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Articles written by Albert Sommers

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  • Sommers and Driskill argue against special sesson

    Albert Sommers and Ogden Driskill|Mar 28, 2024

    Last week, in the aftermath of Governor Gordon’s veto of Senate File 54, the Department of Revenue conveyed to us that the veto would effectively halt any additional legislative efforts toward property tax relief in 2024. However, on Monday, the Department of Revenue informed us that property owners could be notified of the exemption in their September tax bills, although it may lead to some confusion for the taxpayer. This information made us take a second look at whether we would recommend a special session. In the end, we think a special s...

  • 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...

  • Navigating a changing political landscape in Wyoming: A call for voter discernment

    Ogden Driskill and Albert Sommers|Feb 1, 2024

    A new phenomenon is taking root here in Wyoming, where our rural nature and an independent spirit have long defined our political identity. The unmistakable influence of Washington DC-style political messaging has permeated real and virtual spaces, creating a sense of urgency for Wyoming voters to decipher the truth from the lies and half-truths. Now, more than ever, the most crucial task for voters lies in our ability to discern the truth, a skill that hinges on scrutinizing the source. The grassroots integrity of Wyoming’s politics, once b...

  • 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...

  • Op-Ed: Wyoming's Permanent Savings

    Ogden Driskill and Albert Sommers, President WY Senate & Speaker of WY House of Reps|Aug 31, 2023

    Guided by the Wyoming value of “save when you can,” the Legislature over several decades set up endowments and smart savings to help support the state and its people into the future. The system of reserves they created receives income generated off a portion of our mineral taxes and one-time surpluses. This savings structure not only protects our kindergarten through twelfth-grade (K-12) schools and ensures that our state agencies continue to provide critical services to Wyoming citizens; it also allows the taxes paid by the people of Wyomi...

  • 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....

  • 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...