Legislative Update Week 1
February 18, 2022
An Update on 66th Budget Session of the Wyoming State Legislature from Representative Sandy Newsome
Cheyenne, Wyo. – As the 2022 Budget Session of the Wyoming Legislature convened this week, we face a lot of work with a small amount of time. I will be focusing on a number of important issues to District 24, including education, redistricting, government operations, responsible distribution of American Rescue Act (ARPA) funds, among other priorities.
Budget Sessions, which are 20-day sessions and take place on even-numbered years are a compressed version of General Sessions. While non-budget items can be introduced during a budget session, it takes a two-thirds majority vote to allow their introduction. The 66th Budget Session of the Wyoming Legislature is finishing up its first week and today, Friday, February 18, is the last day for bills to be introduced.
As a member of the House Education Committee, I am working on a number of bills that are critical to economic and workforce development for our community. House Bill 31, Wyoming's tomorrow scholarship program is a key measure that is designed to support nontraditional students looking to go to college after they turn 24. If passed into law, the bill will allow up to $7,200 in scholarship opportunities for individuals. This is a key piece of legislation that will help boost the Cody area by providing the region with workers with the credentials and skills needed in the workplace. In developing Wyoming’s workforce, we are also giving more opportunity to our citizens to support occupational mobility and good wages.
We started work on the redistricting bill this Wednesday. Every 10 years, the Legislature is constitutionally required to undertake the redistricting process to match population shifts. Wyoming grew about 2.5 percent over the last year, so the work to redraw legislative districts has been taking place since Wyoming received U.S Census Bureau population data in September.
I am working diligently to deliver a responsible and balanced appropriations bill as we head into this Budget Session with Wyoming’s revenue picture in a better place than original estimates. Debate on this key topic will take place next week.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT
ARPA funds will be a part of the discussion this Session and I am committed to ensuring smart investment and good stewardship of these monies. We must focus on building prosperity in District 24.
HB0044 Mobile home and vehicle titles and transfers.
As a business owner in Cody for over 30 years, Sandy has worked on budgets, financial projects and personnel issues. Her businesses have survived in bad times and thrived in good times. Sandy and Bob have always balanced their budgets and saved money during good times to offset the downturns they knew were coming. This experience has served Sandy well as she has taken on the challenges of the state’s economy.
Sandy is a member of the board on the Forward Cody Board and continues to serve as chairman for three years. Sandy has been an investor since the beginning of this great organization. First and foremost, Forward Cody is focused on retention and expansion of existing Cody businesses. They strive to maintain and enhance our economic status as a community.
Sandy serves on the House Education, Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committees. She also serves as a member of the Wyoming Gaming Commission.
Sandy has lived in Cody with her husband Bob since 1982. They have one son, Wiley.
Citizens interested in following the work of the Wyoming State Legislature can listen online, track bills and contact their legislators at www.wyoleg.gov.