Wyoming Legislature update – March 16, 2021
by Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
March 16, 2021
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on March 16th, 2021. The long-awaited blizzard hit Cheyenne Saturday night through Sunday. The storm left over two feet of snow in Cheyenne and up to four feet in other parts of the state. This was the "snowmageddon" that had been predicted. Between snow and wind, the city of Cheyenne froze up and nothing moved but snowmachines. By mid-day on Monday, some traffic was beginning to move, but even through Tuesday morning the city was still a quagmire of stranded vehicles and one lane traffic.
Needless to say, the Legislature cancelled its calendar for Monday and Tuesday, but we hope to resume work on Wednesday, if enough staff can make it to the Capitol to facilitate the work. We will make up the days by extending the session further into April or by working weekends. It is likely we will push back 2nd Reading on HB0173, School finance funding-2, until Thursday. This bill is the multi-faceted solution to Wyoming’s K12 funding shortfall, and it includes funding reductions, revenue diversions, and a penny sales tax for education when Wyoming’s "Rainy Day" fund drops below $650 million. Amendments have been drafted that will debate central office salaries, activities, revenue flows, reserves, phased-in cuts, and whether this last COVID year should be removed from the ADM calculations.
This debate is too important to occur with Legislators absent due to the storm, and that is why we will likely move the bill out another day.
I really worry about the livestock producers where this storm hit. We have reports of ranchers not being able to reach their animals to feed them. For those producers who haven’t been able to reach their cattle or who are calving or lambing during this storm, it is a nightmare come true. My heart goes out to all those folks battling its aftermath.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.