Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 14, 2017
by Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
February 15, 2017
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Today in Committee of the Whole we heard Senate Files, including bills that would:
- ensure more local input in school leader accountability statutes
- adjust GPA requirements in the Hathaway Scholarship to include course rigor
- clean up special district statutes to include board training and bid requirements
- increase the loan amounts for the farm loan program
We heard Senate File 31 in Third Reading today. This bill prohibits the collection, retention and disclosure of genetic information without informed consent of the individual, except in certain circumstances. This is a 21st century issue that we wouldn’t have considered a few years ago. The bill creates a significant amount of new statute, in a completely new arena, which means there will likely be refinements to the law in coming years as issues occur. I voted for the bill, even though I felt the exemption section was too inclusive.
Today the Appropriations Committee presented information to the full House about Senate amendments to the budget bill. The Senate has passed amendments that would:
- return money previously cut from the University of Wyoming, community colleges, and the suicide prevention program
- not allow school districts to use state money in a lawsuit
- return money to the Wyoming Pipeline Authority
- cut K12 education by $91.5 million
- cut state employee salaries by 2 percent
The positions of the Senate and the House are far apart, so the conference committee between the two bodies will result in substantial debate. I do not believe the House will allow K12 education to be cut by $91.5 million without further solutions on the revenue side. Remember, the education funding deficit will sit at $400 million per year by 2020, based on current expenditures and revenues. We need a comprehensive solution to K12 funding, not a one-sided solution.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodnight for now.