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Opinion


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  • Legislative Update

    Chip Neiman, Representative|May 30, 2024

    Dear Governor Gordon, Biden’s Bureau of Land Management has issued a new Resource Management Plan to stop all mining projects in the Powder River Basin– the nation’s largest coal producing region and contributor to affordable, plentiful, and clean energy for millions of people. In reaction, you expressed outrage and “profound disappointment” over this bureaucratic death-blow to our State. I’m with you there. It’s outrageous and profoundly disappointing that out-of-touch D.C. pencil-pusher...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Apr 4, 2024

    Dear Editor, Members of the Hulett Moore Hill Cemetery Board met recently for a reorganizational meeting. The current board members are Dale Wood, Alan Ista, Allie Spangler and Hannah Ista. The existing school house was built in the early 1900s and it has been noted that at this time some major repairs are needed including new siding. Anyone wishing to assist with this project may do so by contacting one of the board members. Thank you for any help you may wish to contribute. Sincerely, Moore Hill Cemetery Board Members...

  • From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Mar 14, 2024

    The gavel has come down on the 67th Budget Session for the final time. So much of what I spent my energy on this legislative session involves safeguarding Wyoming conservative principles. I happily take this fight to the state Capitol because it means better lives for Wyoming families, strengthening our economy and preserving the unique way of life that makes Wyoming so exceptional. Much of that comes down to holding the line on the growth of government and spending. It seems the Legislature is...

  • Legislature passes conservative budget, largest property tax reform package in state's history

    Albert Sommers and Ogden Driskill|Mar 14, 2024

    On Friday evening, we gaveled a close to the 67th Budget Session in the Wyoming Senate and House. It was a tumultuous budget year. Yet, despite political differences and policy disagreements, the Legislature passed a conservative, balanced budget that addresses our state's needs and invests in the future. Those investments include funding for nursing homes, preschool for developmentally disabled children and home services for senior centers. The budget supports mental health efforts and funds...

  • From the desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Mar 7, 2024

    The Wyoming Legislature is heading into the fourth and final week of the Budget Session. The biggest lift is still ahead: reaching a budget agreement between the House and Senate. After both chambers finalized our respective budgets at the end of week two, it became clear that there are big differences between the two bills – both in dollar value and priorities. The House and Senate bills are separated by about $1.1 billion, the largest divide that I have seen during my time in the L...

  • Social Security celebrates Women's History Month

    Josh Weller, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Denver, Colorado|Mar 7, 2024

    March is Women’s History Month — a time to focus not just on the past, but also on the challenges women continue to face in the 21st century. At Social Security, we provide vital benefits and financial protection for women. Nearly 55% of people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Today, more women work, pay Social Security taxes and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Women have longer average life expectancies and tend to live more years in retirement than men. This means women...

  • From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Feb 29, 2024

    The Wyoming Legislature marked the halfway point, or “crossover,” of the 67th Budget Session this week. On Thursday, February 22, the House completed its third and final reading of the budget bill, House Bill 1. There’s still a long way to go. Negotiations and debate now begin to find compromise between the House and Senate. The numbers are still fluid and nowhere near final. What’s clear at this point is this: the Legislature is digging too deep into the General Fund. The motto for this bu...

  • From the Desk of Senate President Ogden Driskill

    Ogden Driskill|Feb 29, 2024

    Last week, the Wyoming Legislature marked the halfway point, or “crossover,” of the 67th Budget Session. Both the Senate and House worked late nights to complete final readings of our respective budget bills, which will now head to joint committees for further negotiations. There’s a lot of work to get done, and the hardest is still ahead. Media reported last week that there is a “massive fiscal rift” between the Senate and House budget bills – about a $900 million difference. This owes to a hard right turn by some members of the Senate and...

  • Property taxes, electricity rate hikes among Legislatures top priorities

    Ogden Driskill, Senator|Feb 22, 2024

    By Senator Ogden Driskill This week I had the privilege of convening the Wyoming Senate for the start of the Budget Session of the 67th Legislature. Budget sessions occur on even-numbered years, and, as the name suggests, the primary purpose is to approve a balanced budget, as required by the Wyoming Constitution. As the President of the Senate, I am committed to passing a responsible and fiscally conservative budget that invests in our state's needs to today and saves for the needs of tomorrow. Just as Wyoming's hard-working families have to...

  • From the desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Feb 22, 2024

    As I write this column, the 67th budget session of the Wyoming Legislature is now underway. We are on day five of Wyoming's budget session, which is a shorter, 20-day yearly legislative session primarily focused on prioritizing the state's budget needs. As in the past, I have gone into this session concentrated on controlling and limiting the growth of government. That means closely examining any and all appropriations coming before the House of Representatives – bearing in mind that every d...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Feb 1, 2024

    Dear Editor, The citizens of Crook County have all had a chance to attend the “meetings” on the proposed zoning of the county. If you are not familiar with the Delphi technique that was used at these meetings, please google and study up on it. The Delphi technique used to “facilitate” the meetings was developed by RAND Corp for the U.S. Department of Defense in the 1950s for use as a psychological weapon. But it was soon recognized to be very valuable in manipulating any meeting toward a pre-determined conclusion. The first clue that you are...

  • Property tax and the 2024 legislative session 

    Ogden Driskill and Albert Sommers|Jan 25, 2024

    During and shortly after the Pandemic, much of Wyoming saw significant in-migration of people from other states. This movement of people into Wyoming was a result of our scenic beauty, rural nature, freedoms, and a general sense of restlessness in the nation. The influx of people created a hot real estate market and higher home prices, which resulted in higher residential property taxes, as assessed values skyrocketed in select areas. The increases in assessed value and property taxes, however,...

  • 2024 Legislative Preview

    Albert Sommers and Ogden Driskill, House Speaker and Senate President|Jan 11, 2024

    As the Wyoming Legislature readies for 20 days of discussion and debate ahead of the 2024 Legislative Budget Session, we prepare for this work as servants to the people of our communities. Over the past eight months, legislative committees have held 62 standing committee meetings around the state. At these meetings, committees gathered public input and industry perspectives to draft common sense conservative solutions to the problems we face together. As the presiding officers of our respective...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Nov 16, 2023

    It has been seven years, seven months and seven days since we laid my husband to rest at National Cemetery in Sturgis. John Betts, AKA “One Armed John”, “Honest John” and “Dear John” was one of the most patriotic men I ever knew. He loved the Lord, his family, friends and country and would do anything he could to help others. John was the wind beneath my wings and it will be an honor to be laid to rest with him when I pass. John, we miss you. John’s widow, Char Betts...

  • Americans depend on newspapers to stay informed about their communities

    Benjy Hamm, Director, Institute for Rural Journalism, University of Kentucky|Oct 5, 2023

    Nearly 220 million American adults turn to their local newspapers regularly for news and information they need to stay informed, feel more connected to their neighbors and improve their lives and communities. That readership number is based on a recent national study by independent research firm Coda Ventures for the America's Newspapers organization. Most likely, the number of readers is higher. Many people who say they receive news on their phone or from social media instead of newspapers...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Aug 17, 2023

    Dear Editor, To the citizens of Crook County: in 2022 the Legislature passed a bill mandating training for boards and elected officials. The intent was probably good, however there is a clause that enables removal of persons that don’t comply. The training (possibly indoctrination) is 8 hours!!! Very few people have the time to accomplish this!! Some have been threatened with removal. If you have, please let me know right away. I personally will not comply for several reasons. We offer training for our boards and don’t need the hea...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Apr 27, 2023

    Dear Editor, We won’t know the true scope of wildlife losses till the winter’s snow retreats. I am happy to see the Governor, wildlife biologists and sportsmen’s groups are already working to restore wildlife populations devastated by the perfect storm of a severe winter following years of extreme drought. As you can imagine, the winterkill animals have been a windfall for predators and their numbers are still strong. In the next couple of months, baby lambs, calves, deer and antelope fawns and elk calves will become the main source of food...

  • Op-ed: The 67th General Session positions tomorrow's Wyoming leaders for success

    Ogden Driskill and Albert Sommers, Senate President and Speaker of House|Mar 9, 2023

    On March 3, the Wyoming Legislature gaveled out the end of the 67th General Session. The work your elected officials achieved was remarkable. As the leaders of the House and Senate chambers, it is our privilege to report out the accomplishments of this body’s work, which are strengthening the future of Wyoming, starting with strong investments in education. Educating Wyoming’s children is perhaps the single greatest investment our state can make. Public education is the crucible of democracy and the very foundation of our system of government....

  • From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Marjority Floor Leader|Mar 9, 2023

    With the 67th General Session of the Wyoming Legislature complete, I am encouraged by the good work that has been done for the people of Wyoming and am especially heartened at the prospect of being home and seeing my family, friends and neighbors after a 40-day Legislative session. Thank you, for this honor to serve you. I would like to highlight a few notable bills and new laws that I followed closely throughout the session: HB0152 has been an important a priority of mine the entire session....

  • From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Mar 2, 2023

    We are on the downhill slope as the Legislature finishes its seventh week. Deadlines are approaching and debate is speeding up to ensure bills important to the people of Wyoming are heard. Strengthening families is one of my most important priorities this session and I have been hard at work ensuring their voices are heard and we do all we can to support them with a focus on moving legislation that protects our children, helps people with medical issues receive medication they need, and saving...

  • Speaker of the House: I'm focused on Wyoming solutions, not out-of-state influences

    Albert Sommers, Speaker of the House|Mar 2, 2023

    Throughout the last decade serving as a Representative in the Wyoming State Legislature, I have consistently used the following metric to assess legislation: does it solve a Wyoming problem with a Wyoming solution? Some bills that come to the Legislature do not come from Wyoming but instead from another state, or they are templates from a national organization. Bills not crafted in Wyoming often take a one-size-fits-all approach that demands the Wyoming Legislature’s due diligence to ensure a bill solves a problem and does not create a new o...

  • From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Feb 23, 2023

    The end is in sight as we conclude the sixth week of the 2023 Legislative Session. This week, budget negotiations were finalized by members of the House and Senate, and we continue to debate many bills with important impacts on Wyoming. As always, as discussions on legislation continue, my thoughts are on what a bill’s outcomes will mean for House District 1. Here are some notable measures that are moving through the legislative process: Budget bill Although I am pleased with the savings f...

  • From the Desk of Senate President Ogden Driskill

    Ogden Driskill, Senator|Feb 23, 2023

    With just a couple of weeks left of the Legislative Session, I am happy to report that good, steady work continues at the Capitol. This has been one of the smoother legislative sessions I have been a part of, and we have mostly been able to work out problems without too much hassle. I hope the House and the Senate will keep on finding ways to work together and compromise. If that happens, there is a chance we will get all of our work done early and come home. Updates on a few key bills follow: Budget: The House and Senate agreed on a final...

  • From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman

    Chip Neiman, Representative|Feb 16, 2023

    As the 67th General Session of the Wyoming Legislature passes the halfway mark, I write with a grateful heart for the honor to serve you and a firm resolve to continue the good work on behalf of the people of Wyoming. As Majority Floor Leader, my focus has been on Wyoming families, preserving our freedoms and saving for our children and grandchildren’s futures. I would like to take a moment to cover a few bills that the Legislature has been discussing in these areas this week. Wyoming f...

  • From the Desk of Senate President Ogden Driskill

    Ogden Driskill, Senator|Feb 16, 2023

    As the Wyoming Legislature passes the halfway mark, I am taking the time to think about the past month and the remaining weeks ahead. As we started out, we set the stage by focusing on the kitchen table and pocketbook issues that Wyoming people are faced with today. As the Senate President, I set the expectation that the members carry out this good work on behalf of Wyoming folks while showing respect and treating each other well. I am proud of where we stand today. Serving in the Wyoming Senate for over ten years now, I have seen just about ev...

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