The Wyoming Attorney General's Office is urging the state Supreme Court to rule against Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill's legal challenge to the recent state law that stripped her office of many of its powers.
The AG's Office this week filed a lengthy brief with the court laying out the history of the state's education system.
The AG argues that the state Legislature originally invested the superintendent's job with many of its powers. It says the Legislature had authority to remove those same powers when it passed the law early this year.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead is asking the White House to not evaluate the effects of greenhouse gases that would be emitted by exporting U.S. coal and burning it overseas.
Wyoming is the nation's leading coal-producing state and state officials are concerned about falling domestic demand for coal as a result of global warming concerns. State officials are pushing to secure ports in the Northwest to allow coal exports to Asia.
While Colorado has legalized marijuana, Governor Matt Mead has no interest in seeing Wyoming do the same. During a recent conference call with reporters, Mead was asked if he would support legalizing marijuana in the state. His answer was no.
The legislative panel responsible for drafting a supplemental Wyoming state budget bill recommends that lawmakers reject Gov. Matt Mead's proposal to cut the flow of energy revenues going into permanent savings and school construction.
Mead wants Wyoming to build up its so-called rainy day fund in case the state needs ready cash to deal with projected flat energy revenues in the years to come.
Governor Matt Mead is urging legislators not to dismiss health care issues, but to study them and craft a Wyoming response to the Affordable Care Act. During his state of the state message today, Mead asked legislators to study both the health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion.
This week Governor Matt Mead is submitting his proposed budget to Wyoming legislators. The budget will include some spending priorities, but will also feature a wide range of budget cuts, some as high as eight percent. K-12 education has been viewed by lawmakers as untouchable due to the fact that the state lost an expensive lawsuit over school funding. But Mead believes some adjustments can be made in the amount of spending that goes into new schools.
A second group of conservation organizations is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for removing Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species List. One lawsuit was already filed several weeks ago. The new suit has the same goal, which is to reinstate federal protections for wolves.
Wyoming has promised to maintain at least 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs. But Duane Short with the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance says that’s not enough.
Governor Matt Mead says the future is bright for technology in Wyoming. At the first Wyoming Broadband Summit in Cheyenne today, Mead highlighted recent progress in improving Internet access across the state. In 2011, access to high speed downloads grew from 54-percent to 85-percent of the population, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Federal Communications Commission.
After three years of work, a conservation group and a petroleum companyreached a deal that will prevent gas drilling in the Wyoming range.
The Trust for Public Land announced in Jackson today that it plans to buy out nearly 58,000 acres of oil and gas leases from Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. The leases were for a pristine area of the Bridger-Teton National forest.
Last week, the U-S Geological Survey released testing it did on water wells near the town of Pavillion.
Governor Matt Mead says the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is still reviewing the data and he’s not prepared to comment until he reads their analysis. The Environmental Protection Agency did follow-up testing as well and should release those results soon.
Earlier the E-P-A suggested fracking may have contaminated area water wells. The Governor says if it turns out that the E-P-A results are confirmed, the state will address it.
The Republican Governors Association has released an “Energy Blueprint for America,” which outlines recommendations for a federal energy policy.
The document calls for developing new energy partnerships with Canada and Mexico, approving the Keystone XL oil Pipeline, reducing EPA regulations regarding oil and gas production, and making it easier to use public lands for energy development.
Gov. Matt Mead says those measures would help encourage energy production of all kinds.
Gov. Matt Mead says he opposes a federal proposal to reduce the amount of public land in Wyoming available for possible oil shale development.
Last week, Mead sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management to disagree with their plan that would exclude oil shale development in places with wilderness characteristics and in areas of critical environmental concern.
Oil shale development involves extracting a petroleum-substance called kerogen that can be cooked and potentially turned into a liquid fuel. The process is known to use a lot of water.
A group of Pavillion residents says Wyoming officials betrayed them by delaying the release of information tentatively connecting hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution in the area.
An Associated Press investigation shows that Gov. Matt Mead convinced the Environmental Protection Agency to delay its draft report on the contamination by a full month. Mead and other state officials used the extra time to try and debunk the findings before they could harm the oil and gas industries.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he wants state agencies to look at program reductions but not job cuts when they come up with plans to reduce the state budget.
Because of declining natural gas prices, the governor is asking all state agencies to be prepared to reduce their budgetseight percent by July first of 2013. Mead said during a news conference that many of the reductions can be done without layoffs.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has approved the state’s wolf management plan. It allows wolves to be shot on site in most of the state, with hunting seasons scheduled for an area in northwest Wyoming.
Governor Matt Mead says they are awaiting another peer review by scientists, but they have made some adjustments to hunting regulations that he hopes will make the plan more palatable to critics. Mead remains hopeful that Wyoming’s congressional delegation will keep the management plan from being delayed by the courts. But he believes the plan will stand up to any scrutiny.
The American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC has given Wyoming high marks for its economic policies. The state was ranked number one for its economic performance over the last ten years,and ALEC ranks Wyoming as having the forth best economic outlook.
The group’s Jonathon Williams says some of the reason for this is obviously due to Wyoming’s energy industry. But he credits the state for having the initiative to utilize itsresourceseffectively.
In a February letter to the Department of Energy, Gov. Matt Mead expressed concern that the passive handling of uranium contamination on the Wind River Reservation might not be living up to the DOE’s remedial action plan.
The DOE asserted that the site would clean itself up after 100 years, and despite that uranium tailings were removed from the site decades ago, spikes in uranium were measured in DOE monitoring wells in 2010.
During his state of the state message Governor Matt Mead said that Wyoming is doing well. He said Wyoming does not have the severe budget constraints that other statesface, but that a downturn in projected revenue means that the state has to curb its spending.
“I have not recommended deep across the board cuts to agencies,” Mead said. “Instead I used a targeted approach identifying those areas where we could slow or even reduce growth. Some cuts have been made, but we should distinguish between cuts and reducing growth. There is a real difference.”
Governor Matt Mead says he will try and stay upbeat when he gives his State of the State message Monday morning. While the state has over a billion dollars in reserves, the governor is worried about falling gas prices and the potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars from the state revenue picture. Those potential losses, along with the fact that Wyoming will also have to make up for the loss of some federal stimulus money has led the governor and legislature to recommend some budget cuts. The governor recommended against giving State, University and Community College’s pay rais
It’s time for another round of wildlife project proposals: For the tenth year in a row, the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition is funding projects that benefit moose, elk, wild sheep and other animals.
The money comes from 20 big game hunting licensesthat the governor auctions offeach year, with proceeds going to conservation projects.
Coalition chair Kevin Hurley says wild sheep tags have sold for as much as $55,000 apiece, and he says hunters are willing to pay the price for two reasons.