(Hudson, Wyo.) – At the Sunday, April 21, 2013 meeting of the Fremont County Democratic Party at the Hudson Town Hall, Representative Patrick Goggles joined the group and presented a formal report on the recently concluded legislative session. The following is his written report that he shared with the members.
62nd General Session Summary Report,
by Representative Patrick Goggles, D-Ethete
The 62nd General Session is now in the books after a 36 day session, leaving four (additional) days for the 2014 Budget Session. Like previous sessions, each session has its own signature; the signature of this general session can be summed up as the “Hill Bill.” (A reference to the legislation that stripped St. Supt. of Public Instruction Cindy Hill of her direct oversight of the Wyoming Department of Education)
Having stated that, the 62nd Session was contentious to say the least, new and current conservative legislators spouting re-election & election commitments, no growth pledges and ultra-conservative ideologies brought stand-your-ground politics to the floor of the Wyoming House. In addition aggressive lobbying by certain special interests and anti-federal sentiment among conservative house members contributed to contentious floor debate and questionable maneuvering tactics by special interests to expose certain members of the Wyoming House as unpatriotic.
During contentious debate House Democrats proved to be effective statesmen, led by experienced & strong leadership, the result was our votes counted and made a difference! Being out numbered on the floor and in committee, democrats performed admirably at all legislative levels including Leadership. As you may or may not know the legislative membership of Republican to Democrat is 52 Republican – 8 Democrats in the WY House of Representatives.
Given the unbalanced legislative representation, Democrats have worked with due diligence, non-partisan resolve for the good of Wyoming and under these conditions been effective in terms of the minority voice being articulated loud & clear.
Not all is said and done. There were many issues left on the table. Medicaid expansion for one, domestic partnerships, developmentally Disabled waiting lists & waivers, to name a few. In terms of Wyoming’s fiscal condition, Legislature leadership & the majority party continues to stockpile savings in deference to the needs of the disadvantaged poor, the uninsured children & elderly, in Wyoming.
The Democratic Caucus as an institutional organization met on Wednesdays, in open meeting, to discuss House Bills & Senate Files to organize an inform ourselves of intent, amendments and voting strategies in standing committee and General Session readings.
On Thursdays, the Democratic Caucus met with Governor Mead at 7am to discuss legislation of mutual interest. Our meetings with the Governor were very productive and healthy for the Democratic Caucus.
On Wednesdays at 6:30am the Fremont County delegation (Reps. Goggles, Larsen, Miller, Campbell & Senators Bebout, and Case & Geis) met to inform each other of individual pending legislation, committee testimony, amendments, possible vote outcomes, positions of legislation and to meet with Fremont County constituents.
I individually did not sponsor a house bill. I took the lead role in Standing Committee & floor management of HB 21 Peace Officer Immunity and SF 162 Authority to take an Eagle legislation. Both pieces of legislation have been signed into law by Governor Mead. I did co-sponsor 15 house bills and 3 senate files.
As a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives, I am the longest serving Democrat in the House, serving my 5th term. I serve as a member of the Revenue Committee and Management Council.
I have been appointed House Chairman, Select Committee on Tribal Relations by Speaker Tom Labnau, for the 62nd Wyoming Legislature.
Notable legislative topics – 2013 General Session.
SF 104 “Hill Bill” – Education – State Administration
SF 230 School Resource Officers
SF 38 University of Wyoming Board of Trustees
HB 91 – Accountability I
HB 72 – Accountability II
HB 63 Adjunct Professor Initiative Co-sponsor
HB 163 Alternative School
HB 177 Hathaway Success Curriculums
HB 69 Highway Funding
As a member of House Revenue, HB 69 Highway Funding increased the tax on fuel from 14 cents to 24 cents per gallon. I was an “Aye” vote on the legislation.
HB 98 County Fees – co-sponsor with Rep. Glen Moniz (R) Laramie
As a co-sponsor, county fee schedules increased to represent current cost of doing business. I was an “Aye” on the legislation.
HB 104 Federal Nullification (opposed)
HB 103 local preemption (opposed)
HB 105 Guns in School (opposed)
HB 216 Deadly weapons in a courtroom (“Aye” vote)
SF 132 Silencers, suppressors and automatic weapons (“No” vote)
HB 68 Wyoming Life Resources Center
The Wyoming Life Resource Center, home of 90 of Wyoming’s most vulnerable citizens.
I and Rep. Larsen amended this bill on 2nd Reading. “Aye” on the bill on third reading.
SF 60 Medicaid Reform
Democrats attempted to amend the legislation to include “Medicaid Expansion”. Our efforts failed but brought debate to the forefront in terms of those opposed to expansion and those in favor. I was an “Aye” vote to amend in the language of Medicaid Expansion.
LAW ENFORCEMENT –
HB 21 Peace Officer Immunity (signed into law)
HB 27 Wind River Law Enforcement (died in Judiciary Committee)
HB 77 Wyoming Lottery
I was an “Aye” vote on the lottery. The legislation very specifically crafted to power ball and state lottery. No video terminals or scratch tickets. Proceeds to Cities, towns & counties for the first six years then to education.
GAME & FISH
SF 162 – Authorized Taking of an Eagle
As a co-sponsor, legislation amends current statute to authorize the taking of eagles by falconers and by permit issued by USFWS. I was an “Aye” vote of the legislation.
SF 118 Eminent Domain 2 (“No” vote)
HB 228 Transfer of federal lands – study (“No” vote)
HB 81 Large Project Funding (NATURAL RESOURCE FUND)
Supplemental / Reductions
SF 105 School capital construction (K-12)
School Finance – amendments
Submitted by Representative Patrick Goggles