Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Department of Employment says the state unemployment rate rose very slightly from December to January. Economist David Bullard says Wyoming is still losing jobs, but not as quickly as it was at other points in the past year: "Unemployment continues to edge up - up to 7.6% in January - but the job losses seem to be slowing."
Laramie, WY – Doctors in Wyoming are urging Congress to find a permanent solution to a long-running problem with Medicare. At issue is how much doctors are reimbursed when they treat Medicare patients. The current formula Medicare uses to determine reimbursements depends on the strength of the economy.
Helena, MT – Western governors are telling the Obama administration that regulation of coal ash waste is best done by the states.
The Western Governor's Association is resisting a move by the Environmental Protection Agency to reclassify coal ash as hazardous. The EPA delayed that decision late last year. Doing so would limit where it could be sent for disposal.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, chairman of the governor's group, says the EPA move would undercut what he described as effective regulation by Western states.
Wyoming – Friday morning, the federal government announced that it would not put sage grouse on the endangered species list. That means states will get more money from the feds to help protect sage grouse, and the oil, gas, coal, and ranching industries can continue to operate.
Wyoming – Eight years is apparently enough for Governor Dave Freudenthal. With the First Lady at his side, Governor Freudenthal ended months of speculation this week by saying that he would not seek a third term. That means that state Democrats need to scramble to find a candidate. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports.