Rep. Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander. File photo.
(Lander, Wyo.) - The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee declined on Friday to put its support behind a draft bill that would sell the current Wyoming Life Resource Center property near Lander and construct a new facility.
Rep. Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander, confirmed to County10.com that Committee Co-Chairman Rep. Elaine Harvey’s motion to approve the bill that she sponsored was not seconded and therefore not voted upon.
However, Larsen said there seems to be more support behind a plan to possibly consolidate the Lander facilities, remodel some buildings and construct other new ones.
Last year, the Legislature commissioned a facilities study of all of the Wyoming Department of Health’s locations across the state, including the WLRC.
“We just got that study back,” Larsen said. He explained that the consultant evaluated the facilities, studied the needs of the sites, and presented challenges and options for improving each of the sites. Over $150 million in needs were identified across the state, a good portion of which includes work at the WLRC.
Larsen said the consultant’s recommendation regarding the WLRC was for a reduced campus size, which would increase efficiency of care. He said the consultant did not recommend moving to entirely new location.
Personally, Larsen said the study results made sense and he thinks the ideas are sound.
In Gov. Matt Mead’s proposed budget are funds to create a task force for studying the best way to move forward with improving the site, keeping in mind the recommendations by the consultant.
Larsen said the committee’s decision not to back Harvey’s bill represents a strong support for the governor’s plan, a plan he too supports. He said he believes the legislature understands that the client base served by the WLRC cannot be neglected and their needs must be addressed.
With regard to the future of Harvey’s bill, while the committee didn’t support it, Harvey still has the option of bringing it to the legislature on her own.