https://betterwyo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/doctor-exam.jpg 507 695 BetterWyoming /wp-content/uploads/2020/07/A-Better-Wyoming_logo.png BetterWyoming2021-05-08 17:27:232021-05-08 17:29:15Wyoming lawmakers eye funding options for Medicaid upgrade
The Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee will take up Medicaid expansion this week, with a focus on translating some of the $1.4 billion Wyoming will receive from the American Rescue Plan into sustainable healthcare funding for low-income residents.
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The Legislature cut more than $100 million from the Wyoming Department of Health’s budget this session, including tens of millions from mental health and substance abuse programs while the state is experiencing a suicide crisis.
https://betterwyo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/young-women-voters.jpg 540 700 BetterWyoming /wp-content/uploads/2020/07/A-Better-Wyoming_logo.png BetterWyoming2021-04-23 17:31:562021-04-23 17:34:13The silver lining of Wyoming’s new voter ID law: A path to online registration
Wyoming’s new voter ID law will suppress turnout, as similar laws have in other states. But by forcing Wyoming residents to show IDs at the polls, the new law also eliminates the main argument against Wyoming adopting online voter registration, which increases youth voter turnout.
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In a last-day legislative surprise, lawmakers from the Wyoming House and Senate failed to agree on the details of a bill that would have dramatically cut public education funding. As a result of legislators’ failure to govern, K-12 schools will be spared budget cuts for now. But the structural problem of our education funding model remains.
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The House and Senate have come up with two different versions of an education funding bill: One that cuts public school budgets, and another that cuts them even more. Lawmakers will end the session tomorrow debating which version will prevail.
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Two identical bills to update Wyoming’s Medicaid program came before the same Senate committee this session. A senator who supported the first bill flipped and killed the second. But not before a movement coalesced that will continue to fight for affordable healthcare access in Wyoming.
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Even as fossil fuel tax revenues plummet, Wyoming remains a rich state with no urgent reason to cut public services from struggling and vulnerable people. It also just received more than a billion dollars in federal aid. Why then, are Wyoming lawmakers eager to cut public funding? Because they want to.
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Members of the “Freedom Caucus” mounted a vigorous attempt to stop a bill to extend Wyoming Medicaid coverage to low-income residents on Wednesday, comparing poor people to livestock and simply denying any problem exists. But they failed, and for the first time ever, a Medicaid expansion bill passed the Wyoming House.
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Many lawmakers explained that they had opposed similar measures in the past. But Wyoming has failed to find an alternative solution, the federal government is offering more funding, and tens of thousands of people in the state still lack access to healthcare. So this year is different.
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Two separate bills to extend insurance coverage to tens of thousands of Wyomingites have advanced thanks to public support and increased federal funding.