Wyoming is facing a budget deficit mostly due to revenue shortfalls from energy companies and a loss in sales tax revenue. Lawmakers are starting to realize that they may need to raise money through taxes or fee increases. But while education funding has the attention of lawmakers, local government—specifically cities and towns—fear that they are being left out of the revenue conversation, and without more money communities will struggle to provide services.
President Trump unveiled his budget this week and it’s being met with mixed reactions from Wyoming lawmakers.
The president is proposing massive cuts to safety net programs like Medicaid and Meals on Wheels in order to pay for a defense buildup. He also wants to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by thirty percent, while also cutting the Interior Department’s budget by eleven percent, which critics say would cripple National Park funding.
Following the presidential election, family planning centers in Wyoming experienced a sharp increase in women seeking long-term contraceptives. Recently, that’s begun to slow down. Now, concern from the centers is about around funding and healthcare access.
President Trump’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which would save $1.2 billion. But across the country, this program is a primary source of support for after-school and summer programs that serve students in low-income communities.
There are over 50 programs in Wyoming that would be affected. Wyoming Public Radio’s Education Reporter Tennessee Watson spoke with Linda Barton, director of the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance about why summer camp matters.
Jackson, Wyoming is all about extremes. Folks from across the country flock to the mountain town to summit peaks, to ski fresh powder and to party. Athletes are revered for going over the edge, whereas those who fall into addiction are not. But what if the underlying cause of an avalanche death and a drug overdose are one in the same? The Mindstrength Project is taking advantage of that connection.
Wyoming is scrambling to prepare for the August 21st total solar eclipse which could attract so many people here that it'll double the state's population. But one thing many people may not be prepared for is what to watch for in a total solar eclipse. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with University of Wyoming astronomer Mike Pierce to get some tips. Pierce says this eclipse is known as the Great American solar eclipse because the shadow of it will race at almost 2,000 miles an hour across the entire U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina.
Many communities and hotels in Wyoming are preparing for a busy few days surrounding the August eclipse. State Parks Administrator Dominic Bravo says that it should be very busy in parks along the eclipse.
A K-12 school in northeastern Wyoming is preparing to reopen this fall. The Midwest School closed down a year ago due to a leak from an abandoned gas well. A new ventilation system has been installed and the first round of air sampling tests show encouraging results. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim reports.
Over the last school year, UW Lab School students have been participating in something called “Project Citizen,” a nation-wide initiative that promotes democratic engagement. The school had three groups working on different projects all having to do with waste. Now, one of those projects is helping Laramie restaurants go green. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard reports.