A bill to raise state fuel taxes by a dime a gallon passed the state Senate Thursday by a vote of 18-12. The bill would raise the tax from the existing rate of 14 cents a gallon up to 24 cents for gasoline and diesel.The hike would raise about $70 million a year, of which roughly two-thirds would go to the state highway department and one-third to local governments. Casper Senator Charlie Scott says he doesn't support the bill for several reasons.

particularly in some of my district where there are a significant number of people with a lower income....

Erin Taylor, with the Wyoming Taxpayers Association, who is part of a coalition who lobbied for the bill, says they've been working on it for over a year.

 what we've done is sat down with people around the state and explained the tax...

The bill now heads to Governor Matt Mead's desk for his consideration.

Laramie Senator Phil Nicholas sponsored an amendment in the supplemental budget bill that would require the the trustees of the university of Wyoming may have to report to the legislature on a range of policies including installation of permanent artwork and the possible razing of historic buildings on campus.Senator Nicholas explains the amendment.

 and this is not an issue about painting, about art exhibition...

Nicholas adds says the university did pretty well in this budget,in particular the school of engineering.

Legislative leaders talked about the accomplishments of the session so far.Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss says getting back on track on the work on education accountability is a good thing.A bill which continues the legislature's accountability work passed second reading in the senate. Rothfuss says a big disappointment for him has been the treatment of state employees.Rothfuss is on the conference committee on a house bill that would boost contributions to the Wyoming's state pension plan. the house rejected a senate amendment that called for the state and employee to split the cost of the increase over the next two years.When the bill left the house, it required the state to cover the 1 percent increase.Rothfuss says it was the one thing lawmakers could do for state employees.

This was the one thing we were giving them, which was we were matching the additional contribution to their retirement system...

Complete Audio

Sen. Scott on gas tax bill

Erin Taylor on gas tax 

Sen. Phil Nicholas on UW artwork

Sen. Chris Rothfuss on retirement