politics

Catherine Wheeler

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) announced he will not seek reelection in 2020. Enzi announced his decision to a small group in Gillette City Hall on Saturday.

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

This week President Trump met with House Democratic leaders behind closed doors and he told them he wants to work with them to pump $2 trillion into the nation's ailing infrastructure. But Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is worried about the $22 trillion debt.

Stephanie Joyce

In 2016, the Obama administration halted new leasing of coal on federal lands with a goal to reexamine the environmental impacts of the program. Just a year later, the Trump administration lifted that moratorium. In a report, Interior Department secretary Ryan Zinke wrote, "given the critical importance of the Federal coal leasing program to energy security, job creation, and proper conservation stewardship, this Order directs efforts to enhance and improve the Federal coal leasing program." 

Watch Live: William Barr Press Conference

Apr 18, 2019
Liam James Doyle / NPR

Attorney General William Barr delivers a press conference at the Justice Department ahead of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. A redacted version of the report is expected to be released on Thursday.

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President Trump is now backing a lawsuit that would invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, and that's promising to make health care a major election issue next year. Wyoming Republicans are fine with that, even though they have failed to repeal and replace when they controlled both chambers of Congress.

House Democrats railed against the Trump Administration’s proposed National Parks budget in a committee hearing this week.

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has been accused by Democratic lawmakers and nonprofit accountability groups of violating ethics rules, prompting a review by that agency’s inspector general.

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Wyoming now has two lawmakers in Washington who are also Republican Party leaders and they're promising to make the progressive Green New Deal on climate change a major part of the debate going forward, even as Democratic Party leaders are trying to change the subject. 

As the U.S. Senate holds gun control hearings, Colorado legislators are pushing forward with their own plan to remove guns from people who are deemed unsafe to themselves or others.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Gov. Mark Gordon said a bill that takes away a county's ability to apply zoning regulations to private schools can become law without his signature.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney turned some heads in Washington last week when she opposed a resolution denouncing all forms of hate. She was one of a mere 23 who voted against the measure.

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It's Sunshine Week, where media outfits are discussing public access to meetings and documents. Wyoming has never been a leader in this area, but a new law could change things. Lawmakers passed an Open Records law this year that requires entities to meet records requests in 30 days. 

Screenshot from the Local Government Liability Pool's rules and regulations.

March 10-16, 2019 was Sunshine Week. The annual event recognizes the importance of access to public information, and the journalists who defend a culture of transparency. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck sat down with reporter Tennessee Watson to talk about what's behind the struggle to get elected officials in Albany County to talk about a recent officer-involved shooting. 

Haven Coleman perched on the steps of the Colorado state capitol in a puffy jacket and hat. The 12-year-old looked tiny against the gray stone columns rising up at her back. With her mom standing nearby, she held up a simple sign. On it, she had written the words “School Strike for Climate” in big black magic-markered letters.

Several Democratic hopefuls for 2020 say they support legalizing marijuana at the federal level. But the potential nominee from our region who oversaw the legalization of the drug is his state, has reservations.

Pacificorp

Early one November morning last year, Devils Tower Senator Ogden Driskill got a call from Afton Senator Dan Dockstader.

"He'd discovered that Rocky Mountain Power was accelerating closure of a number of their coal-fired units down around Kemmerer in his district," Driskill said.

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House Democrats are pushing an effort to overhaul the nation's election and ethics laws. But Wyoming Republicans say the effort is a smokescreen to help keep Democrats in power.

An environmental group is launching a campaign to defend the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has been a target for President Trump. The court hears some of the most important environmental and other cases in our region.

Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s request for the Trump administration to rollback restrictions on 4 million acres of national forest land in his state has environmentalists raising flags that it could spur a wave of states in the region to follow suit.

A study in the medical journal BMJ found a strong association between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of mass shootings.

Paul Reeping is an epidemiologist with Columbia University and first author on the paper. He says researchers had already looked at the relationship between gun laws and outcomes like suicide or homicide.

At least one state in our region is poised to join the movement to change how we vote for our president. Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, is expected to sign legislation soon.

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Governor Mark Gordon's appointee for Wyoming Attorney General is only the second woman to serve in the position. Bridgett Hill was sworn in by the State Senate this week, marking an already significant career serving the state of Wyoming.

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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.

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