Capitol Outlook - 2018 Budget Session Preview
Your. Support, helps us bring you programs you love go. To Wyoming pbs.org. Click. On support and become, a sustaining, member or an annual member it's. Easy and secure, thank. You. Welcome. To Wyoming, PBS's, capital, outlook, I'm your host Craig bloomin shine tonight. We'll preview the 2018, budget, session of the Wyoming legislature, and we'll, begin with, conversations. With the president, of the Senate Senator Eli be bowed and the Speaker of the House Representative. Steve Harshman, will. Also, visit with the legislators, representatives. Of the Wyoming government, efficiency Study, Commission that. Senator drew Perkins and representative, Joe McGuire will. Share profile, of Senator, Michael inflaton, from Gillette and then. Finally, we'll hear from the minority, leaders of the Wyoming legislature, Senator Chris Rothfuss, and representative. Cathy connolly capital. Outlook starts. Now. This. Program, is supported in, part by a grant from the BNSF. Railway, foundation. Dedicated to, improving the general welfare and quality, of life in communities throughout, the BNSF. Railway, service area proud, to support Wyoming. PBS, and. In. Part by the Wyoming Public, Television, endowment and viewers, like you, and we, welcome our viewers to our first full capital, outlook of the season and it's our pleasure to again, be joined by the leadership of the Wyoming legislature, Senate. President uib bowed and representative. Steve Harshman, the Speaker of the House gentlemen, welcome back to Outlook a lot. Of issues to talk about certainly, not, only for this budget session but as we kind of get started today and give a preview to our viewers about what's. Coming down the road and I think education is about on everyone's mind let's start right there you, both understand. That, the. State just went through a recalibration process. Where, you looked again at how education, is funded I sense. Maybe that you both may not a hundred percent agree on how education. Should move forward and I kind of want to start talking, about that. Mr.. President let's, start with you we. Went through a recalibration it, was this particular effort was rejected, by the committee unanimously, yet. They said that there were still some good work done, but. We still have an issue now maybe of some future, deficit funding for education well, that's the way the, spin is that there's always some good that comes out of anything and I think that's probably accurate in this case and the speaker of, course is on that committee and he's a lot more knowledgeable, about the inner workings of it you know I just wanted to be able to try to in my own mind you answer, some of the questions of my constituents, where where. We spend you know consider about more money for ADM for our children and the, results, are good but they're maybe not as good as we should expect and why do other states spend so much less and just that basic question but, more than that you know it's just to look at the whole funding scenario, and you know out of adversity comes opportunity and, there's some meaningful reforms, we can do relative. To our funding. Package then we ought to take a look at that and mr. president let me interrupt you just for a moment because you've talked about that in the past year you talked about responsible. Cuts and we. Now have essentially. In my eyes too sets of consultants, that said you know education why I mean should, cost about what it is what, are you thinking about when you talk about responsible. Cuts well what I'm talking about in the sense of that and by the way the education, community and, the legislature, working together and I, think the number is maybe what four point four percent or something the reductions, that we've had to the foundation. Program and when I look at it I take a bigger pride of perspective, in terms of what we can afford and, you know it's a manner that rather than just what the courts tell us to do and so I'm I'm a proponent of maybe the legislature should be the, ones that decide how much we spend rather than the courts dictating, that of course that's not the situation, we have but, when we look at responsible. Things that we should do there's a lot of things within the formula itself that I think than to be adjusted, you, know I'm for strong, on small school districts we need that small school district a judge adjustment.
I Think that's part of it but you know we have different things on the insurance how we pay for insurance, in the model but yet they don't have any people that are insured we, have the rule three-year rolling average issue we have those kinds of things in classroom, size you, know I'm a proponent of having small classroom, size and K through three I think that's a good thing but, as we go to these a secondary, education, part of it up in the high schools maybe we should have larger classroom, size the, thing that upsets me a little bit about how we do the classroom, size is we've had we've dictated, to have smaller classrooms, but some school districts are going larger, and then, and not hiring the teachers to have the kind of classroom size we might need so, they could pay more money to the teacher then that's the thing and the problem with a block grant so. There's just different issues in the whole Foundation program I think need to be discussed, and I look forward to working with the house the, speaker knows a lot more about this and I do just to see if there's some common ground that we can do to, continue to provide the funds we need for these kids to give them an opportunity that's world clamo they have to exist in yet, to be able to do something in the levels that i think we can afford mr. speaker you summarized to the group yesterday that that with the work that joint, appropriations committee has done we've, maybe found our way forward for the next biennium what. Did you mean by that and what are your what's your vision now on what needs to happen in this session relative, to education well, I think you. Know and I don't want to. There. Was a couple things going on in Wyoming education, and it's and it's really gone through the constitutional, process for the last 35, years with the wash key cases. And the, and Campbell decisions, and the. Bottom line is it's about equity, right that's the first thing sure the kid and Dubois have the same opportunities, as a kid in Campbell County in Gillette, and. Constitution. Is very clear on that it's the state's wealth not, the local wealth and Dubois or. Motiti, or anything else and so those kids are all citizens state. Of Wyoming should have that equity piece cost, money Saran or in 30 schools in this state if. We are gonna run this like a business we. Might have 230 I mean, we'd bust more kids we probably wouldn't keep our alma mater zatt Midwest and and, Shoshone. Open we just wouldn't I mean if you were totally, brought. In hardcore business and said that but. I think the legislature, has taken the policy, for the last 30 years that, we're. Not going to shut down small-town, Wyoming, I mean if you don't have your if your school goals it's, over, and I think there's, some other structural, things in Wyoming, that because, you drive through Nebraska. Or South Dakota they've, closed those schools they've all unified, with the next time if I absolutely and. Wyoming's. A little different than our partly the way we fund but. Partly. We're a little more spread, out too it's not ten miles apart on some of these but so, to really. See that though it's, a block grant all. That we we analyze, it's the most analyzed system, in the world and.
Districts. Are about 90 percent congruent, with with because it's a cost based model, that's what they study how much does it cost to provide this. Equitable education. So. We're gonna have more cuts I think that's the bottom line our viewers are looking. At this tonight and they're they're, wondering okay but. We've. Had these two consultants, come back and say we're spending about the right amount of money do. You perceive that in this session there might be some more cuts and and are there folks that are working on that I think that you know without getting into, the the consultants. Reporting, and I, know that the committee voted 10 to nothing to to. Not to do anything with it and I'm not going to go there there I think there's a lot of problems with that report, I think there's an opportunity to have some good discussion about it can I predict, no I don't know what will happen that's the process we'll go through I think, the Senate will still take the position, that we need to look at some reforms, and of, how we fund education I, think that's out there it's on the table and. I think there will be there, will be issues and discussions, about that as to, where the Senate ends up going we'll see stay, tuned on that one and then if the Senate should have something in that regard then I look forward to to, working with the house and see what happened you know last session we had some differences but at the end of the day we, came together on a compromise. That nobody, liked but yet everybody felt good about so. I'm optimistic you know things is we're not doing and gloom you know things are looking up we can be proud of what we've done in the past and Wyoming K through 12 as well as everything else so we're in a great position to be able to move forward on this thank. Goodness and when Steve and I were co-chairs, of the of the JC you know we recognized, that the boom would bust it wasn't a matter of if but when and we, were set aside these funds to get us through these lean times so we're set up to do it now, is the time to take advantage though, of maybe there's a better way to do some of these things we're gonna talk a little boring about that in just a minute but mr. speaker my. Direct question do you think there might be some more cuts coming down in this session well we've cut 77. Million now, currently. That's what we'll roll out next school year that's just under 5% so. That's. A real deal and and we've, added money back in the Department, of Health there are cuts now are at about 5% we, realized because how, this whole thing works you know budgets are people that's where this flows to it's not so. It's the folks actually in this room the Appropriations, Committee are working, hard at that and trying to find that right balance will. We continue to work for efficiencies. Absolutely. I think one of our actions yesterday we, we. Made. A motion. As community, to really tell, our Department of Education, get with the folks on the ground the bus drivers, the transportation. Workers come, back to us with ideas in, the next two weeks to save money on transportation. Wanting, to do this big study and take a year and and, all the testimony we had from the people who are living that daily said we can do this much quicker we can come back to you with ideas so I think that's. As part of this whole problem solving, we can do this I would, say. Every. Government, in the world has budget issues nobody. Has unlimited. Funds in every school district every state in the Union goes through this and but.
Nobody, Is in as good a shape as Wyoming, we've, got challenges there's, no doubt I mean nearly 70%, of our revenue comes from minerals and you. Know we're gonna continue to have this discussion out of broaden, the. There's you know we're not necessarily the most business-friendly tax. State in the United States but, I and I know the president, talks all the time about broadening, and, I think we're. Gonna continue to have these discussions but, we've got billions, and trust funds we've got billions saved in cash and we have zero debt so. There's, a lot of states were the envy of and so do, we have challenges, absolutely. But we're gonna I think use good Wyoming, common sense I call it pay our bills and try to do it the right way let's talk about what this word broaden means we talked. About an off-camera we're, in the joint Appropriations, Committee room where they carved. Through the governor's budget over. The last month or so just. A moment ago you both were down the hall in the revenue community room and oftentimes. People. Believe. I think in this day when you talk revenue you're talking taxes, what, does broaden, the tax base exactly. Mean from each of you is that, a finding, new revenues or is, it is. It different types of revenues what does broaden tax can really be bro it's pretty simple in the speaker. The speaker talked, about it a little bit is you, know seventy percent of the revenues for the state have been derived from minerals and the. Minerals industry you know oils come back and things are looking good but the norm today is the way it will be for a while we will not have the kind of boom to, fund the levels that we spend in this state that we have now it won't happen like it has in the past because there are a lot of outside, forces that we didn't realize before we, still have the issues with access to our federal lands that really hurts us but, you know we have these shale plays and the development, of the minerals and oil and gas across our country you know it's a different marketplace right now so when it comes back it will not be to those levels so how do we offset this. 70, percent dependence on so what I hear you saying is that you perceive, that we will, have or do, have a revenue, issue as we do absolutely gonna, have it and the good news is we've got the the savings, accounts to get us through this transition, but, if we're truly going to fund like government and k12 at these levels and that's what we choose to do as we, transition, we're going to have to broaden ie. Tax other industries, and other things beside, Minerals to pay for this you, know you talk about that in Wyoming, you know the average taxpayer, pays, $33,000. For, services but receive, $30,000. Worth of services, Thank You minerals minerals, will not be able to do that as they have in the past so we need to look at that like tourism, and recreation, is a great thing for Wyoming, I'm. All on board it's a good thing it's a positive thing we need to promote it all we can but when in reality you. Know what do they pay and we've talked about a lodging, tax to broaden our tax base you, know we all go to other states and see we pay for lodging taxes why not have some discussion, about a, statewide lodging, tax to herring well, that was that was a different kind of text that was the leisure tax but, to statewide lodging, tax is something we ought to talk about broadening our tax bases it's, not going to be easy that in the diversification, component.
We Have to do it's going to take time but the governor's been very, is per different demonstrated. Some leadership in this a speaker, and I have signed on on this now is the time to try to make these moves and do this but it's going to take time Mr, Speaker we we've, talked about last year about Wyoming's. Fiscal, problems and we, talked about ideas to how to move. Forward on the revenue side you've, watched the Revenue Committee both of you the next official members of the revenue committee be worked. Through, then, more times an en a Revenue Committee in history and at. The end of the day really hasn't produced much new revenue really so, really how do we study how do we move forward how do we execute. Yeah it's, a good question I think all. This meeting time has not been in vain I think there's an education, process not. Only in the legislature, that s take place but really with the public because the public is going to drive this and and, so. We just got to keep talking. And working about the issue there's some real problems. That hinder development, I mean I'm talking. To a businessman, last week they're gonna pull out of Wyoming gonna keep it in Kansas cuz just, can't afford the way we tax it which is it makes no sense the way we do it but so. I think we got to study those well we have some some. Expertise, on our staff we're part-time legislators, we're not like we all have a cadre. Of folks working for us and uh visually we but. We really, don't have that expertise, to say. Is this the best way how are other states doing it can we do this more efficiently because. The idea is to, unleash. Business, and so. You have that growth and that generating, I mean that SIL Reaganomics, generates more revenue for, government and that's. What current. President's trying to do with his tax reductions, and so. We've. Got to have those discussions are, we doing this the right way because if lowest, taxes, in the United States meant economic. Growth or or certain. Taxes, at the lowest. We'd. Be the. Most prosperous economy. In the world and one has to ask why why we're not and we're going to talk about whether. Everyone is. Really, on board with what, growth means, to Wyoming well and that's a great subject but the other thing too is you know this is an opportunity we, talked about the efficiency study you, know that could add into this it's like in K through 12 like like, the speaker talked about maybe there's better ways to do these things that save money and still, get the money out there to the kids you could do with government you know we can do a better job on our investments, you, realize that if we did 50 or 75, basis, points with, our investments, that kind of money that would generate so, there's a lot of things because of this revenue situation that we can look at it, doesn't necessarily mean raising taxes, but if we do we sure should have broadening, of our tax base we're out of time for this segment but I want to first thank you both for for, coming on this Capitol outlook preview you've, both agreed to join us each and every week as Capitol outlook resumes, in full, on February 16th, we, look forward to to.
Chatting With you both weekly there's lots to talk about and the, session art is going to generate more topics, as well and. So thank you for coming today yeah thanks for thanks a lot thank you we're. Gonna now take a look at the government efficiency, report that's been discussed a little bit here in a little more detail with representative, Jill McGuire and Senator, drew Perkins both, who participated, in that effort that's, next here on Capitol outlook stay with us. It's. Alright sure now to be joined by Senator drew Perkins, and representative. John McGuire both who said on the. Wyoming. Government spending an efficiency commission, and this, is their product, and we're gonna talk about their, report now gentlemen welcome to capital outlook, thank you for having us thank you very much you've had an opportunity since, november thirtieth this when this was delivered to the governor, to kind of digest, what. Was in the government efficiency report. And what. Are your initial thoughts about, what you discovered, and whether, or not there really are cost savings opportunities. And efficiency, opportunities, for, Wyoming government, senator. Let me start with you I first. Of all I was very pleased with both the effort of the, consultant, as well as our committee. Which was comprised, not only he only had two legislators, on it Joe McGuire and myself and. And. We had a number of citizen, in. Just. People who were there. From. Around the state the healthiness and so ultimately, it was actually more. And in, more in-depth and I appreciated, the, scope of it was, a lot more than I thought we would get in the short time period and limited. Funding that we had available to undertake it so I was very pleased with it ever, senator McGuire what were your initial thoughts well. I have to tell you I started out as a real skeptic, in fact, I thought the speaker was punishing, me for something, but. As, I got into it and sort of listened to the testimony. Going. Back and forth with the consultants, and finally seen the report, I have, to tell you I'm a real believer now I think that we're. Just scratching the surface with it we've visited. Briefly, with the leadership about the, results, of this report do. You both believe I mean the the. Low. End of potential, savings over by a name is 112, million the high end is 227. Million dollars are, those opportunities really, there, senator. Perkins. To. What degree I don't know that they're there and those aren't those aren't things that you go in and flip a switch and, you have these savings in a day or two. But. There's a there's a process, that if you're willing to go through it that I think yes I think those savings are there not. Just for these consultants, we had we've, had several. Presentations. From, people both on the who competitively, bidding to be the consultant, for this initial, study as, well as individuals, just came and talked about it and it's it's, been a fairly, a fairly. Common estimate. That you could save somewhere between four to five percent of, your general fund dollars by. Going through one of these processes if you go back and implement them when, we have a general, fund of not quite four billion you know you're talking to about a hundred and sixty or, so million dollars, so the estimates we're getting are very, consistent, with what you find consultants, who do these types of things and find, these successes. Of. Course they always come with the same cavity here on TV about past performance there's, no indicator of future for. Future performance but, if you look historically what's, been happening yes I think they're realistic. Representative. Do you do you believe in these numbers I, believe. In the, numbers in a general, sense and you have to look at it like the carrot and the stick. People. Human. Nature if you go in with a stick you're, not going to get the type of savings that they're looking and in trying to show us you. Have to incentivize, people and, you, have to reward them for making those savings. Everybody's. Familiar with government, and big companies and even small companies there are always in efficiencies, and there, are always things that just happened because that's, the way we've always done it I. Work, for the government for a small, amount of time and you, know there, was no reward to try and go out and be more efficient, or to save money you. Have to incentivize. People if you want to get those results I think a valid question might be for. Those. Of us who have now watched, the, legislature, cut general. Fund budgets. And that, for administrators. And directors, who have had to endure these, cuts why aren't we already efficient, why. Why, do we have more efficiencies. To realize when we've been, through this budget cutting process. Yeah. That's a very good question I think in some respects, it's, it's the nature it's.
The Nature of government. If. You, look at the end of the day if you go into private business you, go even go into well-run. Nonprofits. They, have a bottom line they need to address in. Order to accomplish their mission so they focus, son what is their mission and how do we accomplish that and how do we maintain and, pay for what we're doing and how do we do that so there's a natural there's. A natural tendency through. That organizational. Structure, to lend. Itself to more efficiencies and how to do that because when you when, you when you gain efficiencies, they're essentially everybody everybody's. Rewarded, in. Government, is oftentimes it's not that the opposite is it's, not some of us on the mission and, and and and how to have a bottom line but it is I have this work to do and I need this much money to do it and in, some cases those, those. Some. Cases. Those programs. Are regulatory. Driven. In some, cases they're direct legislative. Dynamics. Or, orders. Or directives, that they go out and do a program and so in some, ways so when you when, though that happens, a lot of. Times there is not a significant. Amount of feedback or or back. To have an analysis, to find out whether you're effective, or efficient, in any way because. You're simply following a legislative, or regulatory directive. That requires, that so, well so many times it's not a consideration. Representative. You looked at not, only, opportunities. For increasing. Efficiencies. Now but also in the future and you, also only reviewed major, agencies, of over 20 million dollars budget or more so there's really more work to do is, that an accurate statement as far as reviews, light like this should continue, I think, that's accurate and I think that you have to approach it and do it incrementally. You. Can't just go out and flip, a switch and. All. Of a sudden every. Agency, is going to start saving X, number of dollars you. Have to go out and you, have to start out with a focus, and, you have to help those agencies, to make some changes and then, you have to incrementally build, on that so. It's. A it's, a program. It has to be a program you, now have. Mentioned. Savings that can occur across government, with, an i with, administration, and information, with the Department, of Health with the Department of Education, with revenue and audit. Where. Does the leadership, come to. Implement. Better. Efficiencies, is it all. Lady based does, it require buy-in. From administrators. And directors how, does how, do we get from, where we are today to what, is recommended. That's as that's. A great question and in fact one of the things that I did is I put this together side as I was put it working on this bill because I was the prime sponsor, on this legislation, a year, ago one. Of the things as you put it together and look at what's going on in other states, I actually, actually, took the time perfectly. After we got started to talk with those states and who had been through this hood started this process some, had Dennis successfully, some not as not as successfully. What. Was the difference and the difference is, his, leadership, across both. Branches, of government in. The executive executive. And legislative is dr. s correct. And so we. In. Doing that for example if we're talking to the speaker in Kansas, who went underwent this what. You had as it was a legislatively. Driven. There. Was a legislative driven program, the. The administrative. Branch wasn't, the executive branch wasn't very interested.
In It and ultimately, particularly, after changing government it fizzles right out you, go to Louisiana they absolutely, pan, the effort down there it, was - undertaken, during Jindal, and as Jindal, left and the, new governor absolutely hated the the. Subsequent, legislature. Regretted. What there was actually a significant, change in leadership there, - I believe, and they, didn't, like what was done and so it was essentially almost grapple, senator were the doorstep of a new governor is that a concern experienced well, and so this is what the way we structured, it we we did it a little bit differently like, I said we, concern. About having a non legislative, driven the only two legislators, are on the commission are represented. Maguire and me, we. Wanted, to have a governor appointee, we had a good. The governor or executive, branch appointed, a private citizen to serve on it we. Had we included, the judiciary, branch we made him non-voting, because, they may have to rule on the efficacy, of something, at some point so, we don't want them making decisions in that but, then we had the legislative, branch and legislative. Folks. Appointed, also a private citizens so in doing, that we tried to bring that on and I think the timing on this is. Really important because I think. That as you look as, if you, read and understand this governor, Meade is I keep, my message from him and direct questions to governor Meade is do, you want to do this are you on board as this is that this is the beginning of a heavy lift in your last year of your administration he, says absolutely I mean this is the right way to go and I think as you talk with with. Folks who are running they're talking. About running for governor they're, very interested, in it and it's, an opportunity to both, be a, continuing. Legacy from governor Mead and the, beginning of a long lasting, end and significant, legacy for the next governor to come in and do this because it's.
So Overdue, and and it's just a prime time to do it and if we can do it can if we do it consistently and together, and. Provide that leadership together, and continue to have that cooperation, across, the branch as I think we'll be we, have the ability. To be very successful because, of joint. Leadership. Representative. McGuire what what, do you think well. I agree with that and and I think the most important, thing and again I work for the state of Wyoming, so I'm on, board and I think that we've got some of the best people. Working. For the state of Wyoming, in any State of the Union and, honestly. The. Best leaders, go. Down to the, people who are on the ground actually, doing. The work and, help. Them to do their job better and if. You, were to go down to that level everybody. Who works for the state of Wyoming knows where they can save money if you, were to incentivize, them and reward them to do that and give them the. Authority to do it I think. That the savings would be much. Further than. What you see in there and that is one of the suggestions that this report points. Out maybe a governor's, idea fair is what what it talks about is that your perception that you do have support from administrators, today and directors today I, think. It varies from agency, to agency is that concerned you it, does, but what it was is very nurse when we had our first meeting in, in. The summer down, in Cheyenne we had our first meeting and, the agencies came before us and one by one they pretty much said. What. We had talked about a little bit earlier which was you. Know we've been through the budget cuts. They. Interpreted, efficiency, to be more but cuts and they, said we've been a cutter all we can please, don't cut us anymore we just can't absorb anything so other than that leave us alone and and we're, trying to be efficient, by the way and so, then once the consultants came in and did their whirlwind. Survey. And did, their questions with the agencies as they came back when. We had our second meeting in Casper, and the agencies, came back and reported there. Was still some skeptic um. All of them basically said they supported, it, in. Varying. Degrees of enthusiasm, but. The. There. Was a difference, when they recognized, that the consults, that we brought in knew, what they were talking about for example the part of Hell said it, was so nice to talk to a consultant, who understood, Medicaid. And. And. So they looked at and also the these, consults, were very quick. To recognize that. There's some there are some areas and some zones of excellence already, in our government, a number, of things that are prevalent of Health does, they. Said they're national leaders people ought to be coming to Wyoming to see what a director, forestland and part of Health has done what have done with their dashboard, and their their use of data, at statistic one of the recommendations, is now that Medicaid, does not need to be further studied because. Of what's happening in Wyoming right, do, you expect some. Budgetary. Support in this legislature, to, begin. To implement some of these changes. Representative, McGuire I think, will have good support, from leadership and. The, reason that leadership, encouraged. This study and in fact put, it into place was. Because they want to protect people's, jobs they, understand, that budgets. Are dollars. And those dollars go to pay people and and, those people are our neighbors so. They're. Trying to do this to, make things better and, protect. People's jobs and and help, us move along and be more efficient, so, senator. Drew Perkins, the majority floor leader of the Senate and representative, Joe McGuire thank you so much for joining us this is a movement. That will follow through not only this legislative, session but, I believe through sessions, to come thank you so much for joining us on Capitol outlook it's. Our pleasure thank, you. We're. Back in the joint Appropriations. Committee hearing room here in the temporary capital of the Wyoming legislature, in the Jonah building we, want to transition now to a profile, we shot earlier this month with the vice president of the Senate Senator. Michael van Leyden from Gillette I think. He is views on Wyoming's low taxes, may, surprise you stay. With us. So. Our pleasure now to be joined on this Capitol outlook profile. With, Senator Michael van Leyden from Gillette. Representing. Senate district 24, senator. You've been in public service in the legislature since 20. 2005. You. Made the decision to run again in 2016, why did you want to run again well. I decided to run again because we need to continuity, for one thing we need the continuity, and there was projects, I had not completed, yet which.
We. Are slowly getting some of the passing. Lanes done on 59, that was a big issue when I first ran I think. We finished all the passing lanes we're going to do there's. A gonner. Lake Road which, is going to be we assume the new highway 59, going, north out of Gillette, and. That took some what, I would, believe would be AML, money been. And mine land money it. Turned, out that we'd. Kind of spend me spent, all the AML, money so. We. Found some other money which costs, us a couple passing, lanes south, of bill, to Douglas on highway. 59, and, we use that money to build this well. In the next two or three years you'll get this new garner, Lake Road extension they call it you. Came to Gillette you're not a Wyoming ad but it's the it's work the, coal mines I brought you here yes, they did in fact I started out as a welder in the oil field for a year or so year. And a half and then I went to the coal mines for a couple three years and then, I went back as a contractor. A welding, contractor, for the coal mines for the next 18, years and, pretty. Much concentrated, there a little oil field but pretty, much concentrated, in coal mining but, you've had, a passion, for flight yes about. 30. Almost 30 years ago I started. Flying. And took lessons in Gillette it's a great, Airport take lessons, because it does have a tower and it does have all your, approaches. For. The Instrument. Landing systems that. You would need to practice, and to get good at learning how to talk on a radio which is one of the great fears of every student, is having. To actually talk on a radio to somebody else that's you know in a tower, you can't Facebook, of a message, post to the tower. Text them as you're going you, although. Today if you know his cell number you can text them so. We so. It was a great place to learn and we were expanding, into Nevada, and, doing the gold mines there as far as you, know welding. And so. You. Know I built my hours going back and forth to Nevada and eventually. When, I sold that business I got at my commercial, license and we built into this so when you're flying up I'm your pilot yes when. You're flying in one of your planes and you look down at Wyoming and you, understand very well, that Wyoming, is subsidized, today about to the tune of 70% by the energy, industry. What. Do you see in ten years you've worked with endow you you've kind of contemplated, what our. Future is now and and probably always have. Ten. Years from now twenty years now, what's. Why I'm gonna be like Wyoming. Has to change its attitude about. How. It funds itself, and how it's perceived. By the outer outside, world we're. Doing things in Gillette, that are going to sustain, coal. But. At a lesser. Production. Quarter. So. We're, gonna go from. We. Were at peaked in 2012. I think at 420, million and we're around 300, million now and so. That's, the new norm so for the next ten years will, probably sustain. That but. If you want to diversify the economy and, get us away from this boom and bust which we by, the way we were talking earlier and this, last 15, 16 years were the longest boom, we. Probably ever experienced. In the state of Wyoming so. We went about 15 years with really, good revenue and it. Was all minerals it, was 70 percent minerals. If, we, want to diversify if, we, want to, attract. New businesses, and your, low taxes, will not do it that's not what you can have we learned that finally, senator I don't know that any that we've learned, it as a state, but I can guarantee you that low, taxes, work well for the billionaires, that move, to Jackson, and build a home for 20 or 30 million dollars, because. There, out of a high tax state like California. But. For a, corporation, to come here and say, well, yeah you depending. On your mineral industry, but, the mineral, industry is going downward, a little bit and so. At, one point you're gonna slap a tax on me so, what you're saying is is that everyone. Else, understands. That painting, well. You know the the economic development person, in, Garden. City Kansas when I went on a tour of a wind, farm when lay down yard I guess you'd call it there said, nobody has ever said to me, it's, your tax structure, to you low taxes, she. Said that is not a good argument you, don't want to promote yourself. Is just the lowest taxes, you want to say I have the most stable tax, structure, and that's, what the corporations. And in new industries are looking for they're, looking for a stable tax structure, they know the other shoes gonna drop someday, and it's gonna drop on them it's.
An Interesting perspective, because we hear every. Year from the governor we are open for business our, taxes, are low we. Hear when the leaders of the legislature, talk that. Our taxes, are low among, the lowest in the country you. Hear people from all. Over Wyoming say that and, yet. Here, we are today really. Wondering, are. We at the tipping point are we it, is our, reliance on minerals, in the, end even if we can sustain somewhat. Of a mineral, industry gonna get really hurt us it, will hurt us because, we go through the boom and bust I said the last 15 years we had the best we've ever longest, period, of time I've. Been through three busts in my, thirty years and the. Longest one was the last 15 years so. You, have to understand, that, my. I guess I've been here 40 years but. You have to understand, that. We. Can't we have to diversify our, tax structure our tax base we, need to spread that out and if it means that, an inventory, tax, let's say has to go on corporations. Or companies. We. Need to do that now we need not to say, come, to our state we have the lowest taxes, and once. We get them here. Well, now with, a big new tax they're, smarter, than that they know that that, that probability. Exists. And so it. I look. It as a detriment, I maybe my small, minority, in this state but I do look as a detriment, to say to a corporation, come you know a, Saturn. A Tesla. Whatever. Come to my state and set up this 400, person Factory, and then. I get you here oh I can now. Get another five, million out of you this year and will. You stay, awful. Question to have to ask down the road I want to get back to the airplanes, you. Uh you, gave a great story for, those of us that were in. The audience at the state of aviation, summit that we had last year about a dog and. A pilot, to. Tell us that story the, future cockpit, in every, aircraft because. I think the comp the conversation. Was, was. Formed by the fact of the autonomous, airplane. Which we. All know will be. Someday. Drones, will be delivering packages I, guess is what Amazon's, claim is so. The future, cockpit, of the world will be a pilot, and a dog and. The pilots there to feed the dog and the dogs are there to bite the pilot if he touches anything and that, is really, true because the, people in the back will, never feel comfortable I don't think they'll feel comfortable, in the next 50 years of nobody. Up front in the cockpit, so they'll put this human in there but, somebody on the ground and, the computers, are controlling, the aircraft and. Truly. The dog will be there to bite them if he touches anything gonna fly in one of those planes we'd be a passenger well, I'd be a passenger today I mean I think it's, detrimental to my future my, future of this company but it's perfect, for. There's. Nothing, you could you could make good there's nothing, about flying that could not be done. By a computer today, and drones, have proved that so yes you could have one person handling, six or eight jet. Liners easily, when you think about technology you, think that young. People might be able to grasp that a little more clearly than us. Older folks and I. Guess, back to Wyoming's. Future. Where. Where. Do we sit in our ability to provide. Younger. Folks who, will be wanting to stay here something. Different than hunting and fishing, and those, things that really appeal to us and to our generation, that may, not be as appealing to younger. Kids who want to be. Part of a high-tech world that develops autonomous, planes or cars or. Changes. The way we deliver our, energy grid for example, how. Do, we how do we, make. That bridge. For. Those folks you know there's there's a couple of towns that are trying, that here, a Cheyenne.
Or, A Laramie. Because, they're. Close to the Front Range and they, can start. To make that transition. Cheyenne. And Laramie, haven't, conquered. The, livable, space where, you can walk to work and you can walk. Down to the stadium. And watch a pro football, teams or your pro baseball teams, or hockey, but. At least they can drive to Denver, and see, that same thing this. State's population, is hurting it in. The that. Way because we're so low populated. That. It's hard for us to create Lander, is sort of created the working, but the walking environment. If you don't, mind the weather and you know it just gets cold but. They. At least have, the, walking. Area. You can move downtown. But. When you go to the. Rest of these towns they're all built around automobiles so, the, cultural, aspect, is what attracts, the young and the population, would be needed, to start with to, attract, the the, sports teams or to. Get the clubbing. The. Nightlife, to be there, for the for, those that are in the 20s. Or. We're. Hoping they're in their 20s anyway, so. I think, our low population. Is going to be always be a detriment, to our state the, outdoor living the, hunting. Fishing snowmobiling. We. Already have that conquered, and we're one, of the best at it but you, know the rest of it is going to be tough Senator. Ron Clayton you have said. Before you want. To model yourself and the way you lead. Just. Like senator al Simpson. Why. And, are. You able to you. Know I think. I can. Of. Course I'm Nextel Simpson, okay, they say. But. The fact is that I no taller than both of us but yeah he's you know physically. I won't, match him but you know otherwise I think I can now, I really. Admire the gentleman because he. He. Seems to especially, in the last 10, or 15 years really. Been nonpartisan, he's. Really, gone and worked across the groups from. The. LBG. Helped, he. Lbgtq. Group. All. The way to the, ultra conservative no, taxes. So. I think. That I fit in there somewhere that, I understand. And sympathize with both groups and that's, what l Simpson, in my mind had has been doing the last 20 years he's, been doing nothing but, bridging. That gap and taking. The side of both, sides in, certain, issues, whatever the issue happens, to be that's where I think I can match some have. Ridden though that maybe our legislature, is becoming even more conservative. And. I you know I do see that there is a. Group. In the house and, in the Senate I'm not saying, either's better, or worse but, and, the percentage, is probably, equal but. There is we. Are becoming, more. Conservative, but it's.
To. That for. Those that don't want anybody else in the state that's, probably the perfect scenario but, after. All the time I spent, on this endow comedians, for other. Listening. To other people, I'd really, think that. Wyoming. Needs to wake up and join the rest of the nation. Senator. Michael inflater and the vice president, of the Senate it's an interesting session, thank. You very much for spending time with us on Capitol outlook I'm glad you came here and beautiful. Anger and it is beautiful, and I should tell, our viewers were in Casper and you, operate I'm your service. In Casper and Gillette Angela, exactly, Thank You senator, best wishes all right thanks. And. As we conclude our preview, to the 2018 budget, session now it's our pleasure to be joined by the minority leadership of the Wyoming Senate, and the, Wyoming house senator chris Rothfuss, and representative, cathy connelly do you both welcome back to capital outlook thanks I want, to lead off with reason. This budget session is here two years ago each, of you voted against Wyoming's biennial, budget you've. Heard now summaries, just today as a matter of fact on the, work the joint Appropriations, Committee has done. What. Tenants, will need to be in place for this budget to get your positive, vote senator, let me start with you I, would. Like to see a lot of the programs that are people-oriented, restored. And see some improvements, in funding levels over. What we did a couple of years ago we. Were draconian, two years ago in our cuts there wasn't a lot of precision. I don't, think there was a lot, of thought that went into what. Programs, were cut how much they were cut and we ended up doing things, that will cost the, state a great deal of money in the long term just, to trim the bottom line at that point in time for. Example cutting programs within Corrections, that that, preclude. Future sexual assaults. And. So I would say we were correct, yes exactly, and our, thinking that there, are really, important, programs that serve, people in, this day and also serve things like public safety when it comes to the cuts to the Department of Corrections, that now have been put back again you know you don't cut, money, to a successful, sex, offender, rehabilitation. Program, and not. Expect, for there to be negative outcomes, you, don't cut money for substance abuse prevention, when. We, know we, know that, those programs were successful, and without, them it means in the DLC for example, that you're going to be putting people back out on the streets who still have addiction, issues who, are going to commit, other crimes recidivate. And end up back in prison that just doesn't make sense, we, cut too much money out at we cut, prevention. Programs, all over the state when, it comes to suicide, alcohol. And substance abuse we. Cut early, literacy programs, those, all, serve kind of are important. Segments of our population and. That those needed to be restored. Senator. And representative you, both also have set through what's. Called recalibration. And. You you've, been down this road before. What, did you learn we charged, them with taking, a look at our education, funding, model, in a different way than we did in the past five and ten years we, used an evidence based model and consultants, that did this did, that kind of program we, ask these modest. Consultants, to come up with a model based on a professional, judgment panel, and successful, suit schools, they. Did it and they. Came up with fifty. To ninety million, more, dollars that, we would need to spend in order, to implement the model that they came up with so, bottom line we, understand, that we, are funding, education. Appropriately. Right now and in fact we could add a little bit to, it not take away from it so some people called it a Cadillac, model, certainly, what these consultants, came up with was no, it's, not a Cadillac, model and in fact there was even areas, that we could expand, on and improve on synergy. Absolutely. So areas, like english-language learners, at-risk, populations. We're not spending enough money that was identified, but we knew that before that that was something that we talked about at the previous recalibration. As well we've. Heard emphases, time and again on early childhood education. As being an area where the state of Wyoming Falls. Drastically. Short of target. And these. Consultants, our previous consultants, have. Indicated. To us that if we want to invest in a higher, quality education, system that's where we should be putting our dollars so, we, we did learn a lot from this recalibration. A fresh set of eyes I do. Think it was worth it it, gave. Us some additional insight, into again. Areas where we can improve gave. Us some potential mechanisms, on how we can improve but. Really the fact that it corroborated, our current model, because. The answers were comparable the total funding was comparable that.
Tells Us that we're about right we're in the ballpark of where we should be spending and, there are some areas that we can focus on do better but. The reality is we're, just kicking the can down the road for another, two years and, actually. Senator Rufus, and I have been talking about that and that just isn't the solution and so we, have a couple of ideas including. A comprehensive. Tax reform bill that will be introduced, sir how. Can you expect that that would get, any support from the majority, it's. Not so much about support, at this point in time as really, trying to get a conversation, started that's realistic about the future of Wyoming, let me interject here how, come that conversation. Wasn't the. Catalyst of that wasn't two years ago when you, all knew that. We, had drastic. Funding deficits at the time well. It's a great question and, and there were. Some beginnings to conversations, at that point if, that had continued, we, probably would be looking at some some actual revenue coming out of the the revenue, be looking at revenue or more cuts both. There'd. Be conversation. About revenue and there'd be conversation, about cuts and there. Are legislators, that under no circumstance, will, they ever support, new. Revenue and and that's a problem. They. Desire, the cuts and they believe less government, is going to be better that's. A challenge, that we face in in the best or worst of times but. There. Are many, legislators, that realize that there are important. Government. Responsibilities. That have to be met and those. Are the ones that we're we're hoping will we'll take this seriously and recognize that. Counting. On the next boom with. A mineral based economy, it's, hopeful, and I realized that that we've we've come out of, the bottom and moved up but the reality is we're, moving up because we're expecting massive. Returns from our investments, we're banking, on the stock market, at this point to bail us out. Nobody. Projects, in the long term that the stock market is going to continue to behave this way it can't, so. What happens, then what happens when we have an economic downturn. Nationally. Stock. Market, crashes, and we're. Banking on 20%. Of our revenues, to come from great, returns on capital gains you, both support the government's governor's, endow initiative, is that. It's. True, I mean, but for me there were two elements, to it one is that, we have to really diversify our, revenue streams, as related, to diversifying. The economy I, mean just what senator Roth has just said right now, it's. Big talk all right to bring in. Datacenters. And another Wetherby but it's meaningless, unless we, make it meaningful in terms of, the revenue streams that come into the state and what. The expenses are for having for, having new, companies, here but there's another element as well to, me the endow initiative. Was, a whole lot more about doing more of the same it, was, really, looking, at how do we enhance what. We have now and that's a lot of talk about extractive, industries, and menu and kind of a move towards manufacturing. With you know value-added. I want, to look at kind, of outside, the box as well as jobs that employ both men and women, and so, I'd like to see the initiative, go, further into, thinking. About good, jobs that traditionally. Women hold as well as jobs, that men hold and to look at jobs, as well as as, kind. Of just bringing, in new companies and. I supported. The efforts. Of the governor for endow all along and it's been working with him on that economic development initiatives. Since. He's been working on them but the.
Whole Time I've, been adamant, about the fact that you, can't just do the economic, development without diversifying. The tax base so I certainly support endow, and the concept, of it but it would be a tragic, nightmare if we were incredibly. Successful within. Dow but. Didn't change our tax structure and, we absolutely want, to bring in companies, that, bring, in jobs, for families and how, grow our communities, with yeah, when. I ask you before we go and. Start. Really digging, into the work that you have to do in the month in front of you in the budget session about, the government efficiency report, our, viewers just saw senator. Perkins, and representative, McGuire talk about it and the, potential, for up to 220 million dollars of efficiencies, that might be gained best, case if. All of the recommendations. Were implemented. After, budget. Cuts that have already been, in place, do. You believe that those efficiencies, are still there to be gained and I. Perceive. That it might have some, support from the legislature, to have support from the executive, branch, do. The administrators. In Wyoming, support this, work what's. Your feeling about that. Only. If they don't have to do it without the resources, to do it so one of the things about the efficiency study it said is that you need to invest a, little bit, to. Save one right and, it's so easy for the legislature, to say ah we're, not going to do that part and so. If we, don't fund, the, ability, to do it and do it correctly, and just, put it on current administrators, and say oh by the way we're, gonna add that to your to, your plate, it, won't happen and it won't happen well and there won't be the support that I do believe the report suggested that there would be an initial outlay of money yeah but that's the part I'd be concerned about senator. Yeah, it there, are certainly going to be some aspects, of the report that that. Do bear out but. A lot of the time. Efficiency. Trades, off with. Efficacy. And my, concern is that we'll, be looking for ways to look. Efficient. On paper when, the reality, is we're not performing, the same services, and we're not providing the same. Offers. To the to the public and. With. The amount, of draconian cuts, the number of cuts that we've done in recent years, there's. Just not that much more there to wring out through, additional efficiencies, so yes. If we invest we, know we can be more efficient, but oddly enough what. We talked about a few minutes ago if, we, invested, in programs, that prevented, crime we. Would have less crime we would save money on Corrections we, know the education, right right if we. Exactly. Yeah we, put money into preschool we. Know the evidence is that we. Will have less, expenses, when it comes to special ed will have higher graduation rates, but we have to have that you, know five ten twenty year vision and I'm not even talking about prism, at the end of that without providing, those kinds of services you, know that's, an investment. That's much better efficiency. Yeah but, it, costs a lot of money now to, get that efficiency, you. You think about the prison in the future we're, looking at building more, prison, beds we're going to spend millions of dollars to do that rather. Than just try to reform the criminal justice system and. Find. Ways to divert. From. From, prison but. We. Don't expense yeah we know that an intensive, supervised, probation, we, doing, probation.
And Parole rather. Than, a new prison makes a whole lot of sense we have the ability, to be innovators. When, it comes to criminal justice reform. In the nation and we, have just chosen not to go down that road and instead set up a savings can. A new coffee, can right, for, funding. For a new prison the, directors been well noticed. Though with, the work that he's done in Wyoming's. Absolutely. And and he would be the first person to say that the programs that were cut a couple, of years ago will, we'll take him off of that, list. Of highly, performing. Directors. But. You, you look at other efficiencies. We. Know that if we consolidated, schools and school districts we would save money that's, more efficient, that's, not going to happen politically, it's, untenable. We, could collapse. Entire. Counties, where. We have redundant. Resources, being used in small counties, around, the state collapse. Them into more, efficient districts one of the recommendations, is regional. Regional. Administrative, centers exactly, four of them per Waman those are those, sound great on paper but. Good. Luck going to those counties and selling, to them you, don't need to be able to come to your city and do. Your work with the county you're going to need to travel to the local administrative, center which we're going to place in someone. Else's County so. Again. Things can look pretty good on paper a little politically, they're a little more challenging it's, always a pleasure to visit with both of you this is going to be an exciting session, I'm, sure we'll might have an opportunity to visit again so thank you very much for joining us absolutely. Mind. Out viewers, we'll take next Friday, off but, then after, the first week of the Wyoming legislature, will be back on, sixteenth, and, we urge you to join us then so, for all of us at Wyoming PBS thanks for watching and have a good evening. This. Program, is supported in part by a grant from the BNSF. Railway, foundation, dedicated to, improving the general welfare and quality, of life in communities throughout the BNSF. Railway, service area proud. To support Wyoming. PBS, and in. Part by the Wyoming Public, Television, endowment and viewers, like you.