politics

Environmental Protection Agency

Despite the concern of others, Wyoming’s congressional delegation says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been great for the state’s industries and they don’t seem too worried about all the scandals hanging over him. 

Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester is hoping Montanans will give him a narrow victory this fall.

But President Donald Trump isn’t making it easy.

Asha Rangappa

The news surrounding the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election can at times seem overwhelming. To help break it all down, Asha Rangappa has been visiting Wyoming this week, giving talks in Jackson and Laramie about the investigation, social media, and democracy. 

Foster Friess twitter

Republican and Jackson resident Foster Friess is running for Wyoming governor. The announcement was made Friday at the Wyoming Republican Party Convention in Laramie.

Senator Mike Enzi (R)
Senator Mike Enzi (R)


As a part of a sweeping bipartisan spending deal to keep the government’s light on, Congress quietly set up a new budget commission. Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi chairs the Senate Budget Committee, but he’s been strangely excluded from the panel. 

The Patagonia website recently took another swipe at the Trump administration over its decision to shrink national monuments in Utah. This political activism may be the new norm for the outdoor recreation industry.

Aaron Schrank

The Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction announced she’s running for a second term. Jillian Balow said there’s more she wants to do.

Courtesy UW News Service

The University of Wyoming played host to Keio University Professor Dr. Toshi Nakayama on Wednesday. He is a noted author and columnist on international relations and he spoke about how Japan is adapting to Trump’s America on the world stage. He joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Details are unfolding about how British data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica influenced national elections. Meanwhile, a newly surfaced document suggests the group also had a hand in our region -- and in one especially tight Senate race in Colorado.

Liz Cheney
facebook.com/pg/replizcheney/

President Trump’s unexpected reshuffling of his cabinet has also brought with it an unexpected debate over what critics say amounted to torture in the Bush-Cheney administration. 

Sam Galeotos Campaign

Travel industry businessman Sam Galeotos, a Republican, grew up in Cheyenne and went on to serve as an executive of an airline company and eventually ran other travel-related companies including CheapTickets.com and Worldspan. 

Alan Simpson was born and raised in Wyoming. He served from 1965 to 1977 in the Wyoming House of Representatives from Park County. Then he set his sights on the U.S. Senate. From 1979 to 1997 he served as a United States Senator from Wyoming. From 1985 to 1995, Simpson was the Republican whip, Assistant Republican Leader in the Senate. Additionally, he served as chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 1981 to 1985, and again from 1995 to 1997.

State school administrators oppose funding cuts during a 2018 legislative hearing.
Bob Beck

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.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

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.

Governor Matt Mead
Bob Beck

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead was in Washington for the National Governors Association Meeting and the nations opioid crisis was a central focus.

The nation is now annually witnessing as many deaths from Opioids and heroin in the nation as were lost during the entire Vietnam War. Governor Mead says policymakers have to think more broadly about the crisis. 

Logo is courtesy of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition

You may have heard a little about Blockchain, but if some people in Wyoming have their way, you will learn a lot about it. Because according to these experts, legislation that Wyoming lawmakers are considering this year could open the floodgates for Blockchain businesses. Some lawmakers are comparing it to the internet boom of the 1990’s and say it could completely change Wyoming’s economic future. 

Senator Mike Enzi (R)
Senator Mike Enzi (R)

  

Wyoming lawmakers have mixed reactions to the sweeping federal budget proposal President Trump released this week.

Donald Trump may be President, but Wyoming’s Mike Enzi chairs the Senate Budget Committee and according to the Constitution that gives Enzi a tad more power in the budget debate than any occupants of the Oval Office. Enzi thanks the president for his proposal. 

"I thought it was a good list of suggestions.”  

Bob Beck

In his State of the State message, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said during the economic downturn some budget cuts went too deep, including those felt by the Department of Health and the Department of Family Services.

Laramie Representative Charles Pelkey, a Democrat, said he agrees.

Governor Matt Mead's 2018 State Of The State Address

Feb 12, 2018
Office of Governor Matt Mead

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead delivered his final State of the State address before members of the Legislature in Cheyenne on February 12, 2018. 

The 2018 budget session gets underway today, and Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck will once again oversee coverage. He joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to preview what might be in store.

Wyoming Legislature

Later this month the Wyoming Legislature will be asked to consider a bill that will hopefully stabilize Wyoming’s Air Service. Senate Vice President Michael Von Flatern of Gillette is the main sponsor and he joins Bob Beck to explain the concept.

Kamila Kudelska

As lawmakers are discussing whether to add computer science and computational thinking to the state educational curriculum, they are looking to Powell as an example. Powell is one of only five school districts teaching computer science. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska takes a deeper dive into how their curriculum has developed and persisted throughout the years.

U.S. Capitol Building
Public Domain

Now that the government’s lights are turned back on after last weekend’s three-day shutdown, Wyoming’s lawmakers are joining a growing chorus of Republicans calling for a change to how Congress conducts its day to day business.

Bob Beck

Last year Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke infuriated Democrats when he announced intentions to cut about one third or about 4,000 people from his department. When Congress mostly rejected that plan in its funding bills, Zinke then focused more on a plan to reshape the department by moving key offices out West, to places like Denver. New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall is dubious.

“It looks to me more like a dismantling rather than a reorganization, so I’m very worried about it.”

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Back in November, conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager spoke to a packed audience at the University of Wyoming. After the applause died down a bit, he said, “I’m sure not all of you feel that enthusiastic about seeing me but nevertheless…”

And it was true. Many students weren’t enthusiastic for him to come, calling some of his talks racist and sexist. In fact, they argued university money shouldn’t be used to pay for such controversial speakers.

CC BY-SA 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

President Donald Trump told voters he would come to Washington and shake things up, which he surely has but not in the way many people expected. He spent much of last year frustrated that he couldn’t get much of his agenda through Congress. But he did have success unwinding regulations, especially many in the oil and gas industry. While riding the subway under the Capitol Wyoming Senator John Barrasso explains that in the New Year he’s hoping to revive a bipartisan energy bill that lawmakers have failed to get both chambers to agree on.   

Wyoming House for Historic Women

Wyoming is rapidly approaching its 150th anniversary of granting women the right to vote – the first government in the world to do so unconditionally.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

An effort to become more efficient within state government could generate several million dollars in savings.  

 

The legislature’s management council was told that consolidating human resources, using technology more effectively, and more aggressively going after grants in education could provide the state millions of dollars.  

 

Wyoming Department of Health

Nearly 3,000 kids in Wyoming have access to a highly subsidized health insurance through a program called Kid Care CHIP operated by the Wyoming Department of Health. Those kids could lose that coverage as soon as April, if Congress does not re-authorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan.

 

Anna Rader

As part of our series, “I Respectfully Disagree,” Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards journeyed into the heart of Wyoming’s coal country to the city of Gillette up in the northeast corner. Recently, it’s become an intensely divided community. In the last election, Wyoming went in greater percentage to Donald Trump than any other state, but Campbell County was one of the counties that supported Trump more than any other in Wyoming.

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