wyoming legislature

Longtime State Sen. Hank Coe has died of cancer. Coe first represented Cody In the State Senate in 1989 and played a big role in issues surrounding economic development, air service and education.

CCO Public Domain

The state Senate Revenue Committee passed two bills that take different approaches to transitioning to a monthly ad valorem tax for the mining industry.

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The Wyoming House Revenue Committee has actually approved a tax bill. Committee members voted to send a 14 cents a pack increase on cigarettes to the House floor. The bill also increases the tax on smokeless tobacco by 12 cents.

pagaling via Pixabay

The state Senate Corporations Committee approved a bill that would reform the net metering system for those who use renewable energy to reduce their electricity rates. The vote comes despite opposition from those saying the change would reduce the incentive to install solar.

Wyoming PBS

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said the state is prepared to protect its energy industry against the Biden administration, but he is concerned that regulations could continue to hurt the state's bottom line.

Wind Farm Near Wheatland
Holly Copeland

The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee once again considered and voted against a bill that would have raised the generation tax on wind. This time from $1 per megawatt hour to $2 per megawatt hour. The bill would have also removed a three-year tax exemption enjoyed by wind energy producers.

Magellan Healthcare

Following Gov. Mark Gordon's request for an additional $500 million funding cut, the Wyoming Department of Health has come up with a way to shave close to $47 million from its general fund budget.

screen shot by Tennessee Watson

On Monday, Dec. 14, the Joint Appropriations Committee heard Wyoming Department of Family Services' Director Korin Schmidt present her department's plan to cut its budget. This comes after Gov. Mark Gorden announced last month he wanted the state budget reduced by an additional $500 million, following 10 percent cuts in July.

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

A state legislative committee is discussing the last stages of approval for a major oil and gas project in Converse County. The U.S. Department of Interior just has to sign the Record of Decision (ROD), which Select Federal Natural Resource Management committee members like Douglas Sen. Brian Boner is anxious to finish or even speed up.

Grendelkhan

About 30 states already have regulatory frameworks set up to safely and efficiently introduce autonomous vehicles into the states. Now, state lawmakers are working to get Wyoming caught up.

Bob Beck

Wyoming legislative leaders say they will delay the bulk of the 2021 legislative session until the state's COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

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Wyoming Legislature

The Campbell County Commissioners have chosen a replacement for the late Roy Edwards. Former Campbell County Commissioner Chris Knapp will take over the term of Rep. Edwards and represent District 53 at the state legislature.

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The state legislature's Joint Education Committee has moved forward with a bill that would require school districts to provide suicide prevention training to students.

Location for Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project. Several in public comment spoke from the county, along with a project official
Power Company of Wyoming

The state legislature's Joint Revenue Committee set aside time during a recent meeting to learn how the wind industry is currently being taxed in the state; no bill on the subject was under discussion.

Public Domain

The Legislature's Joint Revenue Committee has voted to recommend approval of a nine cent fuel tax increase to pay for highway maintenance. Wyoming Department of Transportation Director Luke Reiner said WYDOT faces a funding gap of $136 million and the tax increase would help chip away at that.

Industrial Hemp
Mountain Xpress

State lawmakers decided to table a bill that could have potentially tightened hemp product regulations. 

The draft bill that was introduced by Powell Sen. R.J. Kost looked to ban the possession and sale of hemp for smoking. It also would have forbidden CBD, a by-product of hemp, from being added to any alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and food products without the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

McFadden Wind Farm
Leigh Paterson

The Joint Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee voted to sponsor and move forward with a bill that would effectively raise the tax on generating wind energy in Wyoming. The bill removes the three year tax exemption given to companies before a $1 per megawatt hour tax sets in.

uwyo.edu

Over the past three years, the Wyoming legislature has passed laws to create a regulatory environment for blockchain application growth. Now, the new University of Wyoming Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation hopes to help keep this new industry in the state.

wyodems.org

It was no surprise that President Donald Trump overwhelmingly won Wyoming last night. But Democrats in the state were hoping for wins locally.

NPR

Wyoming voters reminded everyone that it's still a strongly red state. Republicans won the majority of races and three incumbent Democrats were defeated.

Wyoming Legislature

Gillette State Rep. Roy Edwards has died. The Casper Star Tribune reported on Monday afternoon the 66-year-old died on that morning after a week-long struggle with an unspecified illness.

Eda Uzunlar

Wyoming's revenue picture looks better than it did in May, but a top state budget analyst told the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee that it's still not good. 

WYDOT

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is looking at new options to generate revenue as the department faces a $135 million revenue shortfall.

The department is mainly funded by federal dollars and a fuel tax, but WYDOT Director Luke Reiner said the tax has its limitations.

Shannon Smith

Wyoming will witness history this year as it elects two women to Congress. Newcomer and Northern Arapaho tribal member, Lynnette Greybull, will face incumbent Liz Cheney for the U.S. House seat. Cynthia Lummis will face ecologist and scientist, Merav Ben-David, for Wyoming's open seat in the Senate. So, what does this mean for the state?

Shannon Lastowski Monahan

On a crisp late fall afternoon, Colin Monahan and Shannon Lastowski Monahan were about to relax after a nice dinner with friends at their home in Wapiti, about 20 miles west of Cody towards Yellowstone National Park.

Cooper McKim

Earlier this summer, organizations got together across Wyoming to give testimony about the largest utility in the state's controversial plan to make a shift away from coal and towards renewables.

How do you think budget cuts in Wyoming will affect you, and would you support paying more taxes to maintain those services? 

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air. 

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CC0 Public Domain

This week, Gov. Mark Gordon started addressing Wyoming's $1.5 billion shortfalls with $250 million in budget cuts.

The cuts are due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 and a sudden drop in energy prices. Gordon has said he would like to see cuts, reserves, and some new revenue sources used together to address the shortfall, but that remains difficult.

State of Wyoming

After several months of anticipation, Wyoming has withdrawn its bid for roughly four million acres of mineral rights and a million acres of land owned by the oil and gas company Occidental Petroleum. Gov. Mark Gordon had hoped to use those assets to improve the state's rate of return on investments.

Throughout the process, there were questions about what was going on behind-the-scenes. Gordon put out a statement following the state's bid withdrawal looking to answer some of those questions. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim spoke with the governor to talk through that statement.

Bob Beck

  

Some notable legislators lost their seats in last night's Wyoming Primary, many were targets of a conservative arm of the Republican Party. 

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