Alan Simpson was born and raised in Wyoming. He served from 1965 to 1977 in the Wyoming House of

State school administrators oppose funding cuts during a 2018 legislative hearing.
Bob Beck

Education was a main topic of discussion during most of the legislative session. As the legislature comes to a close, K-12 education took a $30 million cut and a couple of constitutional amendments that could have done further damage failed. Senate Education Chairman Hank Coe and Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss join Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to size up what happened.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming Legislative session is coming to an end and Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss the lawmakers' progress.

Governor Matt Mead
Bob Beck

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead was in Washington for the National Governors Association Meeting and the nations opioid crisis was a central focus.

The nation is now annually witnessing as many deaths from Opioids and heroin in the nation as were lost during the entire Vietnam War. Governor Mead says policymakers have to think more broadly about the crisis. 

Logo is courtesy of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition

You may have heard a little about Blockchain, but if some people in Wyoming have their way, you will learn a lot about it. Because according to these experts, legislation that Wyoming lawmakers are considering this year could open the floodgates for Blockchain businesses. Some lawmakers are comparing it to the internet boom of the 1990’s and say it could completely change Wyoming’s economic future. 

Senator Mike Enzi (R)


Wyoming lawmakers have mixed reactions to the sweeping federal budget proposal President Trump released this week.

Donald Trump may be President, but Wyoming’s Mike Enzi chairs the Senate Budget Committee and according to the Constitution that gives Enzi a tad more power in the budget debate than any occupants of the Oval Office. Enzi thanks the president for his proposal. 

"I thought it was a good list of suggestions.”  

Bob Beck

In his State of the State message, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said during the economic downturn some budget cuts went too deep, including those felt by the Department of Health and the Department of Family Services.

Laramie Representative Charles Pelkey, a Democrat, said he agrees.

Governor Matt Mead's 2018 State Of The State Address

Feb 12, 2018
Office of Governor Matt Mead

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead delivered his final State of the State address before members of the Legislature in Cheyenne on February 12, 2018. 

The 2018 budget session gets underway today, and Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck will once again oversee coverage. He joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to preview what might be in store.

Wyoming Legislature

Later this month the Wyoming Legislature will be asked to consider a bill that will hopefully stabilize Wyoming’s Air Service. Senate Vice President Michael Von Flatern of Gillette is the main sponsor and he joins Bob Beck to explain the concept.

Kamila Kudelska

As lawmakers are discussing whether to add computer science and computational thinking to the state educational curriculum, they are looking to Powell as an example. Powell is one of only five school districts teaching computer science. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska takes a deeper dive into how their curriculum has developed and persisted throughout the years.

U.S. Capitol Building
Public Domain

Now that the government’s lights are turned back on after last weekend’s three-day shutdown, Wyoming’s lawmakers are joining a growing chorus of Republicans calling for a change to how Congress conducts its day to day business.

Bob Beck

Last year Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke infuriated Democrats when he announced intentions to cut about one third or about 4,000 people from his department. When Congress mostly rejected that plan in its funding bills, Zinke then focused more on a plan to reshape the department by moving key offices out West, to places like Denver. New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall is dubious.

“It looks to me more like a dismantling rather than a reorganization, so I’m very worried about it.”

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Back in November, conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager spoke to a packed audience at the University of Wyoming. After the applause died down a bit, he said, “I’m sure not all of you feel that enthusiastic about seeing me but nevertheless…”

And it was true. Many students weren’t enthusiastic for him to come, calling some of his talks racist and sexist. In fact, they argued university money shouldn’t be used to pay for such controversial speakers.

CC BY-SA 2.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

President Donald Trump told voters he would come to Washington and shake things up, which he surely has but not in the way many people expected. He spent much of last year frustrated that he couldn’t get much of his agenda through Congress. But he did have success unwinding regulations, especially many in the oil and gas industry. While riding the subway under the Capitol Wyoming Senator John Barrasso explains that in the New Year he’s hoping to revive a bipartisan energy bill that lawmakers have failed to get both chambers to agree on.   

Wyoming House for Historic Women

Wyoming is rapidly approaching its 150th anniversary of granting women the right to vote – the first government in the world to do so unconditionally.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

An effort to become more efficient within state government could generate several million dollars in savings.  


The legislature’s management council was told that consolidating human resources, using technology more effectively, and more aggressively going after grants in education could provide the state millions of dollars.  


Wyoming Department of Health

Nearly 3,000 kids in Wyoming have access to a highly subsidized health insurance through a program called Kid Care CHIP operated by the Wyoming Department of Health. Those kids could lose that coverage as soon as April, if Congress does not re-authorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan.


Anna Rader

As part of our series, “I Respectfully Disagree,” Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards journeyed into the heart of Wyoming’s coal country to the city of Gillette up in the northeast corner. Recently, it’s become an intensely divided community. In the last election, Wyoming went in greater percentage to Donald Trump than any other state, but Campbell County was one of the counties that supported Trump more than any other in Wyoming.

A greater sage-grouse male struts for a female at a lek (dancing or mating ground) near Bridgeport, CA
Jeannie Stafford / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new report from the Endangered Species Coalition, a conservation group based in Washington D.C., says decisions on endangered species are undercut by politics. The report examines 10 fish, plant and wildlife conservation decisions where, according to the coalition, science was ignored or suppressed.


State of Wyoming

A former Cheyenne woman claims that Secretary of State Ed Murray sexually assaulted her in 1982 when they worked together at the law firm of Dray, Madison and Thomson in Cheyenne.

Former Democratic U.S. House Candidate Gary Trauner has announced that he will run for Wyoming’s U.S. Senate seat. The seat is currently held by John Barrasso who is up for re-election. Trauner who calls himself an organizational and financial entrepreneur most recently served as the Chief Operating Office of St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Jackson. He said he’s running because government is no longer working.


Senator Mike Enzi (R)

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.

As chair of the Senate Budget Committee Enzi has played a key role in getting the Republican tax reform proposal as far along as it currently is, but now comes the really hard part: melding the Senate bill with the House bill. Enzi is on the conference committee tasked with wedding the two divergent bills. He says he’s not just hearing input from all corners of Capitol.

Bob Beck

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. 

Dave Heath

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.


The Wyoming state legislature passed a law in March 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. So far, a couple of school districts have begun to debate the possibility of introducing such a policy.

Park County School District #6 in Cody is the first school board actually working on drafting a policy that will be introduced to the public on January 8.

Tom Koerner, USFWS Mountain-Plains


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 supported the idea, but he was open to other options. So, he reached out to Shane Cross and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and challenged them to come with a compromise.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

In early November, protests broke out at the University of Wyoming over an invitation to conservative radio host Dennis Prager to speak on campus. On Wednesday, December 6, the UW debate team will face members of the conservative student group, Turning Point USA, that invited Prager to discuss the decision.

Renewable energy organizations who signed a letter opposing certain provisions in the Congressional tax reform bills

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both passed a tax reform bill, and both bills have the renewable energy industry nervous. That includes four organizations 

Amy Sisk/Inside Energy

Wyoming’s Republicans in Washington are hoping to pass broad energy policy in this congressional session after inter-party squabbling in the GOP derailed the effort last year.

In the last Congress, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan energy bill that included Wyoming Senator John Barrasso’s push to expedite the export of Liquefied Natural Gas. That bill garnered support from 85 out of 100 senators but was never sent to the desk of former President Obama. Barrasso was upset that the bill died after negotiations with House Republicans fell apart.