Better Wyoming conducted a series of interviews on important state issues throughout 2016. Below is an interview with Rep. Lars Lone (House District 12).
Do you support or oppose the proposed transfer of federal lands to the state government for management or ownership?
I think that’s a wonderful idea. One thing that people may not realize is that all of the land under federal control can be sold by the federal government, which is currently almost $22 trillion in debt. My theory is that some of those countries that are holding our debt may decide to come back and decide to collect on that debt.
Then we will be in the position where we are a mineral-rich state, and my concern is our minerals being sold to somebody that we have no control over. If those are turned over to the state then we can manage those and we can determine why they are utilized for the betterment of our state.
Is Wyoming spending its education dollars effectively?
Wyoming has one of the highest spending rates per year for education in the nation, but we still rank in the middle of the pack as far as testing goes. I don’t know if our education dollars are being spent effectively. We should be seeing much higher qualification rates from our children when they graduate high school. So I think we need to look to see if our education dollars are being spent properly or if there’s something we can do to improve our child education.
Should the state help pay for early childhood education?
I don’t think we should fund it. If you look at how our education dollars are all being spent, and the education issue, I think we need to look at other options first and see where that money is going and how much we’re spending on children. That’s just going to increase education costs. We need to figure out the problem before we start adding to it.
Should Wyoming raise its worst-in-the-nation state minimum wage of $5.15 an hour?
What does an increased minimum wage do? If it’s $10 an hour, why not go to $15 and then $20? To just raise the minimum wage negatively impacts small businesses so I think people should be paid what they’re worth.
If they’re only doing $10 an hour work, then that’s all they should get. If they’re doing $20 or $30 an hour quality of work, then that’s something that’s got to be negotiated between the business owner and the employee. I don’t think we should regulate that or determine where that should be.
What’s your position on Wyoming expanding Medicaid, which the state has rejected for the past four years?
Some other states such as Ohio have implemented Medicaid expansion and they have seen significant increases in their state’s costs for Medicaid. To use some of these other states as a model, I don’t think is going to be a proper choice for us. In the short term we’re going to have to look at other ideas. I’m a firm believer in capitalism and the free market so I think we need to allow some of our doctors to come up with some of those ideas.
Lars Lone answered a 2016 survey by WyWatch, a conservative nonprofit unaffiliated with Better Wyoming. Unfortunately, the WyWatch website is no longer available, but Better Wyoming had downloaded his responses and provide them here as a public service.
Many states are passing legislation banning abortions where an unborn child is painfully ripped apart limb by limb by a dismemberment procedure. Would you sponsor or co-sponsor and fully support such legislation if elected to the Wyoming House or Senate?
YES, I would be happy to co-sponsor this legislation.
Knowing that the abortion reporting laws in Wyoming are not enforced due to the lack of penalties for failure to report, would you sponsor or co-sponsor and fully support legislation to enhance the penalties for failure to report abortions performed in Wyoming?
YES, I would be happy to co-sponsor this legislation.
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) laws are actively being used across the country to silence those who have religious convictions opposing same sex marriage. If elected to office do you support or oppose passing SOGI laws?
Do you support or oppose a parent’s right to homeschool their children without any governmental interference?
Do you support or oppose national standardized tests forcing teachers at all local levels to teach to a nationalized standard, therefore creating a national curriculum without parental or local school board control?
Do you support or oppose legislation to teach the Bible in public schools not as a theology course but as an elective for History, literature, Social Studies, etc?
Do you support or oppose legislation that would give a business owner (photographer, baker, wedding planner, etc.) the ability to refuse to participate in a same-sex union in Wyoming?
Do you support or oppose legislation opening the doors of female restrooms to anyone claiming to feel like a female at that particular moment, therefore endangering the safety and security of women and children?
What actions would you take to protect women in children in all public restrooms and locker rooms in the state of Wyoming if elected to the Wyoming House or Senate in 2016?
I will support/present legislation that would provide stiff penalties for individuals who violate any laws that put in place to protect the sanctity of privacy of public restrooms.
Do you support or oppose any state, federal or Medicaid taxes funding Planned Parenthood in Wyoming or in the United States?