The boundary debate continues

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Community

The boundary debate continues

 

To the Editor:

I am writing a quick update and informational information on upcoming meetings that have had great interest in Senate District 1. (Reference, see NLJ story, “The boundary debate looms,” week 17, page 1)

On June 7 and June 8 the Joint Corporations Committee will be discussing the following:

9:00 a.m.

• Discussion on state campaign finance rules, including campaign finance rules for organizations and political action committees, and enforcement of campaign finance rules.

• Absentee polling places.

• Discussion on election methods, including review of 2021 legislation to establish a primary runoff process and review of draft 2021 legislation to implement ranked choice voting. The discussion will also include information on other states’ elections systems.

• Discussion on 2021 legislation to modify procedures to fill vacancies in certain federal and state offices.

• Political parties: state expenses.

1:30 p.m.

• Redistricting law from a national perspective and 2020 Census Update.

• Wendy Underhill, NCSL.

• Ben Williams, NCSL.

• Discussion on Article 3, Section 3 of the Wyoming Constitution.

• LSO Staff.

This first day is critical for constituents that have an interest in runoff elections, primary changes and the possibility of ranked voting or other possible changes to how we do primary elections. It will be the first informational session and could result in possible bill drafts to change how we handle primary elections and if we need additional changes. Also discussion on campaign finance.

The second part is an informational session on why we don’t have one senator and one representative per county, as directed by the Wyoming constitution. We will also talk about the start of the redistricting process and how we are impacted by federal laws and how the legislature will go about redistricting.  

Public comment participation is welcome. If you wish to comment or testify, you can do so either in writing, or you can come in person or participate by zoom. If you wish to testify you must register at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.    

To testify go to the Wyoming Legislature Website at wyoleg.gov. Then go to the committee meetings tab. Click on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions. Click on testify tab and enter your information. The tab also has the agenda, all meeting materials that the committee has access to, and a tab that you can livestream the meeting. I would appreciate your input. These are weighty topics that have huge impacts on Wyoming and how to conduct elections and redistrict. 

On other news we are working on whether to hold a special session in July. The discussion centers around whether one is needed and if it is, what subjects/bills will be brought up. The federal government has placed another $500-plus million for the state to deal with COVID-19 and other related problems. There will be another $500-600 million coming next year to the state. We will have until 2024 to spend the money. The legislature is mandated by the constitution to direct spending of money. We are deciding if we need to have a special session to deal with the issues or we can wait until the budget session to deal with the issues. The session would likely be in the end of July if we were to have one. 

The state’s fiscal problems have gotten considerably better than earlier in the year, but we still don’t have the education side of the budget balanced. It is going to be an interesting summer and fall with the budget session and redistricting coming up. The federal census is very late with census figures and final redistricting likely will not start until late August or later. Many thanks to all for the input to date — I look forward to your thoughts on these tough issues. I
appreciate the ability to work with you to have serious input from our district. Senate District 1 has great ability to have great input into the above issues; I am Senate Corporations chairman that oversees these bills and processes and Rep. Hans Hunt sits on the House side of Corporations. 

Thanks again for your support in representing Senate District 1.  

 

— Ogden Driskill, Majority Floor Leader, Chairman Corporations/Redistricting Committee, Senate District 1, Ogden.driskill@wyoleg.gov,
307-680-5555

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