CHEYENNE — Gov. Matt Mead commended legislators for tackling tough issues during the general session that ended Wednesday afternoon.

Unfortunately, he noted, the lawmakers have been subject to threats as well as harsh criticism this year.

“I know all of you can take harsh criticism. That’s the business. But what’s not appropriate is the sort of threats about what you have decided or what you have not decided,” Mead said.

Unlike Congress, he said the legislators’ decisions are based on the next generation “rather than the next election or whatever is popular.”

Mead noted that although a lot of good work was performed since the session started in early January, he and the lawmakers disagreed at times.

“There was a little fluctuation on landfills and fires but the magic pen took care of it and I assume we’re all in agreement now,” he said during his talk before the Senate.

Mead was referring to his line-item veto of the budget that gave the state more money to fight wildfires this summer.

In his veto message, the governor noted the state spent about $45 million to fight fires last year. The Legislature approved $32 million for fires plus another $5 million from a landfill fund if necessary. Mead’s veto allows the state access to an additional $30 million from a landfill account for a total of more than $60 million.

The 62nd Wyoming Legislature adjourned Wednesday afternoon — four days short of the maximum 40 days allowed for the general session.

House and Senate leaders from both parties have scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Thursday to review the session’s accomplishments.

The Legislature this year passed two bills that had been introduced for years with no success. One new law allows the state to create a lottery and to participate in multistate lotteries such as Powerball. Another law imposes a 10-cents-per-gallon increase in the state tax on gasoline and diesel fuel beginning July 1.

The Legislature also adopted landmark legislation to strip elected state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill of most of her administrative duties and move her to a separate office.

The state Department of Education will be run by a director to be appointed by the governor from a list of nominees from the state Board of Education. The department currently is being run by an interim director, Jim Rose, director of the Wyoming Community College Commission.

Contact capital bureau reporter Joan Barron at 307-632-1244 or joan.barron@trib.com.

(9) comments

Native9

It is hard work stripping away freedom. Well done boys, well done.

Sage52
Sage52

Doncha just love the gas tax? I can't wait to see what new tax they come up with next time.

pappy

Lets see they the superintendent a figure head against voters wishes, they pass a gas tax against voter wishes, they trash the Governors budget. they attach an unconstuitional amendment regarding guns onto another bill because there is no other way to pass it. And, according to the Governor this was a successful session, where's his head? He should have said this was the most bizarre session in the states history, and that is saying something. They should be very proud. Hopefully voters won't forget what a successful session this wasn't.

Hunter Green

ignorance is bliss with the voters and two of you. I say we just quit repairing roads and then you won't need a gas tax ;)

common joe-joe

Nice job good ol' boys--WE citizens get to take more out of our checks!! We loose more freedom to vote----We will pay more at the pump and at the stores! I believe Hill wanted to be exempted from No Child Left Behind and she was punished for it, but it's okay with the appointed director????? We get the lottery, but NO scratch tickets???? WHO elected these guys???? Wyoming people----WAKE-UP!!!!!

Pops

Just like our posts, talk is cheap.

jc45

Why does't the Wyo. legislature start the first session with a bill to disagree with the African-American Democrat in the Whitehouse on everything, and then get down to the serious things, like naming a state mythical creature and raising taxes?

rigrat
rigrat

Because that's what phony RINO's do best.

Sassy
Sassy

Gov Mead says " Wah wah woh wah wah". ( think Peanut cartoon speak)

Public says- Yes sir Gov Mead

Gov Mead says " Wah wah woh wah wah".

Public Says- Yes Sir Gov Mead- The Legislators sure worked to represent democracy in Wyoming- They wrote bills that countered the public's choice at the polls, they held bills back from the democratic process, they thumbed their noses at the public- heck they even found money after cutting agencies to the bone.

Gov Mead says- "Wah wah woh wah wah".

Public says- Yes sir Gov Mead

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