Wyoming Liberty Group
NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) and standardized reading and math test scores are often referred to by Wyoming Liberty Group in its articles about Wyoming K-12 education. Since WLG is not enthusiastic about federal involvement in education, people may reasonably ask why WLG seems to harp on them.
Comprehensive criminal justice reform could increase public safety, save millions of dollars, and give each non-violent offender a second chance.
Over 95% of those incarcerated in Wyoming will eventually be released from prison, so we must consider what to do with these individuals while they are in the state’s custody. Research tell us that lengthy sentences for non-violent, low-level offenders may actually increase the threat of future offenses. Alternatively, equipping non-violent offenders with the tools to become responsible members of the community can maximize long term public safety and minimize state spending on corrections.
Last month, representatives from the Department of Corrections and the Wyoming Board of Parole presented a draft bill to the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee that offers six such tools to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with offenders. Each change invests in public safety and lessens the burden on taxpayers.
Cleaning up “blighted” property is a popular new trend in Wyoming cities. Local government officials and candidates around the state have joined the anti-blight cause. Unfortunately, proposed solutions could erode property rights, impose high costs on taxpayers, and threaten financial ruin for the very people officials and candidates claim to want to help. Owners and occupants of government-targeted property have reason to worry. Blight designation is largely a subjective matter based on personal preference. One person’s blighted property might be someone else’s home on a responsible budget.
Who ever heard of a football team not improving by competing? Practice makes perfect, but perfect gets better through competition. Competition reveals unknown flaws, generates new ideas and improves execution of old methods. Our K-12 education system needs improvement as Wyoming Liberty Group has written previously. Assuming our schools want to get better, maybe competition is part of the answer.
Testimony before the Wyoming Joint Appropriations Committee, October 24, 2016