politics

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Back in September, a federal judge ruled the Greater Yellowstone grizzlies should be put back under Endangered Species Act protections, which means the federal government has the last say in the bear's management. But during Wyoming's legislative session, Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill that authorizes the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to manage grizzly bears. If the commission does decide to manage the bears, would it be legal?

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This week the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting President Trump's emergency declaration so he can build his long-desired wall. There also seems to be enough opposition in the Senate to reject it, but neither chamber looks to have enough votes to override Trump's promised veto. But Senator John Barrasso is all in with Trump. 

Rachel Girt

With the end of the legislative session, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is spending most of his time reviewing bills. He takes a break to join Bob Beck to discuss the past legislative session. 

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming legislature has passed a bill that makes it legal to grow hemp in Wyoming, and legalizes the sale of products made from hemp, including CBD oil.

A bill that would have imposed a 20-hour work requirement on those who receive Medicaid has been defeated.

Bob Beck

Community Colleges may soon be able to offer bachelors degrees of applied sciences. The House gave final approval to a bill that supporters say will help economic development and can improve the number of four-year degrees in Wyoming.

Stephanie Joyce

The Wyoming House and Senate went well into the morning hours and adjourned without reaching a deal on a bill that provides a severance tax break for closed in oil and gas wells.

The disagreement was over the price when the tax kicked in. Earlier in the day Cheyenne Representative Bob Nicholas feared that the legislation would let some companies take advantage of the state by re-starting wells and paying small amounts of severance tax money at a point where the wells are the most productive.

Wyoming State Legislature

  

The Wyoming legislative session has technically adjourned, though there are still some loose ends to wrap up. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss Medicaid, tax measures, and what could carry into the interim session.

Legislation to mandate the use of cutting edge technology in fighting wildfires passed the House Wednesday and is now headed to the president’s desk.

 


Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate has passed a bill that would allow the Board of Medicine to sanction doctors who don't tell the state that they performed an abortion. Supporters say they are trying to put teeth into a law that currently exists.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that will allow a private school to be built in Teton County without interference from local officials.

Senate Defeats Lodging Tax

Feb 26, 2019
Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The last major revenue raising measure for the state has failed. The Senate defeated a 5 percent lodging tax increase, with 3 percent of revenues going towards statewide tourist promotion and the rest going to counties.

The Trump administration is assembling a panel to take a second look at recent federal climate change reports.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a five percent lodging tax that could provide over $20 million to Wyoming's tourism industry. Three percent of the tax would go towards state tourism promotion and the other two percent would go to counties to promote local tourism. Senator Hank Coe of Cody said during floor debate that the tax is important.

DAVE PARKER / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

A Senate committee has voted 4-1 to approve a bill that would require doctors who perform abortions to document how many times they have performed the procedure.

Oil and gas drilling on Butler’s property.
Cooper McKim

A bill that would give a severance tax exemption to encourage oil and gas producers to re-open shut down wells will go to the House Floor.

People listen to proceedings in the Wyoming House of Representatives
Bob Beck

A bill that would remove county zoning authority from over private schools has received initial support from the Wyoming House of Representatives.

MILFORD, Utah — The San Francisco Mountains in southwestern Utah were once home to one of the richest silver mines in the world. When it comes to mining today, they stand mostly quiet — for now — with only a handful of rock mines operating in the area.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate will soon get a chance to debate a 5 percent statewide lodging tax proposal that supporters say will raise $32 million. Most of the money will go to fund tourism promotion in the state.

Public Domain

Wyoming is a step closer to having a new public records law. The House passed Senate File 57 that sets up deadlines for governmental agencies to respond to a public records request and puts in place an ombudsman whose job is to make sure those requests are met.

Strong opposition to a proposed corporate income tax that was targeted at large-box stores will likely die this session without a vote. After a lot of opposition, the bill started to lose support in the Senate.

lwcfcoalition.com

This week the U.S. Senate passed a sweeping and historic bill that would make the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. A feat many hunters and fisherman, along with environmentalists, had thought was impossible after the GOP allowed it to lapse last year.

Public Domain / Tom Iraci

More than 750 days into the Trump administration and the Department of Interior may be violating a little known-law. The Vacancies Act was designed specifically for top federal positions that are nominated by the president and need Senate approval. Anne Joseph O'Connell is an expert on the federal law and a professor of law at Stanford University.

Bob Beck

Wyoming Senator Eli Bebout is finishing his 12th legislative session in the Senate after 14 years in the House. He was first elected as a Democrat from Fremont County in 1986.

Thursday is the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. More than a hundred state-level gun laws have been enacted since then, including several in the Mountain West. 

Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might be the first member of President Trump’s cabinet to join a lobbying firm after leaving office.

In the 2018 midterms voters in the deeply conservative states of Idaho and Utah went against their Republican controlled legislatures on healthcare. They both voted yes on initiatives to expand Medicaid under Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

But it didn’t end there. Republicans in both Capitols pushed back.


Lynn Hutchings

A State Senator released a statement denying that she ever compared homosexuality with bestiality or pedophilia.

It can be hard to escape national political news. On the flip side, it's getting harder to find out what's going on in our own backyard. In our region, we've lost around 70 local papers in recent years. A new study says that trend is contributing to today's partisan politics.

Lynn Hutchings

The Wyoming legislature is moving into its final three weeks. Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard checked in with Bob Beck about the latest news, including budget discussions and controversial remarks made by Senator Lynn Hutchings.

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