WPR News
7:42 am
Wed February 13, 2008

Gov: Reject Amendments to Carbon Storage Bill

Laramie, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal says that last-minute lobbying from property owners and the minerals industry is threatening to complicate a bill that lays out rules for storing carbon dioxide underground.

"Everybody is trying to reach over and try to get somebody else's property right," he said.

"And all that bill is intended to do is to confirm the status of the law, not change the relationships, and I encourage people to disregard a lot of these amendments," he added.

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WPR News
7:41 am
Wed February 13, 2008

Property tax breaks still alive in the House

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming House of Representatives discussed another round of bills that would provide property tax breaks, and agreed to debate a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit annual property-tax increases to ten percent.

That bill now heads to the House Revenue Committee for further debate. Jackson Democrat Pete Jorgenson does not object to property tax breaks, he just wants all options studied first.

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WPR News
7:39 am
Wed February 13, 2008

Lawmakers hash out helium tax

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming House of Representatives will debate a severance tax on helium.

A state Supreme Court ruling tossed out Wyoming's old way of taxing helium, so lawmakers will consider a six-percent severance tax on extraction.

House revenue chairman Pete Anderson says many in the minerals industry oppose the bill. But Anderson says the revenue department could still reach an agreement with helium producers to pay a tax of less than six percent.

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WPR News
9:38 am
Tue February 12, 2008

Legislature starts rejecting bills

Cheyenne, WY – The state Senate has voted not to hear a bill that would have increased the number of bar and grill liquor licenses allowed in the state.

It takes a two-thirds majority to introduce non-budget bills in the budget session that started yesterday in Cheyenne.

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WPR News
9:32 am
Tue February 12, 2008

Bill Would Allow Regulation Above 35-Acre Plots

Cheyenne, WY – A bill that would give counties more control over subdivisions is heading to the Senate floor.

Current state law keeps counties from regulating land parcels larger then 35 acres, but the bill would allow regulation up to 140 acres.

The change is opposed by some realtor groups, who think it could restrict the selling of property and the development of subdivisions.

County Commissioners Association Director Joe Evans says the bill would not have a large impact.

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WPR News
9:29 am
Tue February 12, 2008

Community College Funding Bill Dies

Cheyenne, WY – An effort to fund community colleges with a statewide property tax died a quick death.

The Wyoming House of Representatives killed the measure, which would have helped pay for community college services. It was one of the top priorities of the community college commission.

Education Chairman Del McComie says the legislature needs to start dealing with how to properly fund community colleges.

He says this was a fair way to do it, since all of Wyoming benefits from the colleges.

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WPR News
9:26 am
Tue February 12, 2008

Tax Relief Bills Killed, Resurrected

Cheyenne, WY – A pair of property tax relief measures favored by the Governor were killed on introduction by the Wyoming House of Representatives. But legislators resurrected the bills later the same day.

The bills would both change the constitution and set up a way to provide relief to seniors 65 and older who have lived in the state for ten years.

Representative Debbie Hammons says the mechanism would essentially reduce someone's tax bill.

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WPR News
9:22 am
Tue February 12, 2008

Honaker Answers Senators' Concerns

Wash., D.C. – Rock Springs attorney Richard Honaker's nomination to the U.S. District Court for Wyoming has caused a stir among women rights groups.

On Tuesday members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee questioned him on his past anti-abortion activism.

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WPR News
9:18 am
Tue February 12, 2008

Colleages Praise Honaker

Laramie, WY – A U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committe Tuesday considered the nomination of a Rock Spring's attorney for a seat in Wyoming's U.S. District Court.

Attorneys who are familiar with Richard Honaker's career say he would make a fair-minded judge. Rock Springs attorney Ford Bussart has worked on both sides of a case with Honaker for 30 years.

He says Honaker has been equally ethical and aggressive whether they argue with or against each other in court.

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WPR News
8:44 am
Mon February 11, 2008

Freudenthal will think positive in state-of-the-state

Cheyenne, WY – Governor Freudenthal says he plans to accentuate the positive in his state-of-the-state address to the Wyoming legislature this morning.

Freudenthal is starting the second year of his second term. Wyoming's economy shows signs that it may be slowing down for the first time in several years.

The most recent Wyoming revenue projections call for essentially flat state income over the next two years.

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