Wyoming Liberty Group
Recently, Wyoming's revenue from its wind power tax has been in the news. It is is down some 15% compared to last year, with no change in total production. 15% sounds like a lot, especially in the context of falling revenues from coal and other fuels. But let's put that in perspective.
The Cowboy State became the first in the nation to tax wind production when it passed a $1-per-megawatt-hour tax in 2010. Tax collections have bounced around ever since, rising from $2.6 million in 2012 — the first year the levy was imposed — to $4.4 million in 2014. Last year, the state collected $3.7 million.
Boyd Wiggam and Glenn Woods of Boldrepublic.com discuss the recent effort by Wyoming legislative leadership to limit access for to research and information from the Legislative Service Office other members of the legislature.
In civics 101, we learn how government works. Voters elect legislators, legislators pass bills, and bills become law. This side of government is transparent and accountable. But there is another side of government that is far less accountable.
Wyoming citizens face a new threat from the State Legislature. However this threat is not a new tax proposal or another attempt to further regulate daily life. Rather, this threat is a power grab by legislative leadership to further concentrate power over the legislature in the hands of the top legislative offices. This will shift even more control over the rank and file lawmakers from Wyoming voters to micromanaging legislative leaders.
After months of review and mammoth change, the Wyoming legislature sent Governor Mead’s budget back to him for his signature. When the governor sent it back – signed – it had more line item vetoes than ever before.
We won. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will not spend any money on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) until the Supreme Court's stay on the CCP is lifted, if ever.
Here, for the terminally curious, is the longer version.
Sultan of the Taj Mahal Reigned In
The Taj Mahal was lavishly constructed as a mausoleum to bury the favorite wife of a Sultan.
In a similarly excessive approach, some senators with a “spare no expense” mindset are working to return the Wyoming Capitol to its former historic glory. Undeterred by the fiscal crisis, one senate visionary advocated adding a $3 million center for tourists at the Capitol. With the Capitol budget on the brink of the $300 million line in the sand set by Governor Mead, this senate visionary sought to bury this $3 million cost overrun in another budget.