Pancakes & Politics covered everything from school safety to technology, even protections to funding.
The program sponsored by MHP, LLC, KFBC and Townsquare Media started with introductions and an overview of the bills they sponsored through the session. A common statement throughout their recap was referencing the lack of bill passage. Getting one bill to the Governor’s desk is a great success. Senator Pappas expressed that the session had challenges because of the lack of communication between both chamber, “Communications between both chambers didn’t seem so good.” He further explained that, “The communications between the two Chambers gets more and more degrading each year and it concerns me.”
Overall there were success in Bills issued by the Laramie County Senators and Representatives. From adding neon pink to the mix for hunting safety to passing a bill extending the Hathaway Scholarship deadline. There were many advancements for broadband, technology and even bills which reduce regulatory burdens on business.
“The work on the blockchain bills and other economic development advancement bills were a success this session.” shared Representative Sue Wilson, “Even in an economic downturn we cannot stop the economic development wheel. We need to keep that rolling.”
The Capitol Restoration Project is on time and on budget. This is positive and a great accomplishment according to Representative Wilson as well. Expressed by Senator Tara Nethercott was the importance of the legislation focused on funding a new Carey Jr. High School, funding access for the Community Colleges and that these investments are vital to the State’s youth.
Senator Affie Ellis outlined the legislation which took place which was positive when protecting women and children. Bills include; updated the stalking crimes current law, addressed a penalty for domestic violence, adjusted protection order for victims, placed boundaries on healthcare abilities to prevent abuse and providing k-12 sexual assault and abuse education.
With the limited new coal projects coming to Wyoming there continues to be a revenue deficit. Representative Bill Henderson shared, “Revenue is now where we need to focus our time. We need to do better.” Senator Ellis continued to share that the Revenue Committee will consider proposals to generate new revenue, including corporate taxes and possibly income tax. Keeping a tax base low is important and Senator Ellis expressed to the business audience that they need feedback, input and solutions derived from the business community to help them move forward.
In light of the recent school shootings, how will school safety be prioritized while funding the deficit. Representative Wilson shared there is a budget footnote that declares the school’s ability to spend 10% of major maintenance towards safety.
“I am not an advocate of having guns in school buildings. I have read and seen enough research materials where that doesn’t give me any comfort.” Shared Representative Jim Byrd.
Representative Byrd further shared that the schools need to determine a way to harden schools. Make one entrance and create barriers for entries. This is a method other schools could adopt to increase safety, South High School was shared as a good example of this.
There were many topics covered and the full coverage is available below. Special thank you to the Senators and Representatives who participated in Pancakes & Politics Wrap-Up.