The Wyoming Legislature has approved a bill that is intended to help hospitals in the state cover costs for patients who cannot afford to pay for health care.
After lawmakers rejected the $100 million a year in federal funds that would have come from Medicaid Expansion, this was viewed as a last ditch attempt to help hospitals. But opponents say the bill just throws money at the problem.
Senate Labor and Health Committee Chairman Charles Scott says the two and a half million dollars in the bill will help some of the small hospitals in the state.
The Wyoming Legislative session ended today and in his closing remarks Governor Matt Mead urged lawmakers to find a solution to a number of health care problems in the state. The legislature voted against taking more than 100 million dollars in federal money to expand Medicaid and provide health care services to 17,600 people. Mead said legislators need to find solutions.
Wyoming victims of sexual assault will now be able to get a protection order without the necessity of proving their case in court. Governor Matt Mead signed a bill into law that provides victims a protection order of six months that can be renewed up to a year.
Green River Senator John Hastert says it allows a victim to get protection from their assailant if they choose not to pursue criminal charges.
A bill headed to the Governor's desk allows the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority to issue up to one billion dollars in bonds to support construction of out-of-state coal ports. Senator Michael Von Flatern says the bill allows the Authority to borrow money from investors for the bond, which can then be lent to projects elsewhere.
Wyoming Catholic College in Lander has decided not to offer federal grants and loans to its students. It says doing so could threaten the school’s religious liberties.
Last year, the small, 8-year-old college took its first step toward accreditation. The move meant credits earned at W-C-C could be transferred to other schools—and made it eligible for federal loan programs.
But the college’s Board of Director’s voted unanimously last month not to participate in those programs—known as Title IV.
Five new members will be joining the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees. They will take over for members whose terms have expired and the late Warren Lauer who died last year.
Mel Baldwin, John McKinley, Dick Scarlett, Michelle Sullivan and Mike Massie were appointed by the governor and approved by the senate. All will serve until 2021 except for Massie, who is serving Lauer’s term until 2017. The Next Board of Trustees meeting will be at the end of this month.
University President Dick McGinity says the new members will be key in moving the Board forward.
Wyoming’s largest investor-owned electric utility is asking to raise its rates in 2016. Rocky Mountain Power submitted a request to the Public Service Commission this week for a 4.5 percent overall increase. The company estimates that would translate to roughly an extra $5 charge on residential customers’ monthly bills. Bryce Freeman, administrator of the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate, says the request doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
The city of Laramie has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help create a public art plan. Last week, member organizations hosted the first community meetings to discuss the plan. Residents can also suggest projects and locations on this online survey.