Wyoming Gov. Mead signs schools chief bill; appoints interim director; Hill sues

2013-01-29T15:01:00Z 2013-05-30T19:08:05Z Wyoming Gov. Mead signs schools chief bill; appoints interim director; Hill suesBy the Star-Tribune staff Casper Star-Tribune Online
January 29, 2013 3:01 pm  • 

Gov. Matt Mead has signed Senate File 104 into law, which dramatically reduces the role of the state superintendent of public instruction.

Immediately after signing the legislation, Mead appointed Wyoming Community College Commission Executive Director Jim Rose as interim for the newly created Wyoming Education Department director position.

The process of selecting a permanent director requires the Wyoming State Board of Education to provide three names to the governor. The governor selects from those names and appoints a director by December 1. That appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Meanwhile, supporters of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new law that transfers most of her administrative duties to an appointed director.

Mead was served with the lawsuit in the governor's office immediately after the news conference where he signed SF104.

Hill met afterward with Mead.

“We had just the nicest conversation, the two of us,” Hill told reporters outside the governor’s office.

She declined to identify the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in Laramie County District Court.

“This is a watershed moment in Wyoming history,” Hill said. "The suit challenges the raw, unchecked exercise of power of the legislative branch.”

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(8) Comments

  1. gr
    Report Abuse
    gr - January 30, 2013 5:09 pm
    I did get a Casper Senator to admit that they impeached her and voided an election without giving her a hearing or having an interim study. One first-year house member felt totally comfortable removing her, but did say that the learning curve was rather steap for new members. I have never seen anything like this. It looks like a bunch of spoiled little boys decided to railroad her and found confidence with every trip to the Gov's office. All the talking points came from the same source. We thought DC was bad.
  2. Wyoboomer
    Report Abuse
    Wyoboomer - January 29, 2013 7:58 pm
    Don't give a royals rats butt about Cindy Hill but if this really was about bonifide changes that will benefit Wyoming's schools and education then it would have been done to take effect at the end of a term. It was obvious they were going after her. It is the voters position to remove her not the legislature. Amazes me that the same people that are calling Obama a dictator and saying he is wrong on to use executive orders are orchestrating something like this. Gotta love the Wyoming GOP.
  3. MountainMan
    Report Abuse
    MountainMan - January 29, 2013 7:50 pm
    Cindy Hill for Governor! She would clean up some of those old boy bureaucracies.
    So now we have a Director of education who has not credentials in education and has never taught a kid to read in school. How bizarre can it get? . The citizens need to watch if any of those overpaid staffers in the education department that walked on on Supt Hill start to get their jobs back. Then you will know how the payoff system works!
  4. Don Wills
    Report Abuse
    Don Wills - January 29, 2013 7:05 pm
    WY Citizens asks "why didn't Gov. Mead just stay out of it?" What a naive comment! Gov. Mead orchestrated the entire sordid affair. Do you really think Lubnau and Ross would do this on their own without the Gov. behind them?
  5. WY Citizens
    Report Abuse
    WY Citizens - January 29, 2013 6:17 pm
    Why didn't Gov Mead just stay out of it? He could have followed Article 4, Section 8..If any bill is not returned by the governor within three days (Sundays excepted) after its presentation to him, the same shall be a law.. AND allowed it to be a Legislative issue. I really had hoped that he was above the whole thing.

    SUE CINDY SUE

    I was not a fan of Ms. Hill before all of this but now it is time that people get off the fence and pick a side. This is more is about the voice of the voters, the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches and NOW the division of power between two members of the executive branch.

    Let's hope the Judicial branch show that it is non-partisan as it is suppose to be - otherwise I will lose faith in the whole system.
  6. Wyoite
    Report Abuse
    Wyoite - January 29, 2013 5:19 pm
    Not sure how anyone with a conscience and loves freedom and democracy could support this. Love Ms. Hill or hate her, she was elected by an overwhelming majority of the people to run the schools. If she wasn't doing a good job, impeach and remove her or, better yet, allow the people to remove her at the next election. There is simply no justification for the Governor to pull this stunt. He was a very popular governor that had avoided all the land mines of Wyoming politics, however I believe this move will prove his undoing. This is an outright coup of the people's choice.

    Beware of one who seeks to consolidate power because he knows what is better for your kids than you do. This is very scary stuff, I can't believe it is happening in such a freedom-loving bastion.
  7. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - January 29, 2013 4:48 pm
    Sad day- the electorate should have been consulted.. Bad move
  8. The Wyoming Girl
    Report Abuse
    The Wyoming Girl - January 29, 2013 4:45 pm
    I am very disappointed in our legislature and governor. We the people lost here. Now if the newly appointed director does not do the job, WE THE PEOPLE are screwed. Obviously, the legislature and governor, have no balls to have someone removed from office.
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