Cheyenne, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal is again calling on lawmakers to make an across-the-board reduction in the state sales tax. The governor wrote to legislative leaders says the mechanism already is in place to reduce the sales tax from 4% to 3.5%. Freudenthal says the 1995 legislature committed to reducing the tax when revenues increased. He says the law stipulates the sales tax should drop for any time the state general fund has more than $35 million at the end of a fiscal year.
Cheyenne, WY – Two attempts to revive a bill to remove the sales tax on food failed Thursday and the bill is officially dead for the legislative session. After unsuccessfully trying to get the house revenue committee to reconsider its opposition to the bill Representative Ann Robinson tried a rare procedural move to get the full house to pull the bill out of committee. But several Representatives including the House Speaker opposed the move, because it might undermine the committee process.
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