Legislative Session Peaks at Halfway Point; Budget Bill to hit the Floor

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We're halfway through the state legislative session and things are about to ramp up.

Last Friday was the final day for bills to pass their first reading.

The budget bill is expected to hit the floor this week, which could cause a lot of heated debates in both the House and the Senate.

Senator Drew Perkins shared, “We are rounding the far turn and coming down the far straightaway so it's good to be halfway there.”

The first four weeks have flown by in Cheyenne, but the bill everyone's been waiting for is on its way.

Chris Rothfuss, another State Senator commented, “At this point, it's pretty mixed. There's a lot up in the air, there's a lot to decide. We're going to start the budget early next week. So, there's a long road ahead until the end of the session.”

But before we get to the budget bill, there are many bills headed over to the Senate from the House.

Senator Perkins, “There's probably an excess or right around 200 House bills that'll come over. It is physically impossible for us to work all of those bills.”

“Hopefully they sent us some good bills, but they also probably sent us some bad ones too,” said Senator Rothfuss.

One of those, ‘bad bills,’ according to Senator Rothfuss: The Campus Carry Bill we reported early last week.

Rothfuss, “That's not popular with the faculty, that's not popular with the students; it's not popular with the administration at the university that's in my district. In fact, I don't find a lot of people other than the folks who want to carry guns that it's popular with.”

And now the budget, which hit both chamber's floors today.

“We'll have a full week which is mostly devoted to budget,” said Senator Rothfuss.

The bill has already been released and one cut is stirring up conversation, cuts to personnel.

Rothfuss, “It's this continued theme of just trying to cut, cut, cut. It's not strategic in my view.”

Senator Perkins said, “If you're going to reduce numbers, you can't reduce any significant numbers without actually reducing jobs and personnel and those are really unfortunate but that's the world we live in.”

Legislators expect debates to heat up during the final four weeks.
House bill 236, the omnibus Education Funding bill passed the committee of the on Friday afternoon.

Stay tuned to News 13 for more this week from the Legislative Session in Cheyenne.