WPR News
8:10 am
Mon February 25, 2008

Senate turns to tax relief bills this week

Cheyenne, WY – After the house narrowed its list of possible tax relief bills, the Senate will take its shot this week.

The main bill is one that provides a tax break for relatively low income people who have seen their property tax bills increase. Representative Pete Anderson says they are trying to make more people eligible.

On final day of introduction, the house defeated or did not hear some other relief measures, leaving the Senate will few options.

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WPR News
7:42 am
Mon February 25, 2008

Highway fund dies on Senate floor

Laramie, Wyo – An attempt at diverting money into a fund to be used for roads has been defeated in the state Senate.

The bill was intended to earmark a third of the state's severance tax revenue to pay for highway construction. But during final debate, several senators opposed the idea because they did not want the state to return to a system of guaranteeing future money for a specific project.

Senator Tony Ross says that approach has led to difficulties in the past.

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WPR News
7:40 am
Mon February 25, 2008

CBM defeat deals blow to landowners

Laramie, Wyo – The state senate has killed a bill that would have given rights to landowners whose property is flooded or otherwise impacted by water from coal bed methane development.

The controversial bill died on a tie vote, following a lengthy debate. The bill had been heavily amended and Senator Charles Scott of Casper was among those who feared that it tipped the balance too favorably towards landowners.

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WPR News
6:56 am
Mon February 25, 2008

Idaho Makes Dogfighting A Felony

Laramie, WY – Idaho's governor has signed a bill making
running a dogfighting operation in Idaho a felony.

That leaves Wyoming as the last state where such activities are still just a misdemeanor. Wyoming is considering a similar bill to toughen penalties for the practice.

Under Idaho's new law, for-profit dogfighting operations would be punishable by up to five years in jail and $50,000 in fines.

Attending a dogfight as a knowing spectator would be a misdemeanor.

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WPR News
9:41 am
Fri February 22, 2008

DNA bill gets preliminary approval

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming could be among the states that allow inmates to take DNA tests to prove their innocence.

The state senate gave preliminary approval to the bill and it will be heard two more times. Senator Tony Ross presented the bill and sees it as a benefit to inmates as well as police.

Senators eliminated a part of the bill that would have allowed law enforcement to take the DNA who are not yet named suspects in the crime. Law enforcement wanted that part of the law, so they could narrow a list of suspects.

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WPR News
9:38 am
Fri February 22, 2008

House gives preliminary approval to helium tax

Cheyenne, WY – The House gave preliminary approval to the
bill that would tax oil and gas companies for helium extraction on Thursday.
The taxes would bring in more than $2 million in annual tax revenue.
Ed Schmidt is director of the Wyoming Department of Revenue. He says extraction of the helium should be taxed by the state. He says it is the only mineral commodity Wyoming does not currently tax.
The bill would allow the state to tax helium extracted from the ground the same rate as other Wyoming minerals.

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WPR News
9:19 am
Fri February 22, 2008

Conservation Group Supports Wolf Delisting

Laramie, WY – While several conservation groups have voiced opposition to yesterday's wolf delisting, at least one group is supporting the change.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a conservation group based in Bozeman, Montana, says the removal of the wolf from the endangered species list is a step forward. Coalition chairman Todd Graham says it was time to switch from federal protection to local management.

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WPR News
9:16 am
Fri February 22, 2008

Roof Collapse at Construction Site Injures Three

Gillette, Wyoming – At least three workers were hurt when a roof collapsed at a construction site east of Gillette.

Police say none of the injuries were life-threatening.

The accident occurred Thursday evening when a crane was attempting to set a truss. For unknown reasons, all of the
50-foot-span trusses collapsed and fell into the partially built warehouse.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident.

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WPR News
9:14 am
Fri February 22, 2008

DUI Bill Clears House

Cheyenne, WY – It could become easier to get a felony for multiple drinking and driving offenses.

The house passed the measure that would make it a felony for a third DUI conviction in a seven-year span.
Not everyone likes the idea.

Laramie Democrat Jane Warren does not agree with the argument that enhanced penalties will convince a person to stop drinking and driving.

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WPR News
9:13 am
Fri February 22, 2008

Dogfighting Bill Clears the House

Cheyenne, WY – A bill that would make dogfighting a felony has cleared the Wyoming House and is on the way to the Senate.

Wyoming is one of just two states where dogfighting is not a felony.

Lawmakers in the other state, Idaho, passed a felony dogfighting bill earlier this month. The measure now needs only the signature of Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to become Idaho law.

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