March 9th, 2018
The Wyoming Legislative session is coming to an end and Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss the lawmakers' progress.
Dotted across the Mountain West are huge swaths of federal land called Wilderness Study Areas. They aren’t protected Wilderness -- but they’re under review to see if they can be upgraded to that. But many of those reviews happened decades ago… and for the most part... Congress never took action. That means many of these lands are managed like Wilderness. No mining, logging, and in some cases… no motorized vehicles. They’re protected. Now a U.S. Senator from the Mountain West is taking action. Some folks are happy with his idea… others not so much. The Mountain West News Bureau’s Nate Hegyi reports.
Legislative controversy… how coal companies are paying for reclamation… and regulations around disposing coal ash. These are a few of the issues those in energy were talking about this past week. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim helps break down what all of it means in a back and forth with Connie Wilbert, the head of the Sierra Club’s Wyoming Chapter.
Last fall, students walked out of class and gathered in protest of the University of Wyoming’s handling of sexual assault. The 45 or so students delivered a letter to President Laurie Nichols explaining how the current practices made them feel frustrated, and unsafe. One of those students recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, asking the federal government to investigate UW and its Army ROTC program. Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson has more.
While budget cutting and education may have been in the headlines, the Wyoming legislature did pass a number of economic development measures this legislative session. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck speaks with Jerimiah Rieman who is the Governor's Director of Economic Diversification Strategy and Initiatives.
Cheyenne’s local government has been putting a lot of work behind its Fight the Blight campaign to address a number of abandoned houses and run-down buildings. But efforts to clean those places up have indicated another problem—a lack of affordable housing.
Education was a main topic of discussion during most of the legislative session. As the legislature comes to a close, K-12 education took a $30 million cut and a couple of constitutional amendments that could have done further damage failed. Senate Education Chairman Hank Coe and Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss join Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to size up what happened.