From the Desk of Senate President Ogden Driskill
February 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 budget this week and I was a part of those talks. In the budget bill, we were able to put away $1.4 billion in savings and fully fund Wyoming’s K-12 education system.
I am proud to say this was a record in savings for our state. For every $1 that is spent on running our schools and funding local governments, more than $3.50 goes to savings in this bill. As for the programs that were funded, more than half of that money will go to Wyoming’s schools. This bill was built with our children, grandchildren and Wyoming’s future generations at the center of our work.
SF173 is a bill that I sponsored that makes clear that you cannot have two banks with the same name at the state level. This bill has support from Wyoming’s bankers and simply seeks to prevent confusion. The Legislature passed this bill this week.
SF122 came from my niece Jessee Driskill, who put the bill together and passed it during her time at Girls State. She then brought the bill to the Wyoming Legislature and presented it in Committee while she was working as a Senate Page. The bill provides more flexibility for Wyoming’s out-of-state workforce, who are required to temporarily purchase a worker registration permit from the county treasurer. The bill gives more leeway to these folks and extends the temporary vehicle registration period by 60 days.
SJ007 is a resolution that I sponsored. It serves as a statement that Wyoming stands with Taiwan as a critical trading partner and sister state. This resolution reaffirms Wyoming’s important partnership with Taiwan and stands with the country’s fight against Communism and China. The resolution was strongly supported by both the House and Senate and signed by Governor Gordon on February 15.
SF174 is a big priority for me. It allows for school choice in Wyoming by creating an independent board to oversee the approval of new charter schools in the state and ensure accountability is in place for their performance. This bill is currently being considered by the House and it is facing an upward battle. I am hopeful the House sees the merits of this important bill for Wyoming.
SF176 is a bill that came from Weston County Commissioners that consolidates government and saves money and time. The bill allows for the consolidation of a county’s solid waste districts. This bill will allow the Central Weston and Weston solid waste districts to combine without the need for a special election.
Please email me at [email protected] if you have thoughts on legislation being discussed during this session.