Cheyenne, WY – Community colleges became a focus of debate during discussion on the state budget.
Lawmakers were stingy on additional spending for colleges and in the Senate they rejected over five million new dollars to be stuck into a funding formula for all colleges.
During that discussion there was considerable debate over how colleges should be treated in the future. Senator Gerry Geis of Worland says Colleges are more important now than they have been in the past.
Cheyenne, WY – Those convicted of multiple driving under the influence violations will face a felony on a third conviction under a law being debated in the Wyoming House of Representatives.
The bill raises fines, following a first offense and enhances penalties after that.
Gillette Representative Erin Mercer says people will be guilty of a felony for a third D.U.I. conviction in seven years. She says when they made it a felony following the 4th conviction, it made a difference, and the number of drunk driving cases dropped.
Cheyenne, WY – Two proposals to cut property taxes are emerging from a crowded field of tax relief bills pending in the Wyoming Legislature.
A House bill would establish a property tax refund program for low-income state residents. A Senate bill, meantime, calls for cutting the assessment rates on all industrial and personal property, including residential real estate.
The House has voted to give preliminary approval to its refund program. It's sponsored by the House Revenue Committee.
Cheyenne, WY – Gov. Dave Freudenthal has joined officials from the Southeast in opposing a plan to import about 20,000 tons of nuclear waste from Italy to the United States.
The waste would be shipped to Utah for disposal. Freudenthal wrote the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology and said there's no reason the United States should accept the waste.
Freudenthal said the United States has enough trouble as it is finding storage space for its own nuclear waste.
Laramie, WY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking the Bureau of Land Management to revise its plan for oil and gas drilling on the Pinedale Anticline.
The EPA's Larry Svoboda says the current plan could contaminate ground water with the carcinogen Benzene and put an unhealthy level of ozone in the air, a pollutant that can cause respiratory problems.
Cheyenne, Wyo – A bill that would put greater restrictions on who gets Wyoming benefits has passed a legislative committee.
The bill is sponsored by Colin Simpson of Cody who is trying to make sure those who get federal and state benefits are actually legal aliens.
But at least one person is concerned about the bill. During the committee hearing, Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association Director Lynn Birleffi said that she fears that the bill will put some unfair burdens on her industry.