As Wyoming’s largest media organization, we’re committed to helping you understand what your government is doing and why in one of the nation’s most unique states. The Cowboy State is overwhelmingly conservative, but not doctrinaire. It’s torn between its rural and energy-dependent roots and a possibly economically diverse future. It’s proud of its public schools but wary of their cost amid a funding crisis. And, especially relevant as we head into a doozy of a legislative session, it’s facing an $850 million deficit while the Legislature sits on billions of dollars in reserves. The Star-Tribune’s political team is teaming up to bring you comprehensive coverage of the Legislature’s four-week budget session, where all these contradictions and more will be worked through by Wyoming’s citizen lawmakers.
On this page you'll find everything you need to orient yourself to this year's session. To stay on top of new developments as they happen, make sure to check trib.com/307politics and follow our legislative coverage on Facebook and Twitter. Finally, sign up for the weekly 307 Politics newsletter for a Monday morning round-up of political news from around the state.
The Legislature makes a lot more sense if you know the tensions facing lawmakers and what questions they're grappling with. Here we cover the major storylines that will dictate what legislators do in Cheyenne this year, from how much savings to use to how the House and Senate will differ in their approaches to the budget deficit.
By virtue of their brevity, Wyoming’s legislative sessions are always relatively exciting fo…
- Plus: How to participate in the Legislature, from tracking bills to contacting your representatives
Go deep on education
Next up, in order to make sense of this year's budget process it really helps to understand Wyoming's public education funding crisis. Our education reporter Seth Klamann has followed the issue for the past year and here he brings you an overview of what we can expect the Legislature to do with the state's public schools.
As the Wyoming legislative session draws near, its arguably most pressing issue remains susp…
Bills to watch
This session is mostly about the budget, but that hasn't stopped lawmakers and committees from filing hundreds of bills that aren't about the budget. There's a steep entrance requirement for these measures to be debated -- two-thirds of legislators must vote in favor of introduction -- but on day one, here's the measures we're watching. We'll track them on this online collection so you can stay up-to-date on where they are in the legislative process.
An image is worth 1,000 words
It's a trite expression but perhaps nowhere is it more true than when it comes to the state government's convoluted budget procedures. We have three graphics that outline...
- How a new law is created in Wyoming;
- How the state's revenue has expanded and contracted over the last four decades;
- How Wyoming's K-12 school system is funded.
Names and faces
While each legislator gets the same, single vote on the floor, some lawmakers hold more sway than others. Be it based on their experience, committee assignments or creative ideas, we've gathered up a few important decision-makers to keep an eye on.