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Legislative Report: Committee Rejects Challenge [AUDIO]

The Legislative report from Amy Richards in Cheyenne: A special legislative Committee voted 6-3 to reject a challenge to the eligibility of Laramie Rep.-Elect Matt Greene to hold office.

Former Representative Democrat Seth Carson, who lost to Greene in last November’s election, challenged Greene’s eligibility, saying he did not live in the district for a year preceding his election, as required under the Wyoming Constitution. Greene, a 33-year-old major in the Wyoming National Guard, says he’s eligible because he couldn’t move to the district until after he returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in June. Greene says he is thrilled with the decision of the Committee.

Rep.-Elect Matt Greene:

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“I believe the Committee came to the correct conclusion. They base that on a few different reasons, would be the intent, the affirmative acts to move downtown, demonstrating intent, also deferring to the will of the people.”

Carson says he is glad he had the chance to be heard.

Seth Carson:

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“The result I wanted was obviously thoughtful discussion and consideration of the Committee and they did so. I’m grateful this is going to go to the House floor for further discussion. It was a thoughtful discussion on what the traditional constitutional values are in our state and I appreciate the time of the Committee.”

The recommendation now goes to the full House, which could vote as soon as Monday on whether to seat Greene.

Gov. Matt Mead presented his supplemental budget recommendations to the Joint Appropriations Committee today. Among them a recommendation not to spend an additional $62 million on school capital construction, until a new contractors preference law is passed. JAC Co-chair Rep. Rosie Berger says the two matters are separate from each other.

Rep. Rosie Berger:

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“Based on our Supreme Court directive, that we have to build schools as appropriately as we can, and I think that one of the things we have to keep in mind that we just went through a School Facilities Commission reorganization. And we have been going through how we develop the time-line for construction, or the need, first the need, for school buildings. And I do think we need to look at that seriously and I do think we need to keep that as a separate issue.”

A bill designed to protect student athletes who suffer concussions while playing sports at school passed Committee of the whole in the Senate today. Sen. Bill Landen says Senate File 38, is about the safety of the student athletes.

Sen. Bill Landen:

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“The second thing is really about safety and education. Our goal is to make sure our coaches out there are well educated on the subject of head injuries, and also to pass that information on to our parents because, let’s face it, parents play a big, big role in student activities out there.”

The bill would apply to junior high and high school students in Wyoming’s public schools.

A bill that would authorize the State Land Board to sell the school section parcels located in Grand Teton National Park is in the works.

Jackson Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff:

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“Right now we’re only getting several thousand dollars a year off of grazing fees, so we’d like to do it for several reasons. We’d like to, first of all, generate income for the schools, which is our primary responsibility. And we would like to have the land be in the primary trust, which is where it should be.”

Petroff says they are working out some of the possible legal issues associated with the bill and she expects to file it next week.

With the Legislative Report, Amy Richards for K2 Radio news

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