Cheyenne, WY – The model for funding Wyoming schools will likely change dramatically next fall. Lawmakers are working on a new funding system. Wednesday, the House debated the proposed set-up for the first time and voted for it. It would cost the state an extra 200 million dollars each year. But, Representative Jeff Wasserburger, the chair of education committee, says the extra money will create a funding system second to none. This new system would mean a pay raises and extra training for teachers.
Cheyenne, WY – Carrying a concealed a hand gun in Wyoming may not require a permit anymore. The Wyoming House gave initial approval to a bill Wednesday that would allow this change. There are some requirements like a person cannot have been committed to a facility for abuse of a controlled substance. They also must have lived in Wyoming for 90 days and must qualify to own a gun. Representative Kevin White is a policeman in Laramie. He says he opposed the bill.
Florida – A Wyoming legend has died. Sportscaster Curt Gowdy died Monday at his home in Florida after a long battle with leukemia. He was 86 years old. Gowdy spent seven decades behind the microphone, calling just about every major sporting event for a generation of Americans. But for all of Gowdy's accomplishments on the national stage, he always kept his home state close to his heart, as Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports
Washington, DC – The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has denied federal protection for the Yellowstone cutthroat trout, for the second time in five years. A court order required the agency to reconsider its 2001 decision NOT to list the cutthroat as an endangered species. In its most recent findings, Fish and Wildlife acknowledges the cutthroat faces challenges, but says many former threats to the fish no longer exist. Environmental groups are denouncing the latest ruling, calling it another example of the Bush administration putting politics before science.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyomingites will continue to pay a sales tax on food. A legislative committee killed a bill Tuesday that would have removed the tax on groceries. Recent polls showed overwhelming support for this effort. But five members of the house revenue committee, all Republicans, voted to keep the sales tax on food in place. Representative Gerald Gay, says the reason he voted against the bill is because he supports some other tax relief plans. Gay and the committee did pass bills to give tax relief or refunds to low income, elderly and disabled people.
Cheyenne, WY – Police in Wyoming are having trouble with a loophole in the law. Right now if officers go into a house party where there is underage drinking, they can only arrest people who have alcohol in their hands or are drunk. But, the state House gave final approval to a bill that would allow police to cite anyone under 21 who has consumed alcohol. Representative Keith Gingery sponsored this bill. Gingery says police officers already carry breathalyzers. The bill is now headed to the state senate for approval.