Budget conference committee gets to work

Mar 4, 2012 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Events on the 15th day of the Budget Session of the Wyoming Legislature, Fri., March 2, 2012:

BUDGET: A conference committee of House and Senate members began working to resolve differences on the budget bill.

REDISTRICTING: Sen. President Jim Anderson, R-Glenrock, signed off on the final version of the Legislature's redistricting bill.

DUI PENALTIES: The Wyoming Senate has voted in favor of a bill that would strengthen drunken-driving laws for repeat offenders.

Senators voted 26-4 in support of the measure Friday.

The bill would increase the maximum jail time from two to seven years for people convicted of drunken driving for the fourth time or more in a 10-year period.

The legislation is awaiting Gov. Matt Mead's final approval.

SPEED LIMITS: The Senate gave preliminary approval to a House bill that would allow motorists on certain two-lane highways to exceed the speed limit while passing vehicles traveling under the speed limit.

DRUG TESTING: A Senate committee voted to advance a bill that would require drug testing for participants in a state welfare program. The bill, which already has cleared the House, now heads to the Senate floor.

WOLF MANAGEMENT: The House for the second time approved to a bill that would change the state's wolf management law.

The change would make state law comport with an agreement that Gov. Matt Mead reached last summer with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to end federal protection for wolves in the state.

Wolves would be protected in a flexible zone around Yellowstone National Park but would be classified as predators that could be shot on sight in the rest of the state.

RETIREMENT BENEFITS: The House gave preliminary approval to a bill that would reduce state retirement benefits for future state employees.

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