Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House Majority Floor Leader has decided not to introduce a bill that would have brokered a compromise on Wyoming's wolf management plan. House Bill 155 was put together after a discussion with federal wildlife officials. But Majority Floor Leader Randall Luthi says he won't spend any more time on the bill because no major constituency supports it. He says there are so many other bills that do have a lot more support. The Sierra Club's Patricia Dowd is disappointed because it forces litigation.
Cheyenne – A constitutional amendment dealing with a cap on non-economic damages and a series of bills dealing with medical malpractice and insurance reform were the topics of a full day hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Committee members heard several predictable arguments, but Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that it remains clear the issue is a hot topic among many in the state.
Washington, DC – A judge ordered the National Park Service Tuesday to explain why it should not be held in contempt, for allowing more snowmobiles into Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks than allowed under his December ruling. US District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington DC scheduled a contempt hearing for March 9th. In December, Sullivan ordered that only 493 snowmobiles be allowed in the park per day. The Park Service last Wednesday began allowing 780 snowmobiles per day to enter Yellowstone.
Cheyenne, WY – A bill intended to keep same sex marriages from being recognized in Wyoming was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Senate File 85 was sponsored by Gillette Senator Dick Erb. He told the committee that people of Wyoming are independent thinkers, but he has not heard a majority support gay marriages. Cheyenne resident Bruce Hays had a stronger opinion. Hays says for the country to recognize homosexual marriage would be a gradual slide into decadence and immorality.
Cheyenne, WY – Two men found traveling with eight pipe bombs east of Cheyenne are members of white supremacist groups. The bombs wer found in a vehicle and trailer it was towing Monday night on Interstate 80. A state trooper had stopped the vehicle for driving erratically. Gil Salinas of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Cheyenne says authorities have identified the two men. But he could not immediately release their names because it might jeopardize another investigation in Utah. Investigators don't know where the men were headed in the rented vehicle.
Cheyenne, WY – A plan to study children and families in the state survived some opposition in the state House Tuesday. The bill being discussed includes a $200,000 dollar appropriation and would look at how the state uses resources to help children. That includes an examination of the Department of Education, the Department of Family Services and the court system. On the floor Representative Mike Baker spoke passionately about how he supports families but says this is not something government should get involved in.
Cheyenne, WY – Many homeowners around Wyoming told lawmakers that insurance companies have canceled policies after a simple claim. In response, the Wyoming House approved a bill to clarify insurance regulations. Representative Tony Ross says the legislation seeks to establish rules for when a company can cancel or not renew a policy because of a natural cause. Ross says if you have a hail storm come through Laramie county, there are certain perameters when that would be used to not renew or cancel a homeowner policy.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming is going to lose its federal brucellosis-free status after the federal government rejected an appeal by the state. Governor Dave Freudenthal appealed the second finding of brucellosis in cattle at a Worland feedlot because those animals were originally part of the first infected herd. U-S-D-A Chief Veterinarian Ron DeHaven sent a letter to Freudenthal last week saying the federal government cannot grant the state an exemption because their rules and regulations don't allow it.