Right before the close of the session, the Wyoming Legislature slipped a small amendment into the budget bill that’s proving to have some big implications. The footnote prohibits the State Board of Education from considering a set of national science education standards that it had been reviewing for more than a year, and as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, it raises questions about whose role it is to establish those standards.
Some businesses have been damaged by the flooding of the Bighorn River in northern Wyoming, and the Red Cross is encouraging other companies to develop plans in case more flooding comes with spring snow melt.
Troy Staples is the Red Cross Business Preparedness Manager for Wyoming and Colorado. He says up to 40-percent of businesses don’t re-open after a disaster.
A District Court Judge has asked for more information before he issues an order allowing State Superintendent Cindy Hill to resume her duties as head of the Wyoming Department of Education.
In January, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that a 2013 law that removed the elected superintendent as department head was unconstitutional. Laramie County District Court Judge Thomas Campbell ordered attorneys for the state and Hill to file written analyzes over the next three weeks on whether any parts of the law are constitutional. Senator Hank Coe of Cody says that’s good news.
Wyoming’s statewide unemployment rate fell very slightly from four-point-four percent in December to four-point-three percent in January. The Wyoming Department of workforce services says most of the state saw improvement from the same time during previous year. But Economist David Bullard says it was not all good, noting that job growth was slow.
Supporters from all walks of life attended the kickoff of a new statewide education campaign that is intended to draw support for same sex marriage. Four same sex couples and the “gay rights” advocacy group Wyoming equality filed lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s law that says marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
Wyoming Equality Chairman Jeran Artery says the issue is important to many people.
A study by several University of Wyoming researchers on salmon spawning in the Pacific Northwest could help pacific fish populations as well as Wyoming trout numbers. Clifford Riebe is an assistant professor in UW's Geology Department and helped author the study.
The report says certain kinds of riverbeds help salmon spawning and since trout and salmon are closely related Riebe says managers in both areas could use the data to grow fish populations.
A tiny footnote in Wyoming’s budget bill is causing a big stir. The state’s science education standards are due for an overhaul, and the Board of Education had been considering a set of national standards called the Next Generation Science Standards to replace them.
The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County will start hauling their waste to a Casper landfill soon. Fremont County has been transporting the reservation's waste to nearby landfills, but an agreement signed between the tribes and the county last summer transferred those duties to the tribes. Executive Director of the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission, Ryan Ortiz says the hold-up has been getting a truck, which is now scheduled to arrive in April.