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Legislative Report: Governor Signs More Bills [AUDIO]

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

Lawmakers continued to work the supplemental budget bill today on third reading. Gov. Matt Mead continued to sign bills. Amy Richards has more in Thursday’s Legislative Report.

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

Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill today that would extend the sunset date on the state’s film industry financial incentives program. Rep. Rosie Berger says original Senate File 48 is really about economic development.

Rep. Rosie Berger, film bill:

“That’s what, really, the film industry is about, for me, when I started this legislation several years ago in 2007. We actually look at this as creating jobs and enhancing what we all love in Wyoming.”

The governor also signed original House Bill 75, which would require those who are accused of sexual assault, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases within a certain time frame. The bill, co-sponsored by Cheyenne Rep. Ken Esquibel and Sen. Floyd Esquibel, was requested by law enforcement. Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak says the bill will give victims of sexual assault a little piece of mind.

Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak:

“The reason for this is just so we can test a suspect and then give those results to the victim, so the victim can be reassured that they have not received any sexually transmitted disease. And really that’s one of the major hurdles a victim has to overcome before they can proceed on with their counseling and their treatment.”

The governor also signed House Bill 98 that would increase the number of bar and grill liquor licenses in the state. Casper Rep. Tim Stubson says the issue was brought to him by some constituents in Casper.

Rep. Tim Stubson, why this bill:

“And I talked to a number of folks in Casper–developers and business recruiters, those sorts of people–as they talk to people outside the state trying to bring them in, they wanted this as a tool and there were none available.”

Lawmakers in both houses finished third reading on the 2011 Supplemental Budget Bill. Sen. Ray Peterson, a member of the Joint Appropriations Committee, says he was surprised by the number of Senate amendments with money.

Sen. Ray Peterson, funding moves:

“I was expecting a little more conservatism from the Senate, but there are some needs out there, and we’ve got to recognize those needs. Local governments, they were wanting more money, and that’s understandable, so I guess in some ways I was surprised but in other ways not.”

Rep. Amy Edmonds, also a member of J-A-C, says amendments are part of the budget process and every amendment has a constituency.

Rep. Amy Edmonds, constituencies:

“Every member is duly elected and they have things for their constituents that they want to talk to us about so it’s only appropriate that they do.”

In other action.

The full House will debate two education reform bills. Senate files 70 and 146 were both passed out of the House Education Committee on Wednesday. Senate File 70 proposes a statewide accountability system for public education.the bill would require schools to reach student achievement targets determined through several tests. Senate File 146 would link student academic performance to teacher evaluations.

The Senate passed House Bill 74, the validity of marriage bill, on second reading today (Thursday). The bill will be up on third and final reading on Friday.

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

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