WPR News
8:30 am
Fri February 29, 2008

State's budget passes with compromise

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The legislature has approved the state budget.

Lawmakers reached a budget compromise in which all state agencies will see a budget increase.

One point of contention was funding for local government. In the end, the deal reached by the house and senate will mean a lot more money for local governments than they currently get.

Appropriations committee co-chairman Frank Philp says it was a good compromise.

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WPR News
8:26 am
Fri February 29, 2008

Provision adds perks to Hathaway scholarship

Cheyenne, Wyo. – Students who already have a Hathaway scholarship and have done well in community college can get even more scholarship money.

That provision is part of a bill that reinstates scholarships that are lost when a student does poorly.

The legislature will pay for two years of a U-W education if students pass 60 hours of classes with a grade point average of three point four.

Some representatives feared that the program was being expanded too much.

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WPR News
8:23 am
Fri February 29, 2008

Women want seat at Capitol

Laramie, Wyo. – An organizer from a women's leadership group says number of seats in the legislature will be up for grabs in the next election, and that's prompting some women to consider a run for office.

Melissa Turley of the Equipoise Fund is one of the organizers of a leadership conference, which was held Friday in Cheyenne.

She says several incumbents have said they will not run in the fall, and that opens up the race. But she says it may take some time.

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WPR News
9:15 am
Thu February 28, 2008

Jackson Rep Says 35-Acre Bill Goes Too Far

Cheyenne, WY – A Jackson representative thinks that the bill that would allow counties to regulate large subdivisions is out of control.

During debate on a bill that allows counties to regulate subdivisions over 35 acres Representative Keith Gingery complained that the bill is too cumbersome.

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WPR News
9:12 am
Thu February 28, 2008

A Hundred More Bison Captured

Laramie, WY – More than a hundred bison were captured for slaughter Thursday as they left Yellowstone National Park, bringing the total captured this winter to 661.

The Montana livestock industry and government agencies say the bison could transmit a disease that causes some pregnant livestock to abort their calves.

With heavy snowfall in Yellowstone this winter, bison have been moving to lower elevations outside the park in search of food.

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WPR News
9:10 am
Thu February 28, 2008

Committee Approves Corporate Regulation Bill

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming representatives will have a chance to strengthen laws that deal with out-of-state businesses that operate in Wyoming.

The bill attempts to crack down on fraud and gives more responsibilities to company representatives in the state, known as registered agents.

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WPR News
9:06 am
Thu February 28, 2008

Senate Passes Campaign Contribution Bill

Cheyenne, WY – An attempt to limit individual campaign contributions was defeated in the Wyoming Senate.

Senator Ken Decaria of Evanston thinks a campaign finance law has taken a wrong term, because individuals will be allowed to increase contributions to candidates.

DeCaria tried to limit individual campaign contributions to $2,500 and cap the amount of such contributions a candidate can receive at $40,000.

He also proposed a variety of other limits.

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WPR News
8:40 am
Thu February 28, 2008

Committee Approves Helium Tax

Cheyenne, WY – The Senate Revenue Committee approved a bill Thursday that would tax helium removed from the ground.

Helium is currently the only mineral commodity in Wyoming not taxed.

If the bill passes, the state would be able to collect six percent severance taxes on helium extracted from the ground.

State Department of Revenue Director Ed Schmidt said helium taxation could mean more than $2 million of additional tax revenues every year.

The bill goes to the full Senate for consideration next.

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WPR News
8:38 am
Thu February 28, 2008

Governor mostly happy with budget session

Laramie, Wyo. – Despite some disappointments, Governor Dave Freudenthal says this year's budget session is going well.

For the most part, the governor says lawmakers have heeded his advice to reign in spending.

"I think in general we have stayed within revenues," Freudenthal told reporters. "I say that cautiously because obviously there are still some bills running around up there that may or may not make it."

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WPR News
8:09 am
Thu February 28, 2008

Castle Doctrine heads to Senate

Cheyenne, WY – The ability to defend your property with deadly force and not retreat from an attack will be debated on the Senate floor.

A senate committee last night approved the so called Castle Doctrine on a 3-2 vote. The measure allows someone to defend their home and get immunity from prosecution if a death occurs. It also says that people do not have to retreat from an attack outside the home.

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