Wyoming State of the State Address 2019
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. Good. Morning welcome to this special edition of Capitol outlook, on Wyoming PBS I'm Craig bloomin shine and in, just a few moments the president, of the Senate Dru Perkins alongside speaker. The house Steve Harshman, will, welcome will convene a joint session of the Wyoming legislature, the 65th, Wyoming legislature, and they'll, welcome newly elected governor Mark Gordon as he, prepares to give his first State, of the State address. That. Will, be upcoming in about 15 minutes there's many people to introduce, should. Sup know this will be the fourth State of the State address delivered here in the Jona building the temporary capital home, of the Wyoming legislature, and the, final one next. Year undoubtedly, governor Gordon will give his address from the newly refurbished stunningly. Beautiful, Wyoming, Capitol building governor. Gordon will say today that Wyoming's challenge is to set the state on a sustainable, fiscal path he'll. Say that he believes Wyoming's, best times will come only when a reliable, and stable fiscal. Future is assured it's. Hard to find a consistent path you'll say forward. When, one chases, revenues hopes for windfall, and reacts. Drastically. To downturns. Governor. Gordon will also comment that he helps to ensure citizens will have access to a quality education and, he'll, amplify, we believe that on comments, he made in his inaugural. Address and that is to provide local communities, with the tools and the, resources they. Need to thrive. At the local level, he'll, remind us why I mean legislature, that Wyoming is a headwater state and Governor, Gordon will assert his view that the state has begin didn't excuse me then given an opportunity to, craft a Wyoming solution, for health care he'll. Say that he looks forward to working with the legislature, to bring forth a state-led. Solution. Relative to health care certainly, all tall challenges, for this legislature, and governor Gordon delay, in front of this session why. I mean Chief Justice Michael K Davis will give the state of the judiciary address, that. Will follow governor, Gordon state of the state address here. Later on this morning on Wyoming PBS, chief. Justice Davis administered. The oath of office to Governor Gordon and to, Secretary, of State at Buchanan auditor, Christy Racine US treasurer. Kurt Meyer and also to Superintendent. Of Public Instruction Julian. Balogh twice. On Monday during a public ceremony, at the Cheyenne's Civic Center and also, at a small private ceremony. Inside. The rotunda of the, currently. Being remodeled State Capitol. We'll. Wait, now for senator. Drew Perkins to convene this session of the legislature, to order and we're, going to turn now our coverage to what's happening inside the Jona building again this will be the last time this, legislature, will convene here in the Jona building in front, of moving to the state capitol next session, we hope you enjoy our coverage, here on Wyoming, PBS. The. Joint session of the 6560, fifth Wyoming. Legislature, general, session will please come to order. Senator. Doc stator. There. We are senator doc stator. And. Representative. Barlow and summers will escort the first lady of Wyoming. Jenny their, family, and His Excellency the governor Mark Gordon to this joint session, the. Body will stand at ease until the sound of the gavel. Governor, Gordon will echo. In many ways comments. That were given yesterday by the president, and the Senate drew Perkins and also, by the Speaker, of the House, Steve Harshman. Perkins. In his remarks, before, the Senate said that Wyoming. Needs. Not to look only at tax structure, but also needs to continue, to exercise restraint on its, expenses, the object he says is, not to raise more revenue but. The object is to stabilize revenues. In speaker harshman's, introductory, speech he. Also touched on many issues that have continued, to challenge lawmakers. And citizens alike, he, urged lawmakers on, both sides of the aisle to take a long view when considering, action over the next two months Speaker, Harshman regularly looks at history to guide him and he pointed out that the work of legislators, passed that, created the permanent mineral trust fund passed, the first sales tax wyoming and those, who were the first in the nation to extend, the right for women to vote.
Order. All rows of challenging, votes for those legislators, he implied and, this. Legislature, will have tough decisions, as well. Mr.. President mr., speaker it is my pleasure to announce the following guests. The. Honorable, Allen Johnson United. States District, Court Judge for, the District of Wyoming, escorted. By senator, Schuler and represented, as P pirinen, and Miller. The. Honorable, Nancy Frieden, Thal United, States, District. Court Judge for, the District of Wyoming escorted. By Senator, and Selma, Dalton and represented. As Hallinan and McGuire. The. Honorable Kelly Rankin, United, States District, Court Chief Magistrate. Judge for, the District of Wyoming, escorted. By Senator Pappas and represented. As over, Mueller and Swann it sir. The. Honorable Carrie Jo gray justice. Of the Wyoming Supreme Court, escorted. By Senator, Wasser burger and Representatives. Paxton, and Duncan. The. Honorable, Lynn boom Garden, Justice. Of the Wyoming Supreme Court, escorted. By Senator, cost and, Representatives. Newsom and Nicholas. The. Herbal, Keith Kouts justice, of the Wyoming Supreme Court, escorted. By senator Steinmetz, and represented, as Salazar, and Simpson. The. Honorable Kate Fox justice, of the Wyoming Supreme Court, escorted. By Senator, bite Minh and represented. As TAS and Connally. The. Honorable, Gillian Balogh State, Superintendent of, Public Instruction. Escorted. By senator Kohl and represented. As Roscoe and Freeman. The. Honorable Kurt Meyer state treasurer escorted. By senator agar and Representatives. Clausen, and Lloyd Larsen. The. Honorable Kristy Racine US state, auditor, escorted. By Senator Beebe out and Representatives, hunt and Burlingame. The. On role Michael, K Davis Chief, Justice, of the Supreme Court of Wyoming escorted, by Senator Nethercott, and Representatives. Greer and Western. The. First lady of Wyoming, Jenny Gordon their, daughter-in-law, sarah Young and his, Excellency. The governor of, the state of Wyoming. Doc's. Tatter and, represented. As Barlow and summers. Like. To invite father uncle, Tim to please give the invocation please. Remain standing. Let's. Pray. Lord. God creator, of all that is, you made humanity. In your image, and likeness and you gave us dominion over, all, you have made. We. Give our consent that some of the divinity, and you have given us is to be exercised, over, us by. The women. And men we elect and have chosen to govern us for. Our government is of the people by. The people and, for the people. Be. With us therefore as our senators, our, representatives. Our elected. Officials the. Members of the judiciary, and the personnel, who assist, them so. That they may be good stewards of, what you have entrusted, to them. The. 65th, Wyoming. Legislature, in, its general session faces. Many opportunities. And challenges this, year as they address the economic. Educational. Health care and other needs of our great state. Give. Therefore, these men and women, wisdom, prudence. Insight. Creativity. And, even. A little humor. Particularly. When they face hard, or difficult decisions. During, the session. Help. Them to work together for, the common good of the people of this great state, of Wyoming, and, let. Them have a special, concern, for the poor the. Marginalized. And the most disadvantaged. In our land. As. We listen, now to Governor. Gordon's share with us the state of the state and the Chief Justice, Davis, share with us the, state of the judiciary. Let. Us thoughtfully, consider, the challenges, and opportunities before. Us, so. That with your divine grace and assistance, we. Made together fulfill. The responsibility. To, govern well. We. Ask this in all things in your Holy Name Amen. You. May be seated. For. Just a second, members, of the, sixty-fifth, legislature. Distinguished. Guests, ladies. And. Gentlemen I present His Excellency the, governor of the state of Wyoming governor, Mark Gordon. Thank. You, thank. You. So. This is why you need a governor, let us all stand and say. The Pledge of Allegiance I. Pledge. Allegiance. Thank. You very, much. Mr. president, mr.. Speaker for the opportunity, to lead this august, body in, the, pledge what an honor for me and. Members of the sixty-fifth, legislature. Thank. You for your welcome it. Is really nice to be here and it. Will, be even nicer, next, fall when we go, back to the capital. Thank. You. Would. You please join me in recognizing Secretary. Of State at Buchanan, auditor. Christie resinous, treasurer. Kurt Meyer and superintendent. Jillian Balogh. We. Are an amazing team, and I, am really looking forward to working with them more. And I. Think we have great things that we can do together as we go forward, mr.. Chief justice. I know. Mr.. Chief justice, I note. You're over there, but. Also note that this is the first time in, our state's history when we'll hear from a state, of the state of the judiciary from.
A Majority, female bench, I. Think. It's very fitting though because a hundred and forty nine years ago Governor. John Campbell, appointed. Esther Hobart Morris as the. First female justice. Of the peace in the nation and the, Sweetwater County, Clerk's, telegram, announcing the event read, Wyoming. The, youngest and one of the richest territories, in the United States gave. Equal rights, to women in action as well. As words. Justices. To each of you thank you for your impartiality. Dedication. To the Constitution. And the law and for. Your thoughtfulness, in deliberation. Thank. You also to, the leaders of the Eastern Shoshone, tribe, vice. Chairman Leslie Shakespeare. And council. Members star weed jr., and to. The leaders of the Northern Arapaho tribe. Chairman Lise moon hunter and vice-chair, Anthony. Addison. Would you please stand. It. Is it is good to see you all here and I, look forward to building an even more productive relationship, with, our governments, and years to come thank. You for coming here today and for you. Members, of the 65th, legislature. I say. On behalf of all the citizens of, Wyoming. Thank, you for your willingness to serve and, for. Your commitment, to the great state, of Wyoming. You. Were true citizen, legislature, and represent. The fabric, of Wyoming, real. People with. Real concerns. Real. Jobs and real. Families. Thank. You for your service. Two. Days ago I took, my oath of office to be your governor what. A day I was. Both inspired, and humbled by the wellspring, of really good energy that. This state seems to be feeling right now the. State is excited, and expecting. Good things from, all of us, even. As I had the great privilege of working with many of you over the past six, years as your treasurer this. Is my first opportunity to, deliver my own State of the State. Following. Close on the heels of an inaugural, for only the fourth time in our state's history it. Has been in fact 56. Years since. A newly elected governor, Hansen. Gave. His inaugural address and the State of the State in the same week I, was. Five I don't. Remember much about it, so. If this feels a little bit, like watching, c-span. Binge, watching c-span, I don't, think any of us are surprised by that but. Thank you very much for this opportunity to address you I look. Forward to our work in this session as we grapple with the concerns of our people the, opportunities. Our state provides. Sorting. Our budget, priorities, and the other issues, that, a general, session brings, forth for discussion. Let. Me begin by expressing, my, appreciation, to, Governor Meade and his administration for, preparing. A supplemental. Budget that speaks to continuing. Wyoming's, efforts to, diversify our, economy, while, emphasizing the, needs of higher education. Local. Communities, effective. Government, and state, infrastructure. Everyone. In this room is familiar with Wyoming's, history, of booms and busts. These. Cycles, of, instability. Are not new in. October, the group responsible, for forecasting. The state's revenue the Craig struck. An optimistic, tune. Which. Set. The state stage. For an upbeat budget, proposal, last. Week that, group met again to review and calibrate, their, October revenue, estimates, and since. Then things, have changed, global. Volatility, has increased, oil and gas prices have declined in my. Own time as treasurer it's. Been more often than not that, October, has seemed more obstinate optimistic. Than January, and the, remainder of the year generally, comes in somewhere.
Between Both, the high and the, low and that's, why I believe, our best times will come when. We are sure. A reliable. And stable fiscal. Future, it's. Hard to find a consistent path forward, when one chases, revenue, hopes, for windfall, or reax, drastically. To downturns, it's. Important, that we find a course where, steady, as she goes. Becomes our watchword, it's. True that Wyoming, has, been responsible, in putting, together savings. That can help stabilize those, downturns, but. If we are to chart our own future, we, must also be disciplined, to refill, even. Augment, those savings in good, times we. Must be wise with our savings using. Them when we need them and, that is why as treasurer and now, as your governor I support, a bill to, better define the purpose of the rainy day account or. Lizra, so that those nearly two billion dollars, can be invested, in better ways, reducing. Our opportunity, costs but, first and foremost this. New. Bill will, assure that the money will be there for, rainy days and second. That it can earn incrementally. Better than it does now this. Definition, will also clarify, when. How, much and for what purposes, we have set aside these. Specific, savings. You. Know my father often, quoted to me when I had clever ideas, he would say mark here's, a good rule of thumb often. Too clever is just dumb. Because. All of us here run household, budgets, we, know that there is a beauty, and simplicity. Understanding. The fact that a little more than a third of our total portfolio is, made, up by the permanent mineral, trust fund money. That cannot be appropriated, and another. Third is that is specific, to various education, missions. Also, cannot, be appropriated. This, leaves about a third left for, us all to work with we. Really don't have money to waste last. Year investment, earnings with the highest source of income to the state before. We lend out our money for low or no interest, please, remember, any reduction. In earning capacity, something. I'm sure treasurer, Meyer will talk to you about any, reduction. In earning capacity in, my, view is tantamount, to raising, taxes, and none. Of us is eager to rake take on new taxes, that. Means we will first have to do our best to contain expenditures. And a, lot of work is underway already but, I believe, deeply we must both look broadly and more, deeply at finding better ways of delivering our services and finding. Savings but. I get ahead of myself as, I. Take up my responsibilities. To the, people of Wyoming that they, have entrusted me with I, am happy to declare that the state of Wyoming is strong. We're. Strong because of our people our resources. And our, work ethic. Thank. You. We. Live we. Live each day with courage. Just. This Friday some. Of our bravest were deployed to Afghanistan. And we'll. Be sending off another. 327. National. Guard troops in 2019. What. A deep, commitment, to the ideals of our nation these, men and women show and have. Shown Tech. Sergeant, Ben Ekman was nominated, for a national, award for his exemplary, service, last year, sergeant. Eckman served, eight months in Iraq and his skillful, work under challenging, and dangerous conditions. At the. Air Force Base kept. Aircraft, and people safe we. All know that his wife sunny as the, spouse of a deployed Airmen made. An incredible, sacrifice as well, serving. Our country is a family. Effort and we're, proud to have both of you join, us today so that we can show our, appreciation for.
Your Service, would you please stand so that we can recognize you. Sergeant. Ekman and sunny. And. I also would like to take a moment to recognize Edison. General Luke Reiner for your leadership over, these last several years. General. Reiner would you please stand so we may recognize you. I. Joined. With the legislature. In our support of the military and our veterans let. Us commit to do more this, session, I commend. To you the work, of establishing, a Wyoming's, first skilled. Nursing. Facility, it's. Been a long time in coming and building, this facility will mark an important, step forward for our veterans as well, as an opportunity, to expand, a talented, workforce, educated. In our Wyoming, community colleges and our university, more. Broadly I believe, we have an obligation to, improve. Access, to mental health care for. Our veterans for, our first responders, and ultimately. For all of our citizens, substance. Abuse moral. Injury. Suicide. PTSD. These. Are all concerns, we, as a state, need to, address we. Can do more in our communities, to help support those who are struggling with this crisis. Happily. In Wyoming, there are many organizations. Working. To help those wrestling, with these traumas through. Improved, coordination, of, these nonprofit. Public and private, programs we, can provide better mental health services, in places, where people live, we. Can shape save lives and even potentially, reduce the, overall costs, of meditative, medical, of mental health care excuse, me one. Of those organizations. I've asked to be represented, here today. Volunteers. Of America Northern. Rockies is an organization. Which operates, successful. Substance, abuse facilities, in Sheridan, and Riverton, and it, provides services for veterans, and those who are less fortunate, I, mentioned. Vo ANR because, it is an example of the multi-faceted, approach we. Can take to, addressing complex, social problems such. As community, mental health care prison. Overcrowding and, homelessness. Jeff, holzinger, and his wife Beth. Jeff. Is the CEO of, Volunteers. Of America Northern. Rockies he, is in he, and this organization have, been dedicated to addressing mental health and community. Issues in our region, for, years Jeff. Would you please stand, and be recognized. Health. Services, Family, Services, workforce. Services. Insurance, and Corrections make, up some of the most significant, expenditures. In our state this. Body has wrestled, with how best to meet those needs. And. The needs of our people in a cost conscious, and compassionate. Way my. Administration, will seek to better integrate our approaches, across agencies. Not, through bigger bureaucracies. But, by finding synergies, and providing better services, to our citizens and streamlining. Our delivery, in this. Session I, also. Believe, that we can take steps towards, making our schools safer. There's. A bill and a budget proposal that I believe, can make a difference, for the safety of our kids to. Be sure there, will be issues that. Have to be properly, discussed, but. I hope this session will close with all of us knowing we did our best to improve the safety of our schools. Wyoming. People don't ask for recognition, we. Like to do what, needs to be done even in. Our day to day jobs were called upon often, to do extraordinary service, however, last.
Fall A young person stepped forward to tell principal Terry Quinn about a fellow student who planned an attack in his, school, after. Hearing this information principal. Quinn immediately, acted to locate and disarm. The student who, was carrying a pistol and had, another gun in his locker when. Confronted, that student, revealed that he had wanted to shoot as many students, as he could it is. A sad, thing when, these sorts of things can, occur but. Principal Quinn and the staff of sage Valley Junior High have, created, a school culture that fosters confidence. And students, to do the right thing and come, forward when, necessary. Principal. Quinn is here with us today and I'd like to ask him to rise so, that we might acknowledge the, courage of that young person, who stepped forward and principal. Quinn's quick and decisive action when averting a potentially, devastating threat. Thank. You Thank, You principal Quinn for them. I'd. Like to join superintendent. Bale oh and launching a multi-year, initiative to, continue, to improve student, Haeften safety, and health we. Can find sensible, and appropriate, solutions, that, will enhance the physical mental. And emotional well-being, of, our students, as well, as make school buildings, safer, but. That's not all we need to do for our schools, over. The next several years we must work towards a more stable and predictable way to fund, education, from. Our rural schools and places like bill to. Our larger, schools in Cheyenne Casper, or Rock Springs, let. Me introduce you to the kind of leadership. That a good teacher, can provide my. Friend and neighbor Andrew, bridge Ellie who is not here with us today they, grew up just down the creek, he, went to through school with my daughter's class in Buffalo he, worked nights bussing. Tables he, stacked hay by day and, he, worked on the weekends, delivering, fountain flowers I saw. This work hat ethic, firsthand, watching. Him on his family ranch and, fortunately. He. Started, teaching here, just a few years ago right, over here at Cheyenne East last. Year through, inspired, teaching and mentoring Andrew, took another record, number of kids from, Thunder Basin high school to, Washington, DC to compete in the prestigious, Future, Business Leaders of America national. Finals that's, the kind of leadership we grow in Wyoming, it, is, because of teachers like Andrew, that I have faith in our education, system and why, I urge this body to. Recognize this. Commitment, and support the joint education, and appropriations. Committees. Recommendations. Of an external, cost adjustment for, our schools. Over. The course of the last couple of years in Wyoming like a lot of states we. Have suffered from a lack of a skilled workforce.
Education. Is changing our economy. Is changing today. More than ever we need to provide the. Educational. Opportunities, to enable a nimble workforce, to find job jobs. With companies, right here in Wyoming that's. Why I support a suite of proposals, included, in the Wyoming Works which. Promise, new ways for high school students, and even adults to continue, their technical education, and this, will also stand up new Career and Technical Education programs in, our community colleges, I believe. Wyoming, should create a new trust fund under the amendment, a provisions. That with. Private, industry support, and a Wyoming match would offer scholarships for, Career and Technical Education and I, look forward to working to. Make Wyoming, Works a reality. This. Supplemental. Budget is justified. To place a priority on higher education to. That end I applaud those, who are proposing, bills that would help lambing students, move more, seamlessly, from high school to college and, from. Community colleges, to the University, of Wyoming we. Are moving in the right direction the. University, of Wyoming is our flagship, and I, am glad to support, further funding for scholarships, to retain our best and brightest students to, advance the effort to provide, top-tier, science programs, and to advance other strategic, initiatives. I also, believe that we should support UW's. Effort to retain staff and faculty. Uw. Is responding. To the times and providing, and proving. To be innovative, in its own right I applaud. President. Nichols for, launching the outdoor recreation and, tourism management degree, program, that aligns. UW, with the second, largest industry in the state and gives, graduates, an opportunity, for, worthwhile, and fulfilling work right here in Wyoming I'll. Also note, that. UW. Did this by raising private. Money. Not. Asking, for new State dollars, Thank. You president, Nichols. One. Of our University's, fundamental, missions is to support another cornerstone, of the state's economy agriculture. In, this. Supplemental, budget there's, a call for further innovation, in agriculture, and ranching through. An enhanced UW. AG program, I urge, you to consider those proposals, closely. Wyoming. Like many Western states is struggling, to contend with the spread of invasive species. Like cheatgrass. Leafy, spurge and medusahead. Wild rye these, species are degrading, our range threatening. Agricultural. Viability and impacting, big game and we. Are also raising, fire risk across the West with the spread of these invasives, in. Our quest to be a top-tier, agricultural. School certainly. One mission, we should consider expanding as, our research into better ways to expunge, and control. The spread of invasive in support.
Of That effort I plan, to work with UW's, College of Agriculture, and natural resources our. Community, College and the state's state's weed and pest districts, to put together a program that will combine research, with. Management. Aiming. To make sure Wyoming, is a leader nationally on, combating, invasive species. I'm. Also excited, that we established, a trade office in Taiwan last year and one. Of the first products, to sell there was Wyoming, beef and it's evidently much sought after in Taipei's finest. Restaurants, but. I'm also thrilled, that after a hiatus Wyoming, lamb is again, going to Japan, we. Need to expand, these efforts across, Asia find new markets and grow our AG sector. Energy. Must. Continue, to be one of the pillars of our economy, and to that end I'll continue the support of UW, school of energy resources, efforts, across, the spectrum, of industries that have helped to build our state. Ser. Has become a recognized. Global leader in areas, that will continue, to underpin our economy, the. World's dim the world demands, what Wyoming, has to offer especially when it comes to our mineral and energy, sectors, in. 2018. Wyoming, hit a record four permit applications. To drill for oil and gas Wyoming. Also continues, to be a global leader in trona. Uranium. And bentonite production, we, must continue, to advocate for these industries, including. Fighting for a level playing field internationally. Thank. You I. Want. To take a moment to, talk about coal. Coal. Continues, to power this country and despite. Market trends and politics, they will remain an essential, part of America's, portfolio, for, decades, to come, around. The globe technology. Keeps advancing there. Is progress benefitting, our world by burning coal more, cleanly and efficiency. Gently. Japan. And Korea have, built more efficient. Clean burning fleets, of. Coal-fired. Electric. Generation, and have ever been built before. Technologies. Employed, there when. Paired with Powder, River Basin coal, can reduce the overall carbon, emitted, to our atmosphere, that, is progress that, should be a gut cinch for those advocating, to control carbon emissions, and yet. Across. Our, access. To these Asian, markets remains restricted, tied. Up and permit after permit, I believe. This to be an unconstitutional. Restraint. Of trade and, I'll, strongly, advocate, for access, to all markets. I. Have. Invited, I have invited my friend and former colleague on, Wyoming's, Environmental, Quality Council, Wendy Hutchinson, to be with us here today, wendy, has been Merton working, for nearly a decade to open a coal port in Longview, Washington this. Is a port that will expedite coal exports, among other commodities. To. Countries like Japan, and Korea for. Her efforts last year Wendy was named one of the top 100, most. Inspirational. Women in mining, in the world Wendy. I've asked you here today so that we can recognize you and the Millennium bulk terminals, perseverance, and navigated. Complicated. Time-consuming. Inefficient. And perhaps even now adulterated. Process. Of getting permits, would, you please stand, so. We can recognize you, Thank You Wendy. And. There. Are other promising. New uses of coal we should pursue that. Can provide advanced, building materials, and other innovative, products, some. Of these are being developed at UW's, and others. Are being developed in the private sector, Wyoming. Is the nation's leader in advancing, carbon, sequestration, and has, launched, the integrated, test center which, is working on turning a byproduct like carbon dioxide into a valuable, and marketable, product, here, in Wyoming we'll, continue to, seek innovative, solutions, to support coal, address. Climate change change. And grow our economy. We. In Wyoming, we, in Wyoming, are anxious to lead the way to a brighter future not, by following, political fashion, but, by rolling, up our sleeves doubling. Down on research, and innovation, and solving. Our world's, energy problems.
We. Can support this effort through, the creation of enhance of enhanced. Energy Office our, governmental. Resources, related. To energy are spread across multiple, agencies, this. Office, can help speed up permitting, for oil and gas drilling. Better. Cite renewable. Energy projects, all in, service of improving, the ability to wisely develop, our full, portfolio of, resources, in a, transparent, way while, safeguarding our, wildlife our open, spaces and our, livelihoods. And. It. Thank. You. And. It's not only with energy that I believe we can make great strides with efficiency, and productivity of, government, now. More than ever to find efficiencies and build new processes, means, we need the best possible employees. In state government, so, let's make that investment in productivity, and our employees, governor. Meads budget, recommends, a raise for Wyoming employees. I support. This request because, I know now how. Vital, it motivated. And talented excuse. Me how I. Know how, vital, motivated. And talented employees. Are to efficient, cost-effective, government. I am. NOT interested I. Am. NOT interested in growing the cost of government I am, interested, in making it better working. Together with this legislature, my administration. Will, drive towards, more, efficient, government. Over. The last several days Wyoming. Has been talking. A lot about opportunity. And transformation. I mentioned. In my inaugural, speech that. This is a watershed, time, in Wyoming's, history this. Is our time, to reshape, government, with, initiatives, like the efficiency, study and the transparency, work that auditor resinous and I, are spearheading we, can work within government, to make it serve the public better a leaner. And more, efficient, and because, I believe that Wyatt when people, are empowered to find better approaches, to, doing business better. Approaches, will be found and more, enthusiastically. Adopted. Our. Our. Budgeting, process, has become complex, I can. Say this with. Some confidence, having, served as your treasurer. Treasurer. Mayer secretary. Buchanan, would, you agree. So. I would like to engage Wyoming. More broadly in our budget discussions, we, can start with a program, I've asked my fellow statewide elected, constitutional. Officers, to, help get off the ground I've. Asked, each of them with. And the leadership of both houses to sponsor, a local high school of their, choosing so. That students, can get a chance to build a state budget if there.
Are Any other legislators, who would like to participate in the cowboy budget, challenge, now, is your chance the. Rules are pretty simple sponsor. A high school direct. Participating. Students to the appropriate, websites, for information and, finally. Submit proposals in, the, coming weeks the governor's website will be publishing details of this challenge this, effort I believe, will better connect government, to its people, spur. Conversation, and better inform, our citizens, about our budget. I. Believe. That, to make Wyoming, stronger our focus must continue, to be on local communities. Wyoming. Is blessed to be the home of many community, heroes, Jacob. Carlson, is one of them he. Is an Army veteran and currently, serves on the Casper, police force on may. 6th, of last year, he, and his, partner. Officer Randy. Garrett responded. To what might have seemed like a relatively, harmless situation. Someone. Was letting a young child drive a car in an empty parking lot but, when Randy and Jacob arrived they immediately, and unexpectedly. Had their lives put on the line the. Two police officers were, fired upon officer, Carlson, was shot at least five times but, thanks to his and his partner's incredible, bravery skill. And the, aid of other capable, police officers, EMTs, and doctors, Jacob. Lived as did the two small children who were in the car officer. Jacob. Carlson, we, are so grateful that you are here today and are recovering, we, are also grateful that you have the strength and support of your wife Tiffany, and your, son Zane. We, just high-fived my, wife, we. Thank you and commend you for your service would you please stand so that we may thank you. We. Need to support our local police departments. Sheriff's Office's, fire, halls and local communities, I believe. The best decisions, are made closest, to where the impact of those decisions, are felt, it's. Also at the local level where individuals, and entrepreneurs, can spur new businesses, that align with the community's, values and assets. I applaud. Governor Meade's dedication. To providing funding to local governments, these past eight years and, I'll, continued, that work but. Beyond dollars I want to move forward with improving. The tools required, for cities towns, and counties to prosper, that, means finding ways to enhance, the services, of the state loan and Investment Board I also. Support. The recommendation. In the supplemental, budget to augment the federal natural. Resources. Protection, account the fanner Poe account which. Provides, a great buffer, against. Federal, overreach. When. It comes to the Wyoming Business, Council and other community, investment, opportunities, I am beginning a comprehensive. Review of how all of our work, relating. To economic, development works. If. They work together or, if, they work apart, or if, they work alongside each, other I believe. We can improve our approaches, and have already begun conversations, with the Business Council and the, chairman of the endow and engage councils. I support. The ongoing efforts, to improve access to broadband, internet, coverage throughout, the state this, has been an appropriate, partnership, between government, and private industry not.
Only Does broadband, give our students a tool to compete with the rest of the world it's, necessary, for health care delivery especially. In rural areas where. Other specialized. Doctors, aren't available, lives. Are being saved now, because, of advances, in telehealth. Neurologists. And Casper are connected. By internet video to emergency. Rooms in Douglas and in Sheridan, and kanuk. Treat stroke, patients. Getting. Them life-saving, drugs in time for them to have the most benefit. Advancements. In technology, like this improve the quality of life for Wyoming, to. Solve complex, challenges. Create, jobs and they, will allow entrepreneurs to, establish, businesses, to, see even, our smallest, towns as a fertile, ground to grow a company. As. Governor, I will support our hometowns, as they chart their own courses. For the future. Likewise. I also, will stand up for Wyoming charter, her own course and this. Is certainly the case with health care and so I look forward to working with you because. We've been given the opportunity, to craft, a Wyoming solution. I. Think. This legislature. Has, the opportunity to make some real changes in how Wyoming, has provided healthcare it's too important, for our children to. Our parents, and to each of us we, certainly cannot, expand, our economy keep. Our major employers, here, or attract, new businesses, if we, don't find, a way to bring, down the cost of healthcare. Wyoming. Is a headwater. State we, are home to some of the cleanest water and cleanest air in the nation our. Heritage, of wildlife unparalleled. Vistas, and open space make. Us the envy of the world these. Are important, in special, assets for Wyoming that inspire, tourism, and just, plain make Wyoming, a better place to live over. The past several years citizens. From every one of the state's nine judicial. Districts have, brought a discerning, eye to the project, supported, by the Wyoming wildlife, and natural resource, trust, projects. Have benefited, Wyoming's, water wild, animals and habitats, from. Irrigation, projects. To, invasive. Species control, in its nearly 15, years the, trust has put forward 58, billion million dollars, often. Leveraging. That dollar those dollars with private match in projects. All over the, state the fund, has facilitated, energy, development. And made our wildlife. Populations, stronger. Improving. Irrigation, diversions, and mitigating. Erosion, throughout the state the. Trust has also made a difference for those of us who, love to hunt and fish our. Wildlife populations. Are doing extremely. Well and, contributing. More than a billion dollars, each year to our economy.
I Could. Testify, to this myself as someone who and hunting, but. My experience, doesn't. Measure up to that of Ashley, lungful Ashley. Is from Cody my. Wife Jenny and I got to know her through the Wyoming Women's Foundation antelope. Hunt and I have to say Jenny that, the guys who work on our ranch are envious of Ashley, and you'll know why in a second, ashley, is a remarkable. Individual, who. Despite, becoming paralyzed. In a ranching accident, when she was younger is one, of the most amazing and inspiring, individuals. I have ever met she. Won the Safari Club, Pathfinder. Award in, 2017. She. Has redefined, her life and encouraged, others with a powerful message of living life to, the fullest, she. Is an author and a powerful motivational. Speaker a passionate. Advocate for accessible. Outdoor, recreation. And someone. You should just all respect, for what. She has continued, to accomplish. At. All, times, ashley, has been an ambassador for Wyoming for. The outdoors and for, our hunting heritage. Ashley. Is here with us today and I'd ask you to join me in recognizing her. Thank. You Ashley. You've. Heard their invest in our hunting in our big game in all wildlife, and their habits I'd like to add something, to the wildlife natural resource trust this, session with. The aim of moving, towards having the trust become self-sufficient, as, it was always intended to be let's. Not let this opportunity pass, us by and. Now, I'd like to take a moment to thank my family. Many. Of our kids have headed back to their jobs, but. We are joined today here. By my daughter-in-law. Sarah. It. Was her son Everett our grandson, that you met Monday. Everett. And Spencer. His dad are enjoying, some quality father-son, time, this. Morning and. Jenny. I am. Honored, to serve with you. Wyoming. Is fortunate, to have you as a first lady I am, is fortunate, to have a first lady who is at home in the, calving barn and dressed. To the nines as she was the other night looking, radiant, god. Bless you Jenny love you very much. It's. Not often, that a husband, you know normally, it's the the husband's role to, embarrass, their wife it's not often. That a husband has an opportunity to embarrass this one. For. Those of you legislators, who do not know Jenny we look forward to hosting you at the residence, and getting to know you we're, humbled to have the responsibility.
Of Being the first family, for this incredible, state for the next four, years I. Have. To say the enthusiasm, we have felt over the past couple of days should give us all optimism. For the future we. Are resourceful, people, in an, amazing, state at an important, time in our history let's. Make the most of this I thank. Each of you legislators. For your friendship, for you and for, engaging in this conversation and, I look forward to hearing your ideas and, learning, your priorities, for. Those of you watching, at, home. My. Hat is off to you, thank. You for being engaged in your government. We. Can all applaud the legislature, this. Legislature. For. Advancing, transparency. And making it easier to participate. In the legislative process and. Finally. I cannot, do justice to the gratitude and humility I feel to be standing here as your governor and the. Governor of the greatest, state, in the nation thank. You god, bless, God. Bless Wyoming. And god bless the United States of America. Governor. Gordon on. Behalf of the members of the legislature, we thank you for attending this joint session and for your words today thank you very much, ladies. And gentlemen. Members. Of the 65th, legislature. And distinguished, guests, ladies and gentlemen again, I now, present the Honorable Michael, K Davis. Chief Justice the Wyoming Supreme Court, please rise. Thank. You. Mr.. President, mr.. Speaker. Governor. And mrs. Gordon sera. Members. Of the 65th, Wyoming, legislature. Elected. Officials, members. Of the judiciary. Guests. And citizens. Of the state of Wyoming, it. Is an honor to speak to you on behalf of the dedicated, men and women who serve in the judicial, branch of our, state's government. Thank. You president. Perkins and Speaker Harshman, for. The opportunity, to do so I am. Pleased to report that, the state of the Wyoming judiciary. Is strong I. Apologize. In advance that, the state of my voice is not so, strong today. Chief, Justice former Chief Justice Burke had a suggestion, which I think indicates. Conclusively. That retired. Supreme Court justices, have too much time on their hands he. Suggested, that I hire someone, with a great voice like. A radio announcer, to record this message and that I then come up here and lip-synced. Judging. From how much troublesome, rock bands got in for that I decided. To make a stab at it but, thank, you for your understanding. It. Has been a year of transitions. And changes for the judiciary. Justice. William Hill retired, from. Our Court earlier this year and justice. Lynn Boone garden has, taken his seat on the court, justice. Jim Burke retired, in October, of this, year and his, seat has been filled by justice Gary Joe gray. Justices. Boom garden and gray have been hard at work producing, excellent opinions, and the, rest of the court although we miss our retired colleagues, is enjoying, working with them in our, common goal of rendering, justice, for the citizens of Wyoming. To. District judges also retired, this year, judge. Bob scar of the fifth Judicial, District based in Warland left, the judiciary, after many years of faithful service in, a, number of positions of public trust and his. Big shoes have been filled by Judge Bobby over field judge. Tom Sullins who has been a role model to many of us both as lawyers and judges has. Retired from, his post in Casper, effective, January.
7 And that, post has been filled by Judge Carrie Johnson. In. Addition. After, consulting, with the Laramie County Commissioners, and the three district judges sitting in Cheyenne and after. Communicating, with leaders in the legislature. The. Fourth Judicial the fourth district judge opening, which this body authorized, in the first Judicial, District was, open to the judicial nominating process. Peter. Frolic R was selected, to fill that position and he, is working toward assuming, his duties and looking. Forward to relieving some of the burden on his on the other three judges who. Have been doing the work of four and a half judges. Up until now. Finally. Circuit, Judge Tom Harrington, sitting in Moreland retired. On January 7 and he, plans to help coach wrestling and to, continue to serve his community as he has done so well in the past his. Seat has been filled by ed loom a longtime. Warland attorney I. Would. Be remiss if I did not say something, about the hard work of the, Judicial, Nominating Commission. Under. Our Constitution. This body consists, of three non lawyers, appointed, by the governor and three. Attorneys elected, by the Wyoming State, Bar, from. The second week of June through, the third week of November, the Commission produced five sets of three nominees each for, one position on the Supreme Court three. District court positions, and one, Circuit Court Judge ship, calling. Through numbers of applicants, that range from nine to, nine team for, each position, this. Entailed reading ten documents, for each applicant, collating. And assessing, them conducting. Interviews of those with the potential, to be good judges and then, sending the names of three nominees to the governor, the. Commission's goal is to nominate three individuals. Each, of whom would be a great judge, I think. They and, also, their goal is to make the governor's choice from. That three as agonizing. As possible. I, think. They accomplish that and they. Did so under tremendous time pressure, we. Should all be grateful for, their volunteer service. Although. The Supreme Court seems like a quiet place there's, really a lot going on that affects, not only our branch but also the state in general a few. Years ago this, body provided, funding which was matched by private donations to, build a judicial Learning Center which, was modeled on a similar facility in Colorado the. Center is suitable for students from about fifth grade of two adults, the. Number of visitors continues, to grow the. Center had nearly 1300. Visitors of all ages in, 2018. We. Expect that number to increase when the capital renovation, is complete and visitors. Come to see that wonderful renovated. Facility, near our courthouse. The. Learning Center is also available online, for, those who cannot make it to Cheyenne to see it, why. So much emphasis on children, you may ask as. Chief Justice John Roberts of, the United States Supreme Court recently observed, if. Children do not understand, the Constitution. They, cannot understand, how our government, functions or, what, their rights and. Responsibilities. Are as citizens, of the United States and, that. Is the goal of the judicial Learning Center. In. Addition. We continue to offer tours to schools and citizen groups of all ages, usually. Involving a chance to meet with the Justice we. Also continue, to hold Supreme Court arguments, in, other cities and, we continue, to support you be the judge programs, the. Latter are presented, by local judges and the Supreme Court who. Has citizens, to sit as judges on mock cases, and to, decide them as if they were real judges and if as if there were real cases they. Soon find that judging is not as easy as it appears to be. Until. A couple of years ago the Wyoming judicial branch did not have a formal system for.
Orientation, Of new judges and justices. Chief. Justice Jim Burke and justice Keith Kountz instituted. A new judicial orientation. Program which, has been a great success, the. Best part of these orientations, is provided, by the trial judge's themselves, they. Are able to guide new judges through pitfalls, and best practices, and they, are to be congratulated on, their hard work supporting, their new colleagues. 13. Judicial orientations. For all levels of the judiciary, have, been completed between January. Of 2017. And January. Of 2019. And. We think they help new judges hit the ground running which. They must do. Two. Years ago the. Legislature, increased the judicial, systems automation, fee so. That the judicial, branch could among other things begin. Upgrading, the audio and video capacities. Of our approximately. Seventy, courtrooms around, the state a study. Conducted earlier, had found that many of our courtrooms were only at a three or four, on a functional, scale of one to ten. Often. Meaning that they did not have basic. Audio capabilities. To, allow participants, and the court to hear what was going on in the courtroom. Although. The funding from the JSA, fee has not been as much as anticipated. The. Court technology, office is upgrading, courtrooms as funds. Are available to, assure adequate audio. And hearing-impaired, technology, to. Comply with the Americans with Disabilities. Act and to, make sure hearings, are. Actually proceedings, we're all present can, here in the. Future we will provide video technology. To bring the courtrooms up to a modern functional, level. The. Branch is also rolling out a new jury selection, program called agile jury, which. Allows jurors to complete questionnaires, online, and to, receive text and email messages of, upcoming trials the. System was piloted, in Laramie County District Court where. It received rave reviews over. A thousand, citizens have already used the system it. Has greatly reduced the time the clerks of court must spend notifying. Jurors when they must come to court and it, has enhanced, the experience of, potential, and serving jurors. The. Electronic, case management system in our circuit courts reached end-of-life, a few, years back and we are, beginning to pilot an upgraded program, and expect to have it installed and operational. In all circuit, courts by early 2020, this. Project, like others requires. Extensive, travel by our small IT staff but.
It Is getting done as, quickly as possible. As. To. The district courts everyone. Including. And especially me is impatient. To get electronic, filing, in place in those courts. Beginning. In about 2010. The judicial branch began, to work on a statewide electronic. Case management system for, the district courts before. That each County had its own electronic. System if it had any at all and it, was impossible to conveniently, collect, statewide data, from it a. Statewide. System, was put in place and so. Now all district, courts are on the same system meaning. That data can be collected and judges, can work electronically, both, in their home courts and on cases assigned from, out of district. Unfortunately. The, system was not completely, satisfactory, to, either the clerks of district court or, to our staff and we. Pivoted, to an upgrade of the full court program, which, had been used in 15 of the. 23, district courts and which. Is used in the circuit courts and is being upgraded. These. Systems are complex, and they require extensive and time-consuming. Customization. To, fit the Wyoming legal system, the. Clerks of district court and our IT staff have. Been working to get the system ready for use and we, hope to begin testing, it in pilot courts later this year. Until. The new system is in place however it, is not possible, or at least not desirable, to. The clerks of court and our staff to initiate a filing, we. Anticipate, that any filing system, will be tested, in district pilot courts by early 2023. We. Would all like to have. This happen much sooner and we, continue, to look for ways to speed things up both, on our end and with the contractor, but. We are making progress as quickly as the capabilities, of the, district, court clerk's our contractors. And our small staff allow, I. Hesitate. To descend into more detail on IT issues, for fear of losing you all but. I did want to mention that we have been involved in securing, our court, data statewide. Courts. Around the country have been subject to hacking, and denial. Of service attacks and there, is good reason to believe that some day there will be successful, data ransom, demands. In courts around the country including ours, as well, as other data breaches, we. Have been told that there really doesn't have to be a rational purpose behind those attacks if. A system can be brought down there, will be someone, who will do it just because he or she can I don't. Want to go into specifics in this very public forum for security, reasons but, we have upgraded our threat protection hired. Contractors. To try to penetrate our defenses. Instituted. Policies to. Make ourselves a harder target and arrange. For cloud backup so that we will always be able to get our data. We. Also now, have a disaster, recovery plan so. That our courts can continue to operate in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. As. Part of our security, efforts we. Have also upgraded hardware. And software, statewide. The. New software is much more secure and, unfortunately. Newer hardware was needed to run the newer software, in. Addition we, have expanded cooperation with, outside agencies including. Counties vital. Statistics, ETS, the. Division of Criminal Investigation. Driver. Services the. Wyoming, Highway Patrol, and local, law enforcement agencies. This. Cooperation, allows legislatively. Authorized. Electronic. Transfer, of court data to, these agencies for, their own activities. In. Terms, of Supreme Court personnel, we. Have lost our chief financial officer. Christie resinous who. Succumbed, to the siren, song of elected, office. We. Will miss, her deeply, I've never met anybody who just loved numbers like. That before, however. We have been able to recruit, Claire Smith a CPA, with extensive, governmental. Accounting experience, and us, and. We look forward to working with her she should, be appearing before you in committee shortly, now. I. Must turn to the compensation, of the good men and women of the judicial, branch. Governor. Mead and now Governor Gordon have, asked for a pay raise for executive, branch employees. The. Judges and justices wholeheartedly. Support. A pay increase for the non judge judicial. Branch employees who.
Sustain Their efforts like. The raises of their counterparts in the executive branch should you grant them, it. Will be approximately four, years since they received a raise and those employees are certainly do one we. Are proud of those who keep the judicial, branch running, from, those based in Cheyenne at the Supreme Court building. To, those in the district and circuit courts around the state they. Are the best they deal, with people in very stressful situations. Many times every day and. They deserve compensation that, keeps up with, inflationary, and market, pressures. Now. I turn to a different topic and speak. For a pay increase for the judges and justices of our, branch in. 2012. The, legislature, approved a pay raise for all judges, and justices in, the Wyoming, judicial, branch, although. The circuit judges who, received a lesser increase that, had been sought in 2012, received. A small increase in 2017. The, judges and district judges have not received any pay increase since, 2012. I. Want. To make it clear that. Attorneys. Who become judges do not expect to earn what they could make by, working in private practice our. Judges have chosen public, service but. They also have families, and obligations. And they, can only afford to reduce their earnings so much and live up to the obligations. It. Is of course a great honor to be trusted as a judge and we. All feel not only the tremendous obligation of, the office but also great pride to hold the public trust. However. Those who become judges face the reality, that they, may make a legally, sound and correct decision, which, is in pop unpopular and, thus fail retention, for. Doing the right thing this. Is a daunting prospect for, lawyers already making a good living when. They choose to seek a judgeship. Moreover. Being, a judge is not always the safest of occupations. The. Difficult choices they must make and the often violent, individuals, who appear before them guarantee. A certain level of apprehension, as, well as a genuine, risk of harm to themselves and their families. The. Board of judicial policy and administration, which, is the body representing, all levels of the state judiciary. Recently. Formed a judicial, salaries, Committee, which. Is chaired by Justice, Kate Fox, the. Committee reviewed the compensation. Paid in neighboring states among other things, the. Committee's research revealed, that the compensation of our judges and justices who. Perform work similar, to that of our colleagues, in other states has fallen behind. For. Example, our. District. Judges aren't a salary of 150. Thousand dollars per year, salaries. For district judges in Nebraska, Colorado and Utah ranged. From 163. Thousand, dollars to 168. Thousand, dollars per year similar. Disparities. Exist with, regard to the equivalent, of the circuit courts and the Supreme Court's of those states. Judicial. Salaries will determine in part the caliber of applicants, we can expect for, judicial openings. The. Committee learned that over the course of the next 10 years 14. Of the 29, district court judges and Supreme Court justices will. Face mandatory retirement. Additionally. Although there is no mandatory retirement, age for circuit court judges if we, assume, they may choose to retire at age 70, 16. Of the 24 circuit, judges may, retire in that timeframe as well. It. Is true that our neighbors, Montana, and South Dakota. And perhaps other states. Around the nation pay. Their judges and justices less, than, Wyoming, does but. I do not believe Wyoming. Could take pride in having poorly, compensated judges. Sir. Francis Bacon, observed, that justice. Must not only be done but. It must be seen to be done how. Much confidence will attorneys and citizens have, in judicial decisions, rendered by judges or regarded, as underpaid, and thus, perhaps not as well-qualified as those in neighboring. States. Alexander. Hamilton in Federalist. 78, described. The judicial, branch has the quote, least dangerous, branch of government. We. Have no army and no police force and we, have no control of our own finances. Our. Decisions, are honored because other branches of government and, our citizens respect. The rule of law and believe, that judges are independent, of political and other pressures in their decision-making. The. Salaries committee also learned that various executive branch employees and, employees of local government entities often earn more than, judges, or justices in, the branch while. We do not suggest that, these individuals, are over compensated, by any means we.
Do Suggest that the burdens undertaken, by judges, at all levels weren't, fair compensation, which. Can be compared to these positions. It. Is true that we continue to be able to recruit well-qualified, judges. Although. In the recent recruiting efforts I already described, the number, of applicants, reached a low of nine for. A district judge ship in the tronic County where. The work is interesting and demanding. It. Is also important, to note that since the judicial, pay raise went into effect in 2012, there. Has been total inflation of ten point nine percent over. The intervening years this. Is based on Wyoming inflation, figures from. The economic, analysis, Division of the Department of Administration and. Information. I. Don't. Claim to be much of a mathematician but. I'm pretty sure that means that the 150 thousand, dollar, salary district, judges received in 2012. Has, been cut by inflation, to one hundred and thirty three thousand, six, hundred and fifty dollars. In today's purchasing, power, that. Of this also means that to keep pace with that salary in 2012. The district judge would have to receive. 166. Thousand, three hundred fifty dollars per year the, same is true in differing degrees of the, other two levels of the judiciary, the circuit. Courts and the Supreme Court. The. Judicial salaries committee has recommended, and the board. Of judicial policy, and administration, has endorsed, that recommendation. Pay. Increases as follows, one. Hundred and fifty thousand, dollars for circuit judges which is what district judges received, now as I just said one. Hundred and sixty five thousand, dollars for district judges, which, is what the five Wyoming, Supreme Court, justices, earned. Now and. One hundred and eighty thousand, dollars for the five justices of the Wyoming Supreme Court, we. Estimate the economic impact, of this increase at approximately, two point seven five million. Dollars, per biennium I note. That for the district judges and the Supreme Court justices, these. Raises, would not take effect on the effective date of legislation, but, instead due to constitutional. Restraints, would, only take effect when a new judge or justice, is, sworn in we. Cannot predict, when a new judge or justice, will. Retire early. But, we do know that one judge will reach mandatory, retirement, age in the spring of 2020. A little, over a year from the end of this session. Raises. For the circuit judges on the other hand would, take effect, on the effective date of any act granting. Them a raise or on. Such other date as the legislature, might choose. Finally. As to this topic I note that there is no linkage, between raises, for judges and those, that might be granted from, time to time to, other state employees, there's, always results, as it does right now in the, judiciary, having to ask for what seems like a large percentage, an increase, when. In fact is one that will basically keep, up with inflation I, would. Urge the legislature, to address the existing, situation this, session but. To consider a means of periodic, increases, that will fairly. Relate to incremental, salary, increases for other state employees, perhaps. As, interim, topic. The. Online merriam-webster, dictionary, found, that the word of the year for 2018. Was, justice, it. Has been the most looked up word in that dictionary in, last. Year it. Has always been and always will be the, mission of the judicial, branch to, do justice in the individual, cases that, come before judges, at all levels. Justice. Is often, if not always elusive. But. The judges who pursue it never give up the quest although.
They See the same intractable. Problems, of addiction, greed, mental. Illness poverty. Economic, disasters. And, sometimes, just plain meanness. Every day. Our. System, of government functions. As it does because, each branch is dependent, on the other in some, way the. Executive, and legislative branches must trust, the judicial, branch to determine, the lawfulness and, constitutionality. Of, legislation. And executive, action with, due regard and, deference to those branches prerogatives. The. Judicial, branch must, trust the legislative, branch to provide funding, to continue, that elusive, quest for, justice at, the ground level face. To face with litigants, in courtrooms. Around this state in cases. Involving men women, families. Business. Organizations. And governmental, entities. We. Ask only the representatives. Of the people who fill this chamber, continue. To give us the means not only to do our work well than. To assure that we have the confidence of the people who, appear before us and, of the public. Thank. You for, the opportunity, to speak with you this morning and for. All you do for the judicial branch and the state of Wyoming, we. Wish you well in this challenging, session, good. Luck and, Godspeed thank. You. Chief. Justice Davis on behalf of the members of the, Wyoming, legislature, I thank, you for attaining this joint session and, for your message today we appreciate your time and effort Thank You. Senator. Doc stater, representative. Representives. Barlow and summers will you please x corps escort, the first lady of y I mean their family, and the governor from the chamber. 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.