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March 13, 2014 7:18 am

EDITORIAL: Legislature did its work in smart, efficient manner

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to the Wyoming Legislature for completing an efficient 2014 budget session.

The Legislature adjourned on March 6 after completing its assigned task, passing a $3.3-billion budget for the next two fiscal years. That’s a day earlier than was scheduled.

Gov. Matt Mead signed the state budget bill March 3. Mead was pleased the Legislature approved his request for $175 million for cities, towns, and counties, and we share that sentiment. Let the government entities closest to the citizens and projects make the decisions on how to spend that money.

We applaud the Legislature for not getting bogged down on side issues, especially with the continued drama over State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill and the Department of Education. The Legislature also adjourned early last year, so it has four days already budgeted if it decides to hold a special session to grapple with the Hill matter.

Politicians and lawmakers take a lot of heat, and much of it is deserved. After this well-handled session, they have earned a pat on the back.

Thumbs down to the flooding reported across the state in recent days.

While most of us were hoping and praying for warmer conditions, the damaged homes, flooded-out roads and wet, muddy ground reminds us to be careful what we wish for, since we may get it.

We are glad the snow that piled up in the late-winter storms has mostly disappeared down drains and streams, and hope the spring snow we are likely to get departs at a much easier pace. We’re glad to see signs of spring and ready to let memories of this long winter slowly melt away.

Thumbs up to the passage of SF 97, the economic development enterprise fund bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Matt Mead on Friday.

The bill will create a pool of money for companies to draw from to spur large investments in Wyoming. Originally it was designed to create a $24 million loan for Lannett Co., Inc., which is planning a massive expansion of Cody Labs.

After that proposal was considered in Cheyenne, this bill emerged instead, with additional safeguards attached. The changes are an improvement. State Sen. Hank Coe, R-Cody, sponsored the bill and worked with other local lawmakers and state officials to forge this new version.

We’re glad this was accomplished and look forward to it helping Cody Labs boost the economy in northwest Wyoming.

Thumbs down to vandalism of a visiting school bus in Powell over the weekend. While parked on North Clark Street, the bus was trashed by a vandal or vandals, who also stole some of the students’ belongings.

What a terrible way to treat a team that is visiting our town. The Wright High School speech and debate team was here to compete in a tournament, and it was the team’s first trip to Powell.

“That’s not the way we want teams treated when they come and participate at events in our schools,” Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said Monday.

We know many in Powell agree, and we’re disappointed that the vandalism damaged not only the school bus, but also our town’s reputation.

If you know anything about the crime or saw something unusual on North Clark Street over the weekend, contact the Powell Police Department at 754-2212, via the Crime Tips line at 764-8400 or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thumbs up to the Powell High School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams, which will play to the State Class 3A basketball tourneys, which begin play today (Thursday) in Casper. We also wish the best for the PHS speech and debate team in the state tourney, to be held in Rock Springs Thursday through Saturday.

Both basketball teams have had successful and exciting seasons. The girls enter play as the West’s second seed, while the boys are seeded fourth. The forensics squad will be among five or six teams vying for the top spot in 3A.

Here’s a cheer for all three squads, and a hope they can bring home yet another state title or two — or three — for Powell this weekend.

A big thumbs down to texting drivers who place themselves and others at great risk with their foolish actions.

Last week, a man driving a truck pulling a trailer loaded with 71 head of cattle was in a two-vehicle crash near Casper. Inconceivably, the man was texting while pulling several tons of animal and vehicle.

When another driver ran a stop sign, a huge accident occurred, and 20 cattle were killed. The two men both ended up in a hospital, and thankfully both will recover.

They were cited, however, and we’re glad for that. Nothing is that important that it can’t wait a few minutes, folks. Don’t drink and drive, don’t drug and drive, and for heaven’s sakes, don’t text and drive.


  • Comment Link March 13, 2014 9:01 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    I wouldn't call what Mead,Coe and the other witch hunters "efficient" after the debacle over Hill.The only thing Mead has been "efficient" at is raising taxes.The only thing Coe is good at is witch hunting and begging for money for "his" town.

  • Comment Link March 18, 2014 8:52 am posted by clipstein

    amen disgusted

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