Wyoming Liberty Group
We have discussed how Wyoming’s alcohol regulatory system limits new small business opportunities without effectively deterring destructive behavior attributable to alcohol. The state rankings of alcohol abuse measured by DUI arrests per capita and binge drinking rate highlight some similar rural states that have combined market-friendly liquor licensing with lower levels of alcohol abuse.
West Virginia and Utah are the only two among the ten most responsible drinking states in both binge-drinking and DUI measures. Wyoming isn’t top ten in either. Unfortunately, Wyoming tops the chart in one category – drunk driving arrests per share of population. Therefore, market-oriented liquor license regulations in West Virginia or Utah do not necessarily lead to more irresponsible or dangerous behavior than exist under Wyoming’s current licensing regime.
Wyoming’s disturbing rate of alcohol-related calamity is no secret. Two ways to measure alcohol abuse among adults are to look at DUI arrests per capita and binge drinking rate. These measures show Wyoming leads the nation in DUI arrests per capita and is in the CDC’s second tier of states (out of three tiers) for binge drinking prevalence. Based on these data points, Wyoming’s system for regulating the alcohol market appears to be ineffective in deterring destructive behavior attributable to alcohol.
Boyd Wiggam discusses how the Legislature's Corporations Committee is addressing several local government regulatory trends that can stand in the way of new, private business development in Wyoming with Gary Freeman on KGAB.
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.
A slew of legal cases spanning two decades has been the most powerful force in creating Wyoming's K-12 public education system. These cases have led to the "Dictatorial Behemouth" Wyoming now has as it's education system. With court ordered rules and requirements and continual legislative mandates, Wyoming lives under a monster of its own making.
Continuing from Part 1 of their conversation, "Is Education Litigation Getting in the Way of Education?" listen in as Bob Nelson and Boyd Wiggam talk with Amy Edmonds about possible solutions to this behemouth in K-12 education.