2016 News Releases
March 14, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Today Governor Mead signed Original House Bill 194, School Safety and Security. This law authorizes school districts to adopt rules for concealed carry on school property. The rules must provide an application and approval process, safeguarding and training requirements, and a process for revoking authorization. This law further requires notification of law enforcement, parents and guardians. It provides for local control and specific parameters. This bill was sponsored in part by legislators being asked by very rural schools without readily available law enforcement protection to have the opportunity for district consideration.
The Governor vetoed Original House Bill 137, Wyoming Repeal Gun Free Zones Act.
“Vetoing any bill is not a decision I take lightly,” said Governor Mead. “This bill had flaws. My veto message notes my strong support of the right to keep and bear arms, the numerous gun bills I have signed into law, and the numerous lawsuits I have directed the Attorney General to pursue to protect Second Amendment rights.”
House Bill 137 would have allowed concealed carry in any government meetings on public property but, for legislative meetings on public property, would have allowed concealed carry only where permitted. These were not consistent provisions. It was problematical for the Legislature to treat a county commissioner meeting or town council meeting, for example, different from legislative meetings. Many have asked for a say in such an important matter just as the Legislature has kept a say itself.
Governor Mead's veto message on HB137 can be found here.
March 7, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mead was pleased with the support from the nation’s governors for reforms to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Governor started to work on ESA reforms during his tenure as chairman of the Western Governors Association. The National Governors Association (NGA) winter meeting was held in Washington, D.C. February 24 – 27. The ESA reforms were considered and passed by those governors in attendance.
"The bipartisan principles adopted by governors recognize the value of wildlife to our nation and that we should constantly be looking for ways to do better for wildlife and people. I am thankful for the support from my fellow governors,” said Governor Mead.
Changes covered by the resolution include: states should be involved in the ESA process; clear recovery goals set for listed species; consistent funding to states for species conservation; and listing decisions with strong scientific basis. The resolutions passed by NGA will be shared with Congress and advocated for by NGA staff.
The full policy position can be read here: https://www.nga.org/cms/home/federal-relations/nga-policy-positions/page-nr-policies/col2-content/main-content-list/environmental-protection.html
March 6, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead signed the ENDOW Initiative bill into law Friday, March 3. In November, Governor Mead announced the ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) Initiative, a long-term planning effort for economic diversification. The bill, Senate File 132, establishes an executive council to oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive and coordinated economic diversification strategy, requires the Governor to designate a coordinator of economic diversification, and creates an economic diversification account.
“The idea to diversify Wyoming’s economy isn’t new and has been discussed for decades,” said Governor Mead. “What sets this initiative apart from those efforts is its approach, first establishing a strategy and second sustaining the effort over time through action and evaluation. With the passage of this bill, we must now execute. I am pleased to have the support of the legislature in seeing the need for this initiative and helping to put the plan into action.”
“For years, people in Wyoming have talked about the importance of diversifying our state’s economy. The time for talk is over,” said Senate President Eli Bebout. “The ENDOW initiative delivers action and a bold, long-term commitment to Wyoming’s future. By strengthening cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government, we can ensure that Wyoming's legislative efforts work for Wyoming families and young people year round. I am confident that ENDOW will maximize results for Wyoming's future economic growth and prosperity.”
"The future generations of Wyoming community leaders, business owners and stewards of our land remain at the forefront of all that we have done this legislative session,” said House Speaker Steve Harshman. “ENDOW is a critical component of this work, positioning us to invest in Wyoming’s young people and empowering them to build a career right here at home. Be it through job training, business recruitment or enacting policies that can cultivate new industries and expand others, the legislature is proud to partner with Governor Mead on the ENDOW initiative.”
Governor Mead and Greg Hill, President and Chief Operation Officer of Hess Corporation and a University of Wyoming graduate, will co-chair the ENDOW Initiative.
In compliance with the new law, Governor Mead has appointed Jerimiah Rieman as the coordinator of economic diversification to oversee the ENDOW Initiative. The Governor expects to appoint the executive council in early April.
To find out more information, keep up to date on the program, or to provide your input on ENDOW, visit www.endowyo.biz.
March 3, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Matt Mead applauded a 3-0 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that recognized Wyoming’s wolf management plan should be upheld. In 2012, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed Wyoming’s wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act through a delisting rule. In 2014 a federal District Court judge reinstated federal protections for wolves and vacated the 2012 rule because she believed that population commitments Wyoming made in its wolf management plan needed to be in regulation or statute. As a result, she ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service acted arbitrarily in delisting Wyoming’s wolves. Wyoming and the federal government appealed that decision.
In today’s opinion, the Court concluded that US Fish and Wildlife Service did not act arbitrarily when it determined Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was sufficient to maintain a recovered wolf population upon delisting.
“I am pleased with today’s ruling. The Court recognized Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was appropriate. We look forward to state management once the 2012 delisting rule is formally reinstated,” said Governor Mead. “I thank everyone who has worked so hard for the recovery and delisting of wolves. This is the right decision for wolves and Wyoming.”
State officials will notify the public once the 2012 delisting rule is officially reinstated and once Wyoming is operating under its wolf management plan. Until that time, anyone with questions may contact Governor Mead’s policy advisor, David Willms at (307) 777-7434.
February 24, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead sent the Wyoming Senate his list of nominees for numerous state offices, boards and commissions. These nominees are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
“These boards, commissions and agencies are important to Wyoming,” said Governor Mead. “I thank everyone who has agreed to serve, including volunteers who are so giving of their time.”
A list of the Governor’s appointments is available under the "Boards and Commissions" tab on the Governor's website.
February 24, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is pleased to announce a new website for the ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) Initiative. The site endowyo.biz was created through a partnership between the Governor’s office, the Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Office of Tourism. The site offers people a single, digital location to find information about ENDOW.
“I am pleased by the interest shown in the ENDOW Initiative. A website will keep the citizens of Wyoming informed and engaged as the Initiative advances,” Governor Mead said. “With this new site, we now have the means to broaden our communications efforts.”
February 22, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Today, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that the City of Riverton is not within the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Court ruled in Wyoming’s favor, rejecting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to change the historic boundaries of the Reservation. Wyoming challenged the EPA’s determination from 2013 when the agency approved the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes’ application for Treatment as a State under the Clean Air Act.
“As I said from the beginning, the EPA’s decision went against 100 years of history and was one that should not come from a regulatory agency,” Governor Mead said. “Today’s decision provides certainty to the people affected by the EPA overstepping its authority. I thank the Attorney General’s office for their years of hard work on this case.”
Governor Mead renewed his commitment to work cooperatively with the Tribes to improve life on the Reservation for all of Wyoming’s citizens, including members of both Tribes.
“This case was never about the Tribes’ ability to manage air quality on the Reservation – they should be applauded for their work,” Governor Mead said. “Now that both federal and state courts recognize the correct boundary of the Reservation, we look forward to working with the Tribes in their efforts to develop environmental programs.”
February 8, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has initiated an effort to develop a twenty-year comprehensive and coordinated economic diversification strategy known as ENDOW -- “Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming.” The goals are to encourage the expansion and diversification of Wyoming’s existing energy and industrial sectors, stimulate new and emerging industries, create private sector jobs and encourage business development, entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Building on the successes we’ve achieved, I continue to work for economic diversification,” said Governor Mead. “We need a long-term plan that goes beyond one Governor’s time in office. A plan which complements our strengths and increases our economic opportunities in energy, tourism and agriculture, expands our economic base overall, and provides opportunities for our youth today and tomorrow. I am asking for the people of Wyoming to share their ideas as we undertake the ENDOW Initiative.”
The Governor’s office developed a survey and is asking for input from citizens. The public’s response to this request for information will inform the ENDOW Initiative moving forward. Through this survey, the Governor is also soliciting nominations of individuals interested in serving in some capacity as the ENDOW Initiative moves forward.
The survey can be found on the Governor’s website and at this link: ENDOW Survey.
The deadline for submitting information is April 2, 2017.
January 31, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration:
“As I expressed to President Obama, Wyoming recognizes immigration made this country great. The citizens of Wyoming and the entire United States must be able to rely on the government to have a process in place that allows robust immigration and that does not allow terrorists into our country. I hope President Trump’s Administration can find the right way forward in these matters so critical to the future of our nation.”
January 18, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming is a leader in providing broadband internet to schools according to a report issued by Education SuperHighway. Education SuperHighway is a non-profit organization that monitors and provides expertise to help states improve school internet connectivity. Governor Matt Mead has made improving Internet connectivity one of his priorities.
"By any measure, Wyoming places a high value on education," Mead said. "As a rural state, we understand the value of internet connectivity to student learning. Our investment in the statewide unified network gives our students the opportunity to compete on a national and global scale. We have successfully upgraded all schools to a minimum of 200Kbps per student. This is double the original goal, and exceeds national norms."
"Ensuring our students are prepared for tomorrow's world is a top priority and internet connectivity is a vital piece of making that happen,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Having extensive broadband capacity across the state allows us to focus on supporting teachers in being able to take advantage of the opportunities they now have in their classrooms."
Along with providing double the minimum connectivity goal, the report also found that 88% of schools have the fiber connections needed to keep up with growing bandwidth demand and 79% of school districts report sufficient wi-fi.
"We continue to work with schools to assure that students and teachers in Wyoming classrooms have access to high quality connectivity. In the world of technology, the challenge is to keep pace with rapid changes. Wyoming is well equipped to continue leading the nation in connectivity for schools," Mead concluded.