Wyoming News Update

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WYOMING-STATE OF STATE

CHEYENNE _ Wyoming should continue to fight to enable more U.S. coal exports overseas, the state's new governor said in a state of the state speech Wednesday that also called for more spending restraint and better returns on state reserve funds. Republican Mark Gordon criticized permit delays that have prevented significant new coal exports from the Pacific Northwest. He promised more state advocacy on behalf of companies that mine coal.

DES MOINES, Iowa _ A federal judge on Wednesday struck down an Iowa law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation, finding the law violated the constitutional right to free speech. Federal courts have struck down similar laws in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Litigation is ongoing in North Carolina.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-WILDLIFE REFUGES

WASHINGTON _ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing dozens of wildlife refuges to return staffers to work to make sure hunters and others have access despite the government shutdown, according to an email obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The partial restaffing of 38 wildlife refuges is angering wildlife groups, who accuse the Trump administration of trying to minimize the public impact of the more than two-week-old shutdown to limit the political blowback for President Donald Trump. Trump and Democrats in Congress are locked in a dispute over Trump's demand for billions of dollars for a wall on the southern U.S. border.

BARRASSO-ENZI-SENATE _ Wyoming's two Republican U.S. senators have retained their committee chairmanships in Washington.

RARE INFECTION-WYOMING _ The Wyoming Department of Health says a patient being treated at the Cheyenne hospital has found to have a rare antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.

JACKSON-BAG BAN _ The Jackson Town Council has voted to ban plastic bags from the resort community in northwest Wyoming.

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