CHEYENNE– House and Senate majority leaders expressed optimism about the future of Wyoming while outlining their priorities on the second day of the 2019 General Session.
Upon receiving Governor Mark Gordon’s first State of the State address, leaders of the Majority also pledged their willingness to work with the new administration in executing a shared vision for the state.
Republican Majority Priorities
Leaders of the Republican Majority committed to serving the people of Wyoming through several priorities, including:
- Modernizing Wyoming’s tax structure and the state’s fiscal position
- Delivering a more responsive and efficient government
- Diversifying Wyoming’s economy for future generations
- Increasing access for Wyoming families to quality education and affordable healthcare
“We have an exciting opportunity to work with newly sworn-in Governor Gordon, and the other elected officials, on crafting solutions to Wyoming’s greatest challenges,” said Senate President Drew Perkins.
“Closing the budget deficit by broadening the tax base while lowering the overall tax rate is an important discussion we need to have. It is about changing the tax structure, not increasing the burden on Wyoming residents.”
“We must also look towards economic development as an integral part of solving our budget issues – supporting our legacy industries of energy, tourism and agriculture, while also setting our focus on the future,” continued President Perkins. “I want to thank the members of ENDOW Council for their hard work and am committed to giving their recommendations just consideration.”
Opportunity to Look at Solutions to Budget Deficit and Education Funding
“It is with a mixture of gratitude and humility I serve as Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives. It is an honor to serve with the hardest working legislature in America – striving towards one common goal, the betterment of Wyoming,” stated House Speaker Steve Harshman.
“While we have challenges, I see this general session as an opportunity to take a look at long-term solutions to our budget deficit and education funding models.”
Speaker Harshman also addressed the topic of education. “Education is a major focus of this session. Modernizing our approach to funding public education will create a stable model that better serves students, teachers and parents.”
More Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness
“The people of Wyoming are asking for a government that is more responsive, more efficient and more transparent across all agencies. We owe it to the people of Wyoming to continue the work of the Government Efficiency Study; investing in technology, improved processes and most importantly our people to make government more efficient and cost-effective,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan Dockstader.
“Working with the executive and judicial branches, we can achieve a system of government services with value and transparency at the forefront.”
“Key to this will be the continued expansion and enhancement of broadband across the state. Taking our cues from the Broadband Enhancement Plan, the legislature will work with our private and public partners to meet these goals,” continued Senator Dockstader.
“Tackling Wyoming’s healthcare challenges will require a uniquely ‘Wyoming Solution’ that helps lower costs, improve quality and expand access for our citizens,” said House Majority Floor Leader Eric Barlow.
“Healthcare will continue to impact all facets of the Wyoming economy and the pressing issues we face this legislative session including economic development, education, workforce development and closing the budget deficit. Controlling healthcare costs, increasing access and addressing the pressing shortage of providers all deserve due diligence during this session.”
More Information, Debate, and Discussion
President Perkins reiterated the statement from his first speech “The hallmarks of our session and of the 65th Legislature should be, civil, rigorous and open debate, transparent and open processes in the legislative process, and proactive and innovative approaches to the problems the problems to Wyoming and her people.
More information, not less; more debate and discussion, not less; better legislation, not more should be our touchstone.”
To follow the work of the 65th Wyoming State Legislature, visit https://www.wyoleg.gov.