WPR News
7:51 am
Thu December 13, 2007

National group wants universal insurance

Laramie, WY – A lobbying group for small business is promoting universal healthcare in the United States.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses wants to have its voice heard before the 2008 presidential election.

The group's Wyoming lobbyist Tom Jones says small-business owners need help combating rising healthcare costs, and universal insurance is one way to do that. He says he also believes that universal insurance should be private to the maximum extent possible.

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WPR News
11:56 am
Wed December 12, 2007

Green River Residents Want To Challenge The Smoking Ban

Green River, Wy – A petition is being circulated to force
Green River's new smoking ban to the ballot box.
City Attorney Ford Bussart informed the Green River City Council
that the petition must be signed by 10 percent of the electors in
the city in order to be successful. This would require about 450 to
500 signatures of registered voters.
The ordinance would ban smoking in all Green River public
buildings, including bars and clubs. It has not yet taken effect.
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WPR News
11:54 am
Wed December 12, 2007

Enzi Drafts AML Bill

Laramie, Wy – Senators from Wyoming and Montana have
introduced legislation in Congress that would allow states to
collect abandoned mine land money with no strings attached.
Under a bill approved by Congress and signed by the president
last year, Wyoming should receive an initial $580 million over
seven years and Montana should receive $58 million. Payments would
come from the abandoned mine lands program.
Lawmakers from the two states are frustrated that the federal
government has decided that states must apply for the dollars. That

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WPR News
7:46 am
Wed December 12, 2007

US Senate committee takes up bill to change 1872 mining law

Laramie, WY – On Thursday, a US Senate committee will take up a bill that reforms a 135-year-old mining law. The bill imposes the first-ever federal royalty on certain minerals mined on public land and allows for greater environmental scrutiny of projects.

The president of Riverton-based US Energy Corp, Mark Larsen, says the reform is unnecessary and would only hurt the USS economy. He says the days are over when mining projects left huge environmental problems behind.

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WPR News
7:46 am
Wed December 12, 2007

Freudenthal amused by Enzi AML bill

Laramie, WY – The fact that Senator Mike Enzi has drafted a bill to clarify that Wyoming's Abandoned Mine Land money should come directly to the state mildly amuses Governor Dave Freudenthal.

The Governor says it epitomizes some of the problems in Washington. Wyoming has been owed millions in AML money for years and Freudenthal said it appeared that the delegation resolved the issue last year.

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WPR News
7:44 am
Wed December 12, 2007

I-80 closed between Cheyenne and Laramie

Cheyenne, WY – Stretches of Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie have been closed at times throughout the day by blowing snow and slick conditions.

In addition, no light trailers are advised on I-80 between Laramie and Walcott Junction because of high winds gusting to 50 miles an hour or more.

Wyoming 210 west of Cheyenne was also closed.

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WPR News
7:23 am
Wed December 12, 2007

Fruedenthal unsurprised by scrapped coal co. plans

Laramie, WY – Governor Freudenthal says it is understandable that power companies are reluctant to build major coal based power plants. That is because eventually a energy and carbon policy will be developed by congress and companies want to know what the ground rules are before they begin a major venture. Freudenthal has urged congress to try and approve rules.

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WPR News
7:22 am
Wed December 12, 2007

Barrasso floats driver's license bill, without success

Laramie, WY – Senator John Barrasso today tried unsuccessfully to open debate on a bill that would deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Democrats defeated Barrasso's request for discussion.

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WPR News
8:38 am
Tue December 11, 2007

Senators want AML money - now

Laramie, WY – The office of surface mining is preparing to appropriate $1.2 billion to states and tribes across the country in abandoned mine land money.

Despite heated criticism from mineral states like Wyoming and Montana, the agency wants to pay that money in the form of grants. Officials say the grant process is simplified, the timeline for review shortened, and the paperwork streamlined.

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WPR News
8:38 am
Tue December 11, 2007

Wyoming GOP launches national delegate selection process

Cheyenne, WY – The nation's presidential delegate selection process begins this week in Wyoming.

State Republicans this week and next week are choosing several people to attend county conventions next month, where national delegates will be chosen.

Volunteers for Republican candidates say they are working the phones to get their supporters to turn out at the GOP precinct caucuses, which began Tuesday and wrap up on Dec. 20.

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