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SAVE OUR CHILDREN: Wyo. lawmakers allow thousands of kids to lose healthcare coverage

Wyoming lawmakers—many of whom often claim to want to “save our children”—are standing by as a bureaucratic boondoggle strips 7,500 kids of their Medicaid health insurance.

Book-banning officials begin removing Wyoming public agency leaders

Wyoming’s public sector has struggled to retain quality workers in recent years as lawmakers have slashed wages and the political climate has grown toxic. Now, officials driven by radical religious agendas are removing experienced local leaders, including a longtime public library director and an award-winning school superintendent.

Why is getting support for public preschool in Wyoming like pulling teeth?

The benefits of preschool are clear, but middle-class and rural Wyoming families face huge hurdles enrolling their kids. Most states have public preschool, but not Wyoming—and trying to encourage lawmakers who are busy arguing over hot-button national issues to do something about it is an exercise in frustration and disappointment.

“Voucher” proposal would give Wyo. parents money to enroll children in private, religious schools

So-called “school vouchers” or “education savings accounts” hand over taxpayer money to parents who pull their kids out of public schools and instead enroll them in private, religious, or home schools. The Legislature’s Joint Education Committee will hear such a proposal this week, despite the fact that the Wyoming Constitution prohibits public money from being spent at religious institutions or given to schools that have zero oversight.

Cheyenne Starbucks baristas poised to unionize for better schedules and workplace

Workers at a Starbucks in Cheyenne will vote on Monday whether to join more than 340 other stores across the U.S. and become the first unionized location in Wyoming. The baristas allege a hostile workplace and erratic scheduling, but also are part of a new uptick of organized labor in Wyoming.

Wyoming barriers: Young families struggle to find childcare

More than one third of Wyoming’s population lives in a “childcare desert,” and the cost for those who can find it can equal a second mortgage. While other states take steps to address this nationwide issue, Wyoming lawmakers drag their feet finding solutions.

Wyoming barriers: The high cost of neglecting preschool

Early childhood education sets kids up for success. Children who go to preschool do better in K-12—requiring less help and driving down overall education costs—and they go on to earn more and require less government assistance. But two-thirds of Wyoming kids don’t attend preschool, and the state does not invest a dime in it, creating an early-life hurdle for many children that is both costly and difficult to overcome.

Wyoming barriers: Suicidal students don’t learn much

In the first of a three-part series on barriers to opportunity that young people and families face in our state, Better Wyoming looks at the Legislature’s recent efforts—and failures—to address the growing problem of mental illness among Wyoming K-12 students.

Wyo. Freedom Caucus megadonor subpoenaed for election crimes

Susan Gore, founder of the Wyoming Liberty group and one of the state’s wealthiest political donors, is under investigation by the FBI for making campaign contributions via spies she hired to secretly record her political enemies.

Session recap: The day the ‘Freedom Caucus’ voted for the biggest govt. expenditure in Wyo. history

The “small government” group voted to spend nearly a billion dollars each year of Wyoming taxpayer money to prevent private businesses from requiring masks or vaccines.

Session recap: How Chip Neiman killed dozens of “boring” problem-solving bills

Making sure electricians are safe? Yawn. Training more rural nurses? Booo-ring. Scholarships for community college students to learn trades? What a snooze fest!

These are just some of the bills that House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman singlehandedly killed by not allowing them to proceed to the House floor for debate.

Session recap: The good, the bad, and the ugly of Wyoming’s 2023 state budget

With a windfall of tax revenue from high gas prices, the Wyoming Legislature increased state employee and teacher pay and funded some economic development. But lawmakers failed to meaningfully address the state’s growing housing crisis, and they still would rather invest billions in Wall Street than our own local communities.