politics

Kristin Walker

Wyoming's next Governor Mark Gordon has been holed up trying to hire a staff, while also trying to get prepared for the legislative session. He took a few minutes to tell Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck what he's been up to since the election.

Funding for one of the Mountain West's key environmental protection programs is on hold until after the holidays. 

The federal government has continually broken treaty promises to tribal nations, according to a damning new report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Several Mountain West Republicans are reportedly on the short list to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, after President Donald Trump announced his imminent departure over the weekend.

Since 1964 the Land and Water Conservation Fund has used royalties from oil and gas leasing to protect natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, as well as to provide recreation opportunities. The Fund expired at the end of September, but both the House and Senate have proposed bills to permanently reauthorize it so its future doesn't remain in jeopardy.

NPS Climate Change Response

As the urgency around climate change increases, here’s a look at how the West is reacting.

Lawmakers grilled federal law enforcement agencies over their lack of rigorous investigations into missing and murdered indigenous women at a landmark Senate hearing Wednesday.

Flickr Creative Commons/momo go via Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Western states are likely to be affected most by the Trump administration's proposal to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency would no longer give special protections to thousands of miles of seasonal streams and millions of acres of wetlands that often go dry by late summer in the arid West. That would leave states to decide whether to protect such waters themselves. 

Public record requests have played a major role in spurring multiple ethics investigations into U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

A Colorado District Judge has ruled it is unconstitutional to detain inmates purely on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Similar cases have been argued throughout our region.

Bob Beck

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is wrapping up his time in office. Bob Beck caught up with him at an event in Cheyenne this week. They discuss the difficulties Mead had in cutting the budget and why Wyoming's economic future looks so positive. Mead also talks about his biggest disappointment, which is not making a difference when it comes to providing affordable and accessible health care.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature's Management Council has voted to change and weaken its anti-discrimination and harassment policy.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature is moving forward on policy that would require all schools to engage in training and create safety plans in the event of a violent intruder. The bill crafted by Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis was approved by the legislature's joint education committee nine to four.

Watch Live Coverage: Bush National Cathedral Ceremony

Dec 5, 2018
Cameron Pollack/NPR

Former President George H.W. Bush is being honored with funeral services at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The 41st president will be eulogized by his son, former President George W. Bush, as well as a former U.S. senator and a former Canadian prime minister. Dozens of U.S. and world leaders are expected to attend the service.

Roughly a third of Americans said climate change played into their voting decisions in the last four years. Other than Colorado, voters in the Mountain West are even less interested in the issue. Bernie Sanders is trying to change that. He hosted an online town hall on the topic Monday night.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said he wants to provide pay raises to state employees and K-12 educators in the state. The proposal is part of the governor's supplemental budget. Community College employees and some classified staff at the University of Wyoming would also be eligible for raises. Mead said the time is right.

nca2018.globalchange.gov

The federal government released a sweeping report on climate change last week that predicts more wildfires and catastrophic weather across the nation unless lawmakers act, but like most Republicans Wyoming's lawmakers don't take the document too seriously.

Bob Beck

A Wyoming legislative committee has quietly put together a series of bills that is looking at the high cost of health care in the state as well as making health care more accessible. At a recent meeting of the legislature's Health and Labor Committee, Senator Charles Scott stated that consumers pay a lot for health care in the state.

Peter Uetz, Wikimedia Commons

The town of Jackson plans to ban disposable plastic bags starting in April. The ban follows the lead of other resort communities like Aspen and Telluride that have enacted similar ordinances.

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A plan to try to reduce health insurance premiums on the federal health care exchange was approved by a Wyoming legislative committee. 

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Democrats preparing to take over control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January are gunning for major battles on climate change and energy issues, which could hurt the economic gains witnessed in Wyoming this Trump-energy-era.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis made a visit to Wyoming. He was there to witness the formal turnover of the Bells of Balangiga.

 

Governors-elect from across the country are gathering in Colorado Springs this weekend for The Seminar for New Governors. The weekend-long conference, taking place at the five-star Broadmoor Hotel, is designed to help them prepare for their new jobs.

The parents sat stiffly; some had clearly been crying. Their children, largely oblivious, scribbled with crayons on the carpeted floor of a Denver immigration court. In a matter of months, the judge before them will make 71 life-changing decisions.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice instructed ten immigration courts around the country to speed up cases of families seeking asylum on U.S. soil. In Denver, that directive is being carried out in a series of group hearings, designed to decide cases in less than a year.

Andrea Clifford Campaign

Wyoming may be the reddest state in the nation but even the Cowboy State felt a ripple from the blue wave in this month's midterm election.

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee will discuss on Wednesday landmark legislation that aims to address the crisis of missing and murdered women in Indian Country.

After a controversial year Park County School District #6 has four new trustees on its seven-member school board.

The district, which includes Cody, debated and eventually passed the CKA policy, which allows certain teachers and staff to conceal carry, and dealt with the logistics behind removing a book from the school system.

Now the newly elected trustees want to move on to other issues. John McCue is a Cody native and a new trustee. He said he was motivated to run to ensure these policies would not remain the focal point and concentrate on things like teacher morale.

Liz Cheney

Wyoming U.S. Representative Liz Cheney admits that Tuesday was a bittersweet night for her. While she says she's delighted to represent Wyoming for two more years, she's disappointed it will be as a member of the minority party. Cheney predicts rough sledding for Republicans as Democrats likely try to put themselves in position to win back the Presidency in two years.

In an effort to keep Wyoming issues on the forefront, Representative Cheney is seeking the number three leadership position among House Republicans. One thing that Cheney says needs to change is discourse that is leading to violent acts. She spoke about that and other topics with Bob Beck.

Courtesy of TV Gals Media

A film company recently toured Wyoming, stopping in Jackson, Moorcroft and Cheyenne, screening a pilot of a TV show on civil discourse. Each episode of "High Noon in America" will visit a new state and pair people on opposing sides of the political spectrum to get them talking.

Almost half of eligible Americans voted nationwide in this year's midterm elections, making it the highest voter turnout in almost 50 years.

Colorado ranked fifth in the nation in voter turnout with 59.7 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. Montana came in tenth with a 56.6 percent voter turnout.

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