A bill that would allow the federal government to trade mineral rights and federal land for two parcels of state land inside Grand Teton National Park has passed the Wyoming Senate.
The swap is needed after the federal government backed out of a previous deal to pay the state for the two parcels. Laramie Senator Phil Nicholas added an amendment that the land would have to be mineral property with proven reserves, so that the swap is worthwhile for the state.
Walt Niekamp and his wife, Dorothy, lived in Casper years ago where they taught in the Natrona County schools. He has never forgotten Wyoming’s hospitality and landscape. Walt describes how his love for Wyoming, as well as his own career in media, inspired him to support Wyoming Public Media.
Wyoming is now offering a new program to victims of crimes that will allow them to request a facilitated meeting with the offender of the crime. The Victim Offender Dialogue Program is the first of its kind in the state for adults.
A bill that would change the way the state handles those who may need to be hospitalized due to mental illness was defeated by the Wyoming Senate.
Right now, a Judge needs to rule on involuntary commitment within 72 hours of a person being detained. The bill allowed a medical professional to require someone to be hospitalized and receive treatment immediately. A court hearing would later determine if someone should be held longer.
Senator Larry Hicks told the Senate that approach violates due process.
The Wyoming House of Representatives began working on a bill that would fund a $269 million renovation of the State Capitol building and the adjacent Herschler Building.
It would repair and modernize both buildings and enhance office space. Some lawmakers questioned the need for the upgrade, but Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says it is long overdue. Lubnau noted that the building features a number of hazards and limitations.
The Wyoming Senate is continuing to work on a bill that will set up a so-called super committee to attempt to fix the law that took powers away from Superintendent Cindy Hill. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that in particular Hill should run the Department of Education and not an appointed Director.
During debate on the bill Senator Curt Meier of LaGrange suggested that the Senate provide specific suggestions to the committee.
The Wyoming Senate killed a bill that would have required DNA testing for those charged with a crime. Information from the DNA tests would then be stored in a database. Senator Drew Perkins of Casper told the Senate that such action violates people's rights.
"Through technology we continue to find more, and more, and more, and more information about us that's stored. We already have in our statutes that if you are convicted of a crime of felony, we store and maintain that DNA. This takes it another step further."