Legislative Report

 


Dear Neighbors

I’d like to briefly explain Senate File 0104 and the changes made to the duties of our State Superintendent.  My decision wasn’t taken lightly, it is the most heart wrenching “aye” vote that I will probably ever make.  This bill makes the fuel tax seem easy and makes me yearn for my life back on the farm.  When you sent me to represent you, I don’t believe you expected me to do what was easy. 

I’m not sure what I need to say about this bill, so I’ll touch on a few  concerns that were shared with me.  The constitutionality of the move is mentioned often.  The duties of this position are determined by state law and this law is enacted by the Legislature. The State constitution isn’t simple but it is clear.  Our courts have supported this and requires the legislature to oversee and fund the education of Wyoming students. 

My decision was based on the evidence presented during floor debate along with documentation of our troubled condition.   The details of the floor debate are a matter of record and can be reviewed by anyone.

As far as the grudges talked of, neither I nor very many of the citizen legislators carry any kind of a grudge.  In fact, I was a strong supporter, I believed Superintendent Hill would deliver what she promised.  The real truth is that I no longer believe she nor any other elected official can carry out these duties effectively.  The job has become so complex that only a team of highly skilled specialists will be able to implement the mandates, laid out in state and federal statues.  This is what really was decided by senate file 0104.  The problem is a systemic one with issues dating back for decades.  Our present flawed governmental system offers no continuity or stability to Wyoming students.


When I was elected to the House I view my responsibilities as a social and ethical contract with my community and my state.  I believe that though an easy vote would have been “no”, the choice I made honored the Wyoming Constitution and my oath of office.  My hope is that these measures may pave the way for repairing a very broken system of delivering education. 

Sincerely,  John Eklund

 

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