We Appreciate Their Work
By the time you read this column, the Wyoming Legislative Budget Session will be over. While this was a budget session, numerous other bills were filed as always.
For a time last summer, we all heard the budget was going to be really tight. Gov. Gordon had trimmed down the state’s budget, then trimmed some more to get to a lean and mean position. Then, energy prices started rising, plus COVID-19 funds and other dollars passed by Congress really helped with the state outlook. I now wonder how the state will look down the road with $130 per barrel of oil?
This time of the year, it’s easy to focus on our own interests and lose sight on the big picture. The lobbyists and legislatures help to see the whole view and what is best for the state. They all may not agree, but the majority of votes rule the day.
We understand world and national events have dominated the news in past weeks, but the issues during the state legislature are going to affect us for years to come, too. For a lot of us who have witnessed the legislature in past years, we know there are long days with hard work being accomplished. I don’t know how they do their job legislating and keep their constituents “in the know” during the session. And for those on the Appropriations Committee or in a leadership role, their time and workload were harder.
Those in agriculture also are proud and thankful for the excellent work of agriculture organization’s lobbyists who work so hard for agriculture. They work well together for the best of agriculture and natural resources.
There were not many high-profile agriculture bills filed during this session. There were some bills dealing with trespassing, water, conservation easements, predator control, taxes and redistricting which held our interest.
I was especially proud of the ag interests in the Appropriations Committee, it will be interesting to see if they all stay in the budget bill. The dollars earmarked for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture were for Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom, predator management and weed and pest control. There were also dollars for State Parks and Cultural Resources for the Centennial Farm and Ranch Program. We’re excited for dollars slated for the University of Wyoming for the rodeo team, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for endowed professorships and for capital construction, which is really needed on and off campus.
Despite what appropriations and bills pass or don’t pass, which party they belong to or where their interests lie, we need to thank all the legislatures, lobbyists and everyone who works within the session, as we’re indebted to them for their time and hard work. From the Governor and First Lady Gordon and down through state government ranks, thanks for your hard work and support for agriculture year-round. We will not always agree with our legislatures, but we need to respect their hard work
There is a reason agriculture stays strong in Wyoming, and it’s the people involved.