Wyoming Liberty Group
The State Building Commission has a 100-year tradition of managing state buildings, and reviewing and approving construction budgets. It includes the five elected officials, the Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction. With budget responsibility, you might think it plays a part in the Capitol Square Project fiasco, but no. A committee dominated by the legislature, the Capitol Oversight Group, took over that project in 2014, and today, the project scope and costs are spiraling out of control.
Maureen Bader and Reece Monaco from KFBC in Cheyenne discuss the April 2016 CREG update and the need for fiscally responsible leadership in Wyoming. Maureen gave an overview of the Capitol Square Project, the budget overruns and the battle between Senator Phil Nicholas and Secretary of State Ed Murray on whose priorities will reign supreme.
Who knew a State Building Commission (SBC) meeting could include a discussion that perhaps surpassed the limit of orderly conduct? During a presentation on space allocation, a fiery exchange between Senator Phil Nicholas and Secretary of State Ed Murray made it clear that a battle may be brewing over renovation priorities at the Wyoming Capitol. This clash also indicates it may not be so easy for a certain senator to shift the blame for the cost overruns to someone else.
Maureen Bader and Chuck Gray discuss the lack of transparency in one of Wyoming's corporate welfare schemes - Legislatively Determined Investments, on KVOC. Listen as Maureen and Chuck talk about one example of a handout directed at a specific company and how the legislation changed to disguse its true intent.
Maureen Bader and Glenn Woods discuss the use of the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund to pay for subsidized loans to private business. During a time when we have legislative committees talking about new taxes, the last thing the people of Wyoming should be forced fund are handouts to private businesses.
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.