politics

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate President said that an investigation is being conducted to determine if any action should be taken against Cheyenne Senator Lynn Hutchings regarding some comments she made to high school students who lobbied her regarding LGBTQ issues.  

NPS / Kurt Moses

During the partial shutdown, the National Park Service said it was using visitor entrance fees for basic operational costs. That's now changed following a congressional hearing last week by Democratic lawmakers criticizing the use of visitor fees for daily operations. Traditionally, these fees are used for more long-term or major maintenance projects.

Bob Beck

It's not really that unusual for anti-abortion bills to be considered by the legislature, but they frequently are defeated in committees or don't get much traction. But it appears that may be changing. Wyoming pro-choice supporters were unnerved by the passage of two bills that set certain requirements on doctors two years ago. This year, two more anti-abortion bills have passed the house that people have their eyes on.

U.S. Capitol Building
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The president's State of the Union address included him laying out his vision for U.S. energy policy, which had Wyoming Senator John Barrasso standing and clapping wildly - in part because he was on the GOP leadership team that spent two years focused on unwinding basically any regulations they could.

Senators from across the country and on both sides of the aisle have introduced a bill to tackle a problematic illness of deer, elk and moose.

It's called chronic wasting disease. Like so-called "mad cow," it’s a prion disease, meaning that it is not caused by viruses or bacteria, but instead by aberrant proteins in the nervous system.

The head of Grand Canyon National Park is returning to her job after a four-month federal investigation found unspecified allegations against her were “unfounded.”

The National Park Service may have lost millions of dollars in revenue during the recent government shutdown, and recovering from this setback may take a while.

U.S. House Democrats are holding a hearing Wednesday to look at how the Interior Department paid to keep national parks open during the partial government shutdown.

Meg Kelly/ NPR

7:00 p.m. MST: President Trump is delivering a State of the Union address after a delay due to the government shutdown. Watch his speech live, followed by a Democratic response delivered by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

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Wyoming is one of just five states without laws pertaining to the parental rights of perpetrators of sexual assault. House Bill 107 would change that.

Updated 6:36 p.m. MST

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to nominate David Bernhardt as the nation’s next Interior Secretary. The former oil industry lobbyist and longtime government employee has been acting Secretary since Ryan Zinke stepped down last month amid questions about his ethics and conflicts of interest.

Stephanie Joyce

A controversial bill that some say infringes on first amendment rights has passed a Wyoming legislative committee and will move to the House floor.

A bill that would abolish the Death Penalty easily passed the Wyoming House Friday. Supporters say it's time to end government-sanctioned killing and they argue that it's a waste of taxpayer money.

DAVE PARKER / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

Women would have to wait 48 hours to have an abortion under a bill that was approved Friday by the Wyoming House of Representatives.

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The American Lung Association's new State of Tobacco Control report gave Wyoming failing grades for its tobacco policies. Among the criteria was funding for prevention programs, smoke-free workplace laws, tobacco tax rates, services to help quit and the minimum age to buy tobacco. In Wyoming the minimum is 18.

Pexels

A bill passed out of a legislative committee yesterday that would make it easier for counties to collect ad valorem taxes. A report last year found counties were missing out on over $50 million in delinquent ad valorem taxes, often due to bankruptcies.

Wyoming Legislature

Speaker of the House Steve Harshman convinced the House to take another step towards school safety.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming Senate voted to restore $1.5 million it removed from the state breast and cervical cancer program. The cut was made earlier in the week after members of the Appropriations Committee complained that it allowed non-poor people to access the funds.

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

Landmark legislation that would address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on Monday.

Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Leadership from the Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee announced plans to update and modernize oil and gas regulations. They plan to work with the public and private sector along with Governor Mark Gordon during the interim session. The committee will study how to better align rules with current practices.

Wyoming State Legislature

A bill that would require a 48 hour waiting period before someone can get an abortion has received initial support in the Wyoming House. Opponents of the bill call it government overreach and an intrusion on reproductive rights. Cheyenne Representative Sue Wilson said she struggled with the bill initially, but now fully supports it.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A number of people packed a large legislative committee room testifying on a bill that would create criminal offenses, including murder, for the harm of what the bill calls an unborn child. Senate File 128 is the Unborn Victims of Violence act.

Tennessee Watson

A bill that would increase penalties for interfering with the operation of critical infrastructure like pipelines or oil and gas facilities is held up in the Minerals Committee. Wyoming legislators gathered Monday to discuss the Crimes Against Critical Infrastructure bill and delayed a vote until Friday after hearing considerable public comment.

A group of Western lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would give states control of oil and gas projects on federal lands.

Logo is courtesy of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition

A bipartisan bill that would make Wyoming the first state to legally classify digital assets as property, is heading to the Senate floor.

Wyoming lawmakers are considering a bill that would add a work requirement to those who receive Medicaid.

 

The new state auditor, Kristi Racines, promises to bring better transparency to the state's expenditures.

© Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

As lawmakers will now try and reach a compromise with the short term lifting of the government shutdown, Wyoming lawmakers are holding firm with President Trump's demand for a wall.

The battle over a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 census may have profound economic implications for the Mountain West.

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