out of the year.

ideastations.org

The Wyoming Legislature will take another crack at Medicaid expansion. The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee approved a proposed bill that will ask Gov. Mark Gordon to explore options for Wyoming's participation in expansion and determine whether it's financially viable for the state. Eventually lawmakers would need to approve a Wyoming plan.

Pages