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So far BetterWyoming has created 81 blog entries.

Learning to “live within our means” won’t fix Wyoming’s money problems

May 17, 2017

By Nate Martin

My cousin’s son was living in his basement. The kid is 19 years old, and he had been mowing some lawns for cash. But most of his day-to-day expenses were covered by an allowance from his parents.

Last month, my cousin told him: “Son, it’s time for […]

Revenue Committee punts on tax reform, allegedly its top priority

May 15, 2017

What was meant to be the first big step in fixing Wyoming’s budget crisis started with a whimper and ended with a mining-funded happy hour, as the legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee met last week in Saratoga and accomplished essentially nothing.

The importance of the committee’s task can’t be overstated: […]

Fight the Boom and Bust (Part 3): Sales tax and otherwise

May 9, 2017

Increasing sales tax in Wyoming isn’t a very popular idea. A University of Wyoming poll found in 2016 that 59 percent of respondents opposed it—this was, however, before the real extent of the current budget crisis began to set in.

To be sure, sales tax is a regressive tax […]

Fight the Boom and Bust (Part 2): “Sin” Tax

May 9, 2017

A whopping 63 percent of Wyoming voters said they are willing to pay higher taxes, according to a UW poll, but primarily the so-called “sin taxes” of beer and alcohol (81 percent) and cigarettes (78 percent).

Still, proposals to pass these no-brainer increases in the midst of a budget […]

Fight the Boom and Bust (Part 1): Income Tax

May 9, 2017

Wyoming’s boom-and-bust economic cycle—and the state budget surpluses and crises that follow—has gone on so long it seems to some people here almost like a birthright. Or a birth defect.

It’s obvious that that state needs to diversify its economy in order to avoid the radical swings that result […]

“Actual innocence” expert helps Judiciary Committee see past state lawyer’s preposterous claims

May 3, 2017

Imagine you’re sitting in prison, convicted of a crime you did not commit. One day, three years into your 20-year sentence, your lawyer visits and tells you that new evidence has come to light that proves your innocence.

In most states, that would mean you’d be headed home soon […]

Harassing students is business as usual for longtime bully Bouchard

April 26, 2017

When freshman Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) ran the most extreme pro-gun organization in Wyoming, he used mean, juvenile tactics to try to bully every legislator who disagreed with him. He made the NRA look as menacing as a Cub Scout pack.

Last week, Bouchard was in the news after […]

WORST OF WYOMING 2017 (House): Rep. Cheri Steinmetz

April 25, 2017

Competition for 2017’s Worst of Wyoming was as stiff in the House this session as it was in the Senate, where bolo tie-wearing bloviator Sen. Larry Hicks (R-Baggs) took home the prize.

In the House, one lawmaker stood above the others in the mean-spiritedness and small-mindedness of the bills […]

WORST OF WYOMING 2017: Larry Hicks (Senate)

April 24, 2017

There was stiff competition in the Wyoming State Legislature this session for which lawmakers were the absolute worst, in both the Senate and the House.

By bringing forth bills to sabotage Wyoming’s renewable energy industry, transfer federal public lands to the state, and squash civil rights, Sen. Larry Hicks […]

PRESIDENT BEBOUT (Part 4): A failed champion of public land transfer

In this multi-part series, Better Wyoming appraises longtime politician Eli Bebout’s first session as Senate President of the Wyoming State Legislature. Read the first three parts here.

April 22, 2017

It’s not because it was a horrible idea that new Senate President Eli Bebout (R-Riverton) pulled from consideration a resolution that would […]