Posted inCourt

Major Wyoming abortion decisions loom

by Madelyn Beck, WyoFile The last month of the year will be one to watch for those who are both for and against abortion access in Wyoming.  The week of Dec. 11 will feature two significant court hearings and the closing of a Jackson clinic — leaving only one physical facility to provide elective abortions in […]

Posted inEducation

Tribal school officials, lawmakers sketch out performance gap solutions

by Katie Klingsporn, WyoFile FORT WASHAKIE—Wyoming can support tribal schools on the Wind River Indian Reservation with funds for additional language teachers and counselors, substance abuse programs, early childhood education and mental health needs, district superintendents told legislators Friday.  The mental health piece, “I’m sure it would resonate across the state of Wyoming in many different […]

Posted inEducation

Public funds for private schools? Lawmakers advance ‘education savings account’ bill

by Katie Klingsporn, WyoFile A measure to create “education savings accounts” using state funds for parents to pay for costs associated with their children’s preschool education or non-public-school expenses is headed to the legislative session, despite concerns it may not be constitutional.  The Legislature’s Joint Education Committee advanced the bill on Wednesday. Under the measure, Wyoming parents whose […]

Posted inGovernment

Governor Gordon’s budget proposal starts with $20 million in property tax relief and savings

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon has introduced a budget proposal for the next two years, focusing on sustainable spending while addressing current challenges. The governor’s approach addresses the immediate challenges facing the state by making targeted investments — including expanded property tax relief totaling $20 million — while ensuring ongoing spending remains at a sustainable […]

Posted inWyoming

Lawmakers reject California’s property tax system despite GOP backing

by Maggie Mullen, WyoFile The Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee narrowly rejected legislation on Monday that would have implemented an acquisition value-based property tax system in Wyoming to counter soaring home values.  It was the committee’s final meeting ahead of the 2024 budget session and a conclusion to an off-season mostly defined by the debate over how […]

Posted inWyoming

Skeptical public tells Wyoming ‘don’t auction Kelly Parcel’ as developers lurk

by Mike Koshmrl, WyoFile JACKSON—Fourth-generation Jackson Hole cattle rancher Cody Lockhart thought back to his childhood, the days when he’d select his 4-H calf from a herd out at pasture every summer.  Those calves grazed a state-owned section of land in the corner of Grand Teton National Park known as the Kelly Parcel, which could soon go […]

Posted inEnergy

Wyoming’s coal plant carbon capture mandate may tap ratepayers beyond 2030

by Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile A panel of lawmakers has advanced a draft bill to give power plant operators eight more years to comply with Wyoming’s low-carbon emissions standard. The measure, Low-carbon reliable energy standards-amendments, would push back the deadline from 2030 to 2038. It would also exempt regulated utilities with fewer than 10,000 customers, carving out a […]

Posted inWyoming

Property tax ballot measure will slash local funding, report finds

A statewide ballot initiative would effectively halve rising property tax bills for certain residents but would slash education and local government funding. That’s according to a fiscal analysis prepared in October by the Secretary of State’s office and the Department of Revenue.  The proposal, now being circulated for signatures, would exempt 50% of the assessed value for property […]

Posted inWyoming

Ban on delta-8, ‘psychoactive’ hemp substances advances to Wyoming Legislature

by Madelyn Beck, WyoFile A bill to ban hemp substances with synthetic or “psychoactive” components is headed to the Wyoming Legislature, though many lawmakers agreed it’ll need more work when it gets there.  “I don’t have any doubt that this is a work in progress,” said Sen. Bill Landen (R-Casper), who co-chairs the Joint Judiciary Committee. “But I […]

Posted inLegislature

State law can stymie police misconduct inquiries. Legislators may have a fix.

by Tennessee Watson, WyoFile t’s been five years since former Albany County sheriff’s deputy Derek Colling shot and killed Laramie-resident Robbie Ramirez. Yet, because of ambiguities in state law, the agency that certifies police officers in Wyoming still hasn’t been able to access Colling’s personnel records or complete its investigation of his fitness to serve. The […]

Posted inWyoming

Wyoming Guard dedicated to ‘rooting out’ sex offenders, general says

by Mike Koshmrl, WyoFile Faced with allegations that the Wyoming Military Department is plagued by a culture of sexual assault and harassment and that victims are met with excuses, suspicion, hostility and retaliation, Maj. General Gregory Porter says he’s going to great lengths to “root out” offenders. “If we have predators in our ranks, they don’t […]

Posted inWyoming

Legislators want $50M to sue feds over environmental laws

by Angus M. Thuermer Jr., WyoFile Wyoming lawmakers want to earmark $50 million to sue the federal government over implementation of national environmental and natural resource laws. Lawmakers added the proposed $50 million appropriation to a draft bill — Federal land use plans-legal actions authorized — that the Joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee […]

Posted inWyoming

Lummis backs bill to hasten federal permitting process

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The federal permitting process for Wyoming energy producers would be quicker under a bill Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis, R-WY, introduced, according to a news release Lummis’s office sent out today. The Revising and Enhancing Project Authorizations Impacted by Review Act’s provisions include forbidding filing a lawsuit based on the National […]

Posted inLegislature

Wyoming lawmakers skip crossover-voting ban fix, leave loophole intact

by Maggie Mullen, WyoFile As long as voters are willing to jump through some hoops, the crossover-voting ban won’t block all attempts to change party affiliation ahead of the 2024 election.  That’s according to an example laid out in a recent directive Secretary of State Chuck Gray provided to county clerks, which came to light during legislative conversations […]

Posted inWyoming

Legislative panel looks to preserve hemp while snuffing out delta-8 — again

by Madelyn Beck, WyoFile Lawmakers will soon take a second pass at drafting legislation to ban hemp-derived products like delta-8 — which have similar intoxicating properties as marijuana — while preserving the state’s fledgling hemp industry. Earlier attempts at threading this needle were scrapped at a September Joint Judiciary Committee meeting in Casper as an unhappy crowd showed […]

Posted inWyoming

Wyoming outpaces revenue forecast by $177M

by Maggie Mullen, WyoFile The funding picture for Wyoming’s state government just got a lot rosier. Driven once again by higher-than-expected mineral revenues, Wyoming enjoyed a more profitable 2023 than financial forecasters predicted, and similar forces are expanding revenue expectations for the next three years. Nearly all major state revenue streams exceeded January estimates, according to […]

Posted inEnergy

Critics make case against utility’s historic electric rate hike

by Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile CHEYENNE—Rocky Mountain Power officials took the stand here Wednesday to defend the company’s proposed $140.2 million rate hike — a 21.6% increase that’s sparked fear and outrage among its 144,000 customers in Wyoming. The hike would come on top of a 7.6%, $50.2 million “fuel cost adjustment,” resulting in a cumulative 29.2% […]