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Wyoming House Speaker Responds to GOP Vote on Hill Bill

(Wyoming Leadership/Amy Richards)

Wyoming House Speaker Representative Tom Lubnau issued the following response to the Republican Central Committee’s vote to endorse the repeal of SF 104.

The leadership of the Wyoming Legislature welcomes involvement of all citizens in the important issue of operating the Department of Education for the benefit of Wyoming students. Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party and Constitutional Party members share a common dedication to the education of our children.  We also share a dedication to accountable spending and responsible management of public funds.

Many people have asked why SF 104, which restructured the Department of Education, was passed.  There were literally 1.4 billion reasons.  This is a huge department, with a $1.4 billion budget, and the elected representatives of the people want to see the Department managed well and the citizens’ tax dollars spent wisely. With SF104 the Wyoming Legislature took the politics out of the education of Wyoming’s students for the long term.  The decision was based on the collective information obtained by legislators from around the state who have been studying the operation of the Department of Education for years, who have spent many long hours in hearings and committee meetings across the state, who have listened to the information available from insiders who know the details, as well as a wide array of constituents from all walks of life, and the study of great quantities of written reports and data about Wyoming education.

Short term, the Wyoming GOP’s resolution is part of the party process, and we all respect and believe in our process of democracy.  We want to hear from all people who have made the effort to truly understand what is happening in our education system and who have formed some conclusions that can be useful to all of us as we proceed forward. 

A major part of the process is the work and report of the special investigator who is currently preparing an in depth analysis of the operation of the Department of Education prompted by the complaints of several whistleblowers who worked in the department.  This report is due to be completed before long, and the findings will be made available to the public to better inform all citizens of the nature of operations in the Department.   Superintendent Hill’s lawsuit against the State will soon be heard by the Supreme Court and we expect that this process will help to confirm the decisions made to date.

The bigger picture is that the Wyoming Legislature only changed the statutory provisions of the Superintendent position, not the constitutional duties.  In doing so, the Legislature directly followed the Constitutional provisions requiring the Legislature to define the duties of the Superintendent.  The people’s right to vote is intact. And you have a majority of the representatives that you elected who have reached their independent conclusions that the billions spent on your childrens’ education is safer with the politics out and professionalism added.

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