Washington D-C – Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is angry after being passed over for a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, the powerful panel that oversees taxes and other spending issues. Enzi, a Republican, said earlier this month that it was his ``dream'' to serve on the panel. He had hoped to fill an empty GOP seat on the committee that opened when Mississippi Senator Trent Lott resigned in December.
Washington, DC – A U-S Senate committee is taking a crack at reforming an age old mining law. The law would regulate mining on federal land and some want regulations strengthened. Senator John Barrasso is on the committee that is discussing updating the law that was last approved in 1872. But he wants to proceed cautiously and not burden existing operators. Barrasso fears that going too far would cause some consequences. Barrasso wants a bill that not only does not cost jobs, but actually helps the economy. He says he is especially interested in how in might benefit Wyoming.
Casper, Wyo – A state economist says that new employment figures suggest that a major downturn in Wyoming's economy remains unlikely even as investors remain nervous about the possibility of a nation recession.
David Bullard is senior economist for the Research and Planning Section of the Wyoming Department of Employment.
Bullard says the state's job growth was the second fastest in the country last month. And he says the state's unemployment rate was virtually tied with South Dakota and Idaho for lowest in the nation.
Rock Springs, Wy – Two Rock Springs teenagers face felony charges in what authorities say is a multimillion dollar vandalism case involving damage to heavy equipment. William Michael Ainscough,19, and Eddy Lewis Fall, 18, were each charged with two counts of felony larceny and felony property destruction and defacement in circuit court in Rock Springs on Tuesday. Judge Dan Forgey set bail for both men at $25,000 cash or surety.
Casper, Wy – Some lawyers who represent Wyoming workers injured on the job say they plan to press for changes in the way the state's workers compensation program distributes benefits. The state program paid out about $121 million in benefits to injured workers last year. As of November, it had a growing reserve of $937 million.
Some trade associations have told Wyoming legislators that they want to earn a credit on their premiums because of the large reserve.
Cheyenne, Wy – Governor Dave Freudenthal says federal regulations on carbon dioxide are coming and the state should get ready. He asked the joint judiciary committee today (Wednesday) to support two bills that set up the legal structure for storing carbon dioxide underground. "It's important that as this country moves forwards carbon capture and storage that Wyoming have in place a legal framework that represents the interest of the citizens, both in terms of ownership of the land and in terms of regulation of the activity."