Wyoming News Update

Posted in

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

EDUCATION FUNDING

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Senate is favoring spending cuts over putting revenue toward fixing an education funding shortfall.

Senators voted 27-3 Tuesday not to reallocate mineral taxes to education. The House had advocated redirecting $84 million in mineral taxes toward the looming $380 million education shortfall caused by declining revenue from coal, oil and natural gas extraction.

But the Senate has been wary of designating new revenue for education, at least for now.

Last week, the Senate Education Committee nixed a sales tax increase for education proposed by the House. Committee members said they didn't want to commit to a higher sales tax when emergency funding for education hasn't run out just yet.

Senators took a similar position on reallocating mineral taxes Tuesday, saying the measure would be difficult to repeal.

ANTELOPE HUNTS

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A bill that sought to bring parity to separate men's and women's antelope hunts in Wyoming has died in the state House.

Senate File 60 would have guaranteed tags for the new all-women's pronghorn hunt near Ucross in north-central Wyoming. Currently, the annual, men's-only One Shot Antelope Hunt in Lander is provided additional tags by the state Game and Fish Department to ensure each hunter receives a tag.

But the Casper Star-Tribune reports that the bill wasn't debated in the House on Tuesday and died. A vote for force debate on the measure failed 42-18.

Republican Rep. Jim Allen of Lander said the women's hunt has had no problems getting tags in their hunt area while the Lander One Shot hunt is more difficult to obtain a tag.

CODY DEER-CHRONIC WASTING

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — A deer killed by police officers who were culling a herd in Cody has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a contagious neurological disease.

Game and Fish regional wildlife supervisor Alan Osterlund tells the Cody Enterprise (bit.ly/2mGWgmS) that the last time a dead mule deer from the Cody herd tested positive for CWD was April 2015. He says the positive test wasn't a surprise.

Cody officials obtained a permit from Game and Fish to kill 50 urban deer in January and February as part of a deer management plan adopted by the city council last fall.

CWD in deer is similar to scrapie in domestic sheep and goats and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, also known as mad cow disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence that CWD poses a health risk to humans.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The president of the Wyoming Senate has killed a bill that would have made sweeping changes to sentencing and rehabilitation options for low-level offenders.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Republican Sen. Eli Bebout says there were too many issues with the legislation to move it forward. The bill died Friday.

The criminal justice reform bill would have given judges and prosecutors the option to halt court proceedings for those charged with a misdemeanor or non-violent felony and without a previous felony conviction. The person could then have their charges dropped if they successfully complete the terms of their probation.

The bill also would've allowed judges to order substance abuse treatment as a condition of probation.

Bebout says his main concerns with the bill were financial.

UW RESEARCH FACILITY

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — University of Wyoming officials are hoping the school's new oil and gas research facility will help attract leading academics and researchers from around the world.

The Laramie Boomerang reported Tuesday that construction on the 90,000-square-foot High Bay Research Facility wrapped up last month. The building has laboratory, office and meeting space and was designed for research on unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.

School of Energy Resources Director Mark Northam says due to factors such as its location and reputation, UW has faced challenges in bringing in the best and brightest. He says the new research facility will help change that with its unique design and by accommodating academics' needs for doing research.

Northam says a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility will likely take place in August.

GUN BILLS-WYOMING

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Ordinary citizens could carry guns into government meetings and teachers could bring them to school under a pair of bills that have passed the Wyoming Senate.

The measures head back to the House for a concurrence vote before going to Gov. Matt Mead to consider.

The Senate voted 20-10 Monday to allow guns in government meetings except those held in places where guns are prohibited, such as college campuses.

The Senate considered but decided not to change the bill to allow local governments to decide for themselves if they wanted guns at their public meetings. Opponents said confusion could result if some cities and counties allowed guns at meetings and others didn't.

School officials would be allowed to carry guns in schools under a bill that passed the Senate 28-2.

Visit First Northern Bank
view counter
SheridanWyoming.com

Send us a News Tip!

Have a news tip?
Use our anonymous form to let us know.