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:

Uranium, coal, oil and gas, and wind energy are all being discussed this legislature -- and the word of the hour is revenue
Cooper McKim/Wyoming Public Radio

The big hitters in the energy industry are all back on the docket this session: coal, wind, uranium, and oil and gas. Unsurprisingly, the focus is on revenue for all of them. Here’s a look at a few of the bills still under discussion.

Bob Beck

A private school with some notable political ties has gotten into a fight with Teton County over whether it can build a new campus to accommodate a growing population. The Jackson Hole Classical Academy teaches a back-to-basics curriculum with a slight religious bent. After repeatedly being denied a chance to build to a scale school officials say is needed, the fight has come to Cheyenne and legislators are involved.

Wyoming Legislature

A bill that would have taken away local zoning policies when it comes to private schools was changed to place private facilities on equal footing with public schools.

Two bills are currently moving through the legislature that would give the Wyoming Game and Fish Department more flexibility to manage the collecting of antlers on the landscape. Right now, people can collect them anytime between January 1 and May 1 in designated areas of the state.

Wyoming State Legislature

A group of Wyoming legislators is hoping this is the year that they repeal the death penalty. Douglas Senator Brian Boner and Cheyenne Representative Jared Olsen are sponsoring the bill. They note that no one has been executed in Wyoming since 1992, yet the state still has to pay nearly a million dollars a year to defend cases. 

Public Domain

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon asked the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee to fund a $10 million carbon capture test project. Gordon said the money would be provided to the University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Wyoming legislature is considering a bill that would raise millions to support the state's tourism economy.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Three bills that are intended to help fix Wyoming's wage gap are headed to the House Floor. Wyoming ranks 50th in the country when it comes to how much women earn on the dollar compared to men.

Bob Beck

If you walk the halls of the Jonah Building where the Wyoming legislature meets you will see lawmakers discussing hot topics related to education, health care, elections and what to do about Wyoming's growing prison population. But like most years the main focus is on money. For several years now lawmakers have worried about unstable revenue sources. 

Rachel Girt

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said the state's best years are ahead and outlined several plans during his state of the state message to move Wyoming forward.

Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming House Minority Floor Leader Cathy Connolly urged members of the House of Representatives to support anti-discrimination legislation.

Wyoming State Legislature

During speeches kicking off the start of the 2019 legislative session, the Senate and House Republican legislative leaders say it's time to look closely at expanding Wyoming's tax base.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming legislative session gets underway today. Wyoming Public Radio news director Bob Beck - who has covered lawmakers since 1985 - joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss what might happen this year.

State of Wyoming Legislature

A State Senator has proposed a bill that would no longer let people change political parties close to the primary election.

Last year, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the state can't force air ambulance companies to charge the same rate as a ground ambulance. The cost of a ride in an ambulance is about $5000 while a helicopter ride can cost nine times more.

Cartoon sketch field pumpjack
sapunkele

Minority owners of oil and gas rights are seeing excessive profits from a certain practice, according to Gillette Senator Michael Von Flatern. He plans to introduce a bill that would limit some of the benefits minority owners receive in January’s full legislative session... specifically when some landowners with minimal property rights are draining oil and gas owned primarily by other operators.

Safe2Tell Wyoming

Wyoming's Safe2Tell program has received over 1,500 tips from students since its implementation two years ago.

Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming's Joint Revenue Committee will not change how ad valorem taxes are collected just yet. The one-time mineral property tax has left counties over $50 million in the hole, as of July, due to systematic issues like an 18-month wait for tax collection and prioritizing creditors in debt collection. An agreeable solution is still out of reach, with legislature cycling through the same options year after year.

Bob Beck

Wyoming's prisons are overcrowded and the problem is predicted to get much worse. The Wyoming Department of Corrections was forced to place 88 prisoners out of state this year and so the state brought in the Council of State Government's Justice Reinvestment program to try and find some solutions. The reason for the growth is that too many people are being returned to prison for probation and parole violations. 

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature's Management Council has voted to change and weaken its anti-discrimination and harassment policy.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature is moving forward on policy that would require all schools to engage in training and create safety plans in the event of a violent intruder. The bill crafted by Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis was approved by the legislature's joint education committee nine to four.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said he wants to provide pay raises to state employees and K-12 educators in the state. The proposal is part of the governor's supplemental budget. Community College employees and some classified staff at the University of Wyoming would also be eligible for raises. Mead said the time is right.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A legislative committee has approved an attempt to get more money to the Wyoming Department of Tourism to promote the state and bring in more state revenue.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A legislative committee has once again defeated a bill that would give cities and towns the ability to raise an additional sales tax without support from county residents who live outside city limits.  

Bob Beck

A Wyoming legislative committee has quietly put together a series of bills that is looking at the high cost of health care in the state as well as making health care more accessible. At a recent meeting of the legislature's Health and Labor Committee, Senator Charles Scott stated that consumers pay a lot for health care in the state.

School board members from across the state gathered earlier this month at the Wyoming School Boards Association delegate assembly. The group set policy goals for the upcoming legislative session, and for the coming year.

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