Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Legislative sessions report

 


The first half of the 64th Wyoming State Legislature Budget Session concluded last week. In addition to addressing the Budget, the legislature is also working our way through a number of other important bills aimed at diversifying Wyoming’s economy for the long-term, making government more accountable and efficient and ensuring our schools and local communities have the adequate funding they need.

I am honored to chair the House Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee. Our committee has moved forward a number of important bills this session to improve the safety of our roads, support our military members and their families and honor our veterans. One piece of legislation, House Bill 36, Move Over Requirement, would expand requirements for passing emergency vehicles to include road construction employees, snowplows and public utilities.

Another measure, Senate File 31, Veterans' skilled nursing center, would provide a facility for Wyoming veterans who need nursing care. The federal government will pay 65 percent of the cost for construction and Wyoming will loan the remaining 35 percent, to be paid back in full. It will be a cottage, greenhouse type facility at a location to be determined. This will be the first skilled nursing care facility in Wyoming.

Of course, the main purpose of the Budget Session is to work through a two-year budget for state operations and spending. Republicans’ conservative approach to budgeting and continued fiscal discipline have led to substantial savings that have enabled us to weather the recent economic storm and tackle the challenges we face today. In the past year alone, we’ve reduced the size of government and the deficit by 20 percent, from $1.2 billion to $900 million. This session, and moving forward, we’ll continue to chip away at this deficit until we eliminate it completely.

I encourage you to get involved in the legislative process by listening live to the session, tracking bills and following the ongoing work of the House and Senate online at lso.wyoleg.gov. If you have any questions regarding this session or my position on issues important to you, please feel free email me at John.Eklund@wyoleg.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

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