Wyoming News Update

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WYOMING-DEATH PENALTY

CHEYENNE _ A Wyoming Senate committee considers a bill Wednesday to abolish the state’s death penalty.

WYOMING LAWMAKER REMARKS

CHEYENNE _ A Wyoming state lawmaker accused of comparing homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia while talking to a group of high school students denied Tuesday that she made any such comparison but now said she faces "racial slurs" and threats as a result. Republican Sen. Lynn Hutchings said in a statement she didn't intend to demean the Cheyenne Central High School students and believes she treated them kindly. "It is unfortunate, but I now recognize, that my attempts at meaningful dialogue on this specific issue did not come across as I intended," Hutchings said in the statement.

COAL MINE-LAWSUITS

BILLINGS, Mont. _ U.S. officials have again been faulted by a federal judge for failing to adequately consider the potential climate change effects of expanding a massive coal mine in the sagebrush-covered hills of southeastern Montana. U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan recommended in a Monday ruling that the Interior Department be given 240 days to re-analyze the expansion.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-STATE OFFICIALS

Virginia's lieutenant governor has denied newly publicized allegations that he sexually assaulted two women years ago and has vowed to continue serving in office. It's a scenario that already has played out in several other states, with differing conclusions. At least six other statewide elected officials, including Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray, have faced allegations of sexual misconduct since 2017.

CONGRESS-PUBLIC LANDS

WASHINGTON _ The Senate on Tuesday approved a major public lands bill that revives a popular conservation program, adds 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, expands several national parks and creates five new national monuments. The measure, the largest public lands bill considered by Congress in a decade, combines more than 100 separate bills that designate more than 350 miles of river as wild and scenic, add 2,600 miles of new federal trails and create nearly 700,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas. The bill also withdraws 370,000 acres in Montana and Washington state from mineral development.

ELDERLY THEFT _ A 28-year-old woman has admitted to stealing money and gift cards from elderly patients at a care facility in northeast Wyoming.

GAME AND FISH DIRECTOR _ The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has nominated three candidates from Wyoming, Montana and Texas for the agency's director position. Gov. Mark Gordon will interview the three candidates and appoint the new director.

UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS _ Wyoming is closer to allowing a select number of students from neighboring states to qualify for its in-state college scholarship program. The proposal passed an initial vote in the state Senate on Tuesday after earlier clearing the House.

COUNTY OFFICIALS-RESIDENCY _ Wyoming lawmakers have defeated a proposal to require county elected officials to reside in the counties they serve. The proposal passed the House by a wide margin in January but failed on a 29-1 vote in the Senate on Monday.

WIFE KILLED-HUSBAND _ The trial for a Wyoming man accused of killing his wife has been postponed to the one-year anniversary of her death.

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