August 17, 2020
For the next two weeks, it will be fast and furious in the world of Wyoming State Politics. We wanted to offer an overview of the upcoming elections, committee meetings, and the ways that you can GOTV and engage with your state government.
Tuesday, August 18th: Wyoming Primary
Why you should care: Somewhere in excess of 35 State House and 10 State Senate (and plenty of County Commission, City Council, and Mayoral) races will be decided in the Primary Election.
Even more importantly: Your voice is your vote.
If you haven’t already voted and need info on your options, we have a handy Voting 101 on this site. The Secretary of State has a helpful site. And your local County Clerk is the source of your definitive information for your absentee ballot drop off and the location of your polling place.
Wednesday, August 19th: Joint Appropriations
Why you should care:
- First look at the latest Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) Report. It provides insight into Wyoming’s current financial fortunes.
- There are still CARES Act federal COVID-19 relief funds. We want to make sure those funds hit the streets in Wyoming where they have the potential to make a huge impact.
Joint Appropriations often offers significant insight into the direction of the Legislature. Watching on Wednesday might offer some hints about the 2021 General Session (and whether there might be a Special Session later in 2020).
The bills they’ll be talking about can be accessed here and here. And the agenda for the meeting is here.
ps–Your occasional reminder that there are currently *zero* women on this committee.
Thursday, August 20th and Friday, August 21st: Joint Labor/Health
Why you should care: CARES Act again.
We’re in the midst of a public health crisis at the same time we’re making budget cuts to Department of Health, Department of Family Services, mental health and elder care services.
Also Thursday, August 20th and Friday, August 21st: Joint Judiciary
Why you should care: COVID-19, public health, mental health, public meetings, public health (again), and ethics and disclosure.
They are working FOURTEEN (14!) bills at present. You can see all of them in the agenda and link to each of them from here under the “Meeting Materials” tab.
Tune in to listen to ESPC’s own Chris Merrill testify on the Ethics & Disclosure Act. As part of our commitment to transparent government, this is a priority for our organization and coalition. Our mission is to ensure transparent government so that everyone in Wyoming can engage with our state government.
Don’t miss it.
Monday, August 24th and Tuesday, August 25th: Joint Revenue
Why you should care: They’re talking taxes.
Want to know more before you testify or listen in? Then check out the People’s Review: Live! on August 20th. The Co-Chairs of Revenue Sen. Cale Case and Rep. Dan Zwonitzer will be joined by Minority Floor Leader Cathy Connolly for ESPC’s Who Pays? The Budget Crisis and the Future of Taxes in Wyoming.
All the things: Sales tax, real estate transfer tax, taxing certain governmental entities, electricity tax, changing the assessment rate for property tax. And more!
Joint Revenue will also be reviewing last year’s Essential Health Product Dignity Act (repeal of the Tampon Tax!). We’ll tackle this particular tax exemption—and whether or not it is even Constitutional to charge this tax—in a separate Gender Lens Project post next week.
So even if Joint Revenue Committee wasn’t previously on your radar screen for how to spend a couple of days, we encourage you to come to the People’s Review: LIVE, get informed, and then get involved.
Thursday, August 27th and Friday, August 28th: Joint Minerals & Economic Development
Why you should care: Reupping the earlier point: The state is in dire shape right now. What we do around both minerals and economic development will shape our future. (Not as much as taxes, but a lot.)
On August 27th in the afternoon, the Wyoming Council for Women will be testifying and providing a report on their work.
ESPC is partnering with the Wyoming Women’s Foundation and the Wyoming Council for Women on a report about women’s economic impact in Wyoming. That report, authored by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center is due out by the end of 2020.
We’ll put up a post closer to the date with more intel, more details, and to encourage written and public testimony.
How to get involved:
- They now livestream all of the committee meetings, so you can tune in via YouTube.
- You can also testify via zoom by completing this form.
- Or you can comment on a specific item on the agenda by using this form.
And, please, GET OUT THE VOTE!