Comments of Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill on SF104
by Cindy Hill, Superintendent of Public Instruction
January 30, 2013
Today (Tuesday, January 29, 2013) I join two courageous citizens of Wyoming in filing a constitutional challenge to SF104.
We do this not because we want to or because it is pleasant, but because we must do this to serve the People's interest in restoring sanity to the legislative process. The suit challenges the raw, unchecked exercise of power of the legislative branch. Our system of government demands that we first respect the People and guide our actions accordingly. The leadership in the Senate and the House, by pushing through this measure with great haste, limiting public input, and engaging in other questionable tactics, have let us down. And today, the Governor has let us down.
Those who control the Legislature behave as if they have absolute power over the People and can pass whatever they want, ignoring the People. They believe that the People will forget.
They behave as if they have total power over the legislative branch of government, the executive branch of government, the judicial branch of government, and over the People. They have it backwards. The power comes from the People. I will press on for the purpose of restraining oppressive control of one branch of government over the others. This is a watershed moment in Wyoming history.
If this exercise of power can stand, then what will those in control do next? Will they strip the Secretary of State of all power7 Will they strip the Treasurer of all power? Why has the Governor turned a deaf ear to the People? If the Governor does not submit to legislative will, will they attempt to remove his powers? How shall we govern ourselves? Will we allow personal agendas to influence or dictate legislation? Or will we govern with balance, reason, and principal, always respecting the People? Legislators received hundreds of emails and phone call after phone call. I am told that some legislators in favor of this bill would not even return the calls of their constituents. When members of the Legislature and the Governor, refuse to listen to the People, then purely
Representatives who seek to impose their will on the People do not serve the People, they seek to control the People. We all must act on the basis of how our actions will be measured long after we are gone. Will those who come after us say that we have lived up to our best? Or will they say that this was the moment when it became permissible for those controlling government to stand over the People? So, with this lawsuit, we shine a bright light 011 what has been and is happening in the halls of the Legislature and in our Governor's office.
President Reagan said, "concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty."
This legislation did not come out of public committee hearings held for the benefit of all citizens. It was conceived in the bowels of the Senate where the few in control reside and this bill demonstrates how power is being accumulated in the hands of a few legislators.
Not all legislators are involved. Some stood up courageously for the People of Wyoming. Others are mere victims of pressure and misinformation.
Quite simply, the Constitution, is under attack.
The Constitution is a mutual set of promises of how we will govern ourselves. Those promises have been broken. The Constitution promises that the Superintendent who you elect will be entrusted with the general supervision of education. Under our Constitution, I am your eyes, ears, and your voice in public education. That was my vow to you when you entrusted this office to me with one of your most precious rights-your vote.
For the past two years, I have kept my promises to the citizens and have upheld the Constitution. I have refused to do business as usual. I have ended questionable contracts and practices that were simply wrong. My staff and I have worked tirelessly to improve instruction.
Ironically, my critics have complained that we have helped teachers grow their students. Who could find fault with that? Due to the fine work of teachers, parents, students, administrators and communities across the categories, for the past two years.
This bill attempts to keep me from working to improve public education, but I am undaunted in my commitment to our children. This legislation seeks to remove the voice of the People. I will not allow the voices of the People to be extinguished. May God shed his grace on all of us during this time and may He continue to bless our great state.