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Legislative Report: Gavel Concludes Session [AUDIO]

Wyo Legislature, Karen Snyder, K2 Radio
Wyo Legislature, Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

The gavel came down on the general session of the 61st Wyoming Legislature Thursday. Many lawmakers took time to reflect on what they thought were the some of the good things that came out of the session. Amy Richards has more in Thursday’s Legislative Report.

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This Legislative Report is brought to you by Hilltop National Bank.

Governor Matt Mead, in his closing comments, praised lawmakers for their work on the education issues.

Gov. Matt Mead:

“And I will say, looking at this session, you all worked very very hard on education, very difficult issues, a lot of give and take, and I would say that you’ve done a great job on working on education this session. I asked for a bold approach, and I think you took a bold approach. In addition to school finance recalibration, you addressed a state-design accountability system.”

Freshman Sen. Chris Rothfuss of Laramie agreed that overall lawmakers did a good job in the areas of economic development and education.

Sen. Chris Rothfuss:

“So that’s probably the heavy lifting that we’re going to be doing this summer, and I think that the three key bills, the accountability for education bill, the teacher accountability bill and the recalibration bill, the three of them really set the groundwork for some good education work ahead.”

House Minority Whip Rep. Mary Throne says overall she is pleased with the session especially in the area of education.

Rep. Mary Throne:

“Like the teacher accountability bill, Senate File 70, which we just did finally vote on, I think those are good, and hopefully, and they are creating a process as much as they are creating specific things. I hope over time we can really have the right discussion about education rather than just talking purely about test scores. I hope we can start talking about what it really means to teach our kids.”

Natrona County Sen. Bill Landen says he was very pleased with the session as well. Landen says he was especially pleased that his concussion bill SF 38 finally passed, even though it was amended.

Sen. Bill Landen:

“Well, we wanted to be careful that we didn’t put, we wanted to be careful to take care of our small districts out there because they face some challenges that our bigger districts do not. At the same time, we thought it was important that our junior high and high school athletes out there are a little bit better protected and that we create a little bit better awareness to the concussion injury front.”

Natrona County Rep. Lisa Shepperson says she thinks lawmakers did a good job on curbing spending.

Rep. Lisa Shepperson:

“I think the number-one success has been that we have maintained and controlled our spending. We only spent on what was true emergencies, and everything else we pushed back to wait and reprioritize it in the actual budget session.”

Laramie County Rep. Amy Edmonds, a member of the Joint Appropriations Committee, says keeping spending in check was a priority for her.

Rep. Amy Edmonds:

“For a supplemental budget this is probably the smallest amount of spending we’ve seen in recent years, so I think it was conservative in that aspect, and I think it was a very smooth process. Actually the House and the Senate seemed to be pretty close and the governor seemed to agree with almost everything.”

With the Legislative Report, I’m Amy Richards for K2 Radio News.

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