One of our local state legislators says a special session is necessary to discuss the fallout on last year's bill regarding the state education department and its superintendent. News Director Leslie Stratmoen has the update.
Wyoming's state Representative Rosie Berger of Big Horn says the legislature needs a special session to decide how to deal with a bill passed last year that stripped much of the duties from the state superintendent, but which the State Supreme Court now says was unconstitutional.
So, she says, at some point, the legislators must return to Cheyenne to discuss education issues, and because they need time to conduct research on the issue, that puts them back in the spring.
She says it costs about $30,000 a day, for the members of both the House and Senate to be in Cheyenne. But, the money is in the budget, she says, because even after the budget session is complete, the Legislature will not have used up all its allotted days.
As for how much money the state has spent, so far, on the investigation of State Superintendent Cindy Hill and her department, she says she doesn't know. But, she believes whatever the amount is, it's a small price to pay when the fate of our children is involved.
She says legislators are actually gathering the cost figures on Senate File 104, but want to keep the mission separate from the current budget proceedings. That's the bill in question that took the management of the education department from an elected superintendent and put it into the hands of a director appointed by the governor. Even so, she says, they expect to have the figures compiled within the next couple of months.