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Pinedale Online > News > February 2014 > Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 21, 2014
Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 21, 2014
by House District #20 Representative Albert Sommers
February 21, 2014

Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Friday evening. On Friday, we heard third reading amendments on the Budget Bill. We heard nearly 50 budget amendments, and did not finish until after 6PM. A budget amendment passed that put an additional $600,000 into tourism funding, specifically to expand Wyoming’s tourism market into the Seattle Market. Tourism is important to Sublette County and the return on the dollar for this program is substantial, which is why I voted for this amendment. An amendment passed that required the Governor, Wyoming Insurance Commissioner, and director of Wyoming Department of Health to negotiate with the center for Medicare and Medicaid services for a demonstration waiver to provide Medicaid coverage for the Medicaid Expansion population. This amendment further states that NO agency or person on behalf of the state shall commit Wyoming to any expansion of Medicaid until reviewed and approved by the legislature in the 2015 General Session. This demonstration waiver must include some cost sharing provisions, and a premium assistance portion. What I like about this idea is that the legislature and the people of Wyoming will actually get to view a complete program. In the past, we as policy makers have not had a complete, approved plan to view and comment on, but this gives us that opportunity. This amendment is simply designed to study the issue, and will not cost Wyoming any money. We have to look at options to address the $211 million dollars in uncompensated care in the state of Wyoming, or we run the risk of losing our critical access hospitals. We also held the line on the Governor’s recommendation for town and county funding, which was supported by county commissioners, but opposed by the Joint Appropriations Committee. There was an attempt to take back the additional money the House appropriated to Community Colleges, but that effort failed. There was a budget amendment yesterday, on second reading, to help fund local efforts in early childhood education, which is an effort that I support, and there was no amendment run in third reading to repeal that effort. Now the Senate and the House will have to come together and resolve their differences on the budget. This is a real horse trading process, and is hard to follow. Good night for now.

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Pinedale Online > News > February 2014 > Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 21, 2014

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