2020 legislative session

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.

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.

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.

Forecasted revenue from different versions of the bill
Legislative Service Office

Wyoming's Joint Revenue Committee let a bill die without a vote that would have levied a tax on electricity generation whether it's coming from coal, hydroelectric, or wind. Members of the committee considered the Electrical Generation Tax as a way to generate additional funds for the state which is looking at a major budget deficit. This bill could have raised funds ranging from $3 million to $190 million per year.

Preferred Portfolio Coal Retirements based on its chosen IRP
Rocky Mountain Power

Wyoming's Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee used its last hearing before the budget session to discuss concerns over Rocky Mountain Power's recently announced Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The public utility's long-awaited plan detailed its shift away from coal, including the early retirement of two Wyoming coal plants.

Wyoming Legislature

Not only will Wyoming generate less money over the next three years, the state is also looking for at least $150 million to cover its next two-year budget, according to a new revenue report. But that number may actually be closer to $400 million.

Agenda of topics to be discussed in the coming committee
Legislative Service Office

Wyoming's Management Council has started a new, one-year legislative committee in response to the recent spate of bankruptcies in the coal industry. The hope is to produce legislation that puts Wyoming in an improved position in future reorganizations.

Bob Beck

After over four years and $300 million, people in Wyoming got to see what the restoration of the Wyoming Capitol looks like. The building had been falling apart and several lawmakers argued that something had to be done. But spending money on the project and the adjoining office building was questioned by many across the state since it came at a time when Wyoming was strapped for money.

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