Wyoming’s senior senator, Mike Enzi, is getting a seat at the head table in the GOP’s rush to get a tax reform bill passed in the coming weeks. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington on Enzi’s new role as a part of the select group of Senate and House lawmakers who are now trying to combine the two chamber’s vastly different tax bills.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both passed a tax bill — and that has implications for the energy industry in Wyoming. Renewable energy advocates are not happy while the fossil fuel industry can rest easy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim speaks with a lawyer whose worked on project financing in energy, Allan Marks, about tax reforms impacts on renewables… followed by a conversation with the President of the Western Energy Alliance Kathleen Sgamma about fossil fuels.
On Monday the group ENDOW, which stands for Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, will release its preliminary findings on ways to diversify the state’s economy.
ENDOW has been working while many have been quietly skeptical, but those involved in the effort think they will finally break through.
The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities is launching a five-year strategic plan to advocate for better policies for the disabled in Wyoming. Andy Imparato is a lawyer and the executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. He recently visited the University of Wyoming to help kick off this initiative and discuss the benefits of grassroots advocacy. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard about why having real people tell their stories to policymakers results in better laws.
Budget shortfalls have lawmakers questioning how to fund the most effective education practices. Education consultants hired to advise lawmakers have pointed out that Wyoming’s 56 most successful schools have a few things in common. They emphasize teacher collaboration and provide students with tailored interventions. Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson looks at one approach to success.
This week the legislature’s Revenue Committee pushed off a number of tax measures until the end of January.
The committee has been trying to find revenue to offset losses in revenue that led to massive budget cuts, including a renewed effort to reduce education funding. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard speaks with News Director Bob Beck about this.
The Park County School District six board in Cody is working on a draft policy which would allow employees to carry concealed firearms in schools. This comes after the state legislature passed a law in March of this year allowing school districts to choose whether their employees can carry firearms. Legislatures said the law would help many rural schools in Wyoming that are far away from law enforcement to react to an armed intruder. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska spoke with Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker to discuss how the local law enforcement feels about the policy and what concerns they have if the policy were introduced.
Last winter, protestors packed committee meetings after lawmakers proposed a constitutional amendment to allow the state of Wyoming to take over management of federal lands. Republican Senator Larry Hicks supports the idea, but decided to reach out to Shane Cross and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation who opposed land transfers. He challenged them to come with a better solution.
As part of her series, “I Respectfully Disagree,” Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with Senator Hicks at the dining table of Wyoming Wildlife Federation president Shane Cross on his ranch near Douglas. Hicks says, there is one thing they do agree on…forever protecting access to Wyoming’s wild places.