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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
March 5, 2015     Lovell Chronicle
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March 5, 2015

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March 5, 2015 I The Lovell Chronicle I 7 DRAMA IN THE HOUSE continued from page I unknown at press time. "We're working hard to try to get the most money to the most troubled hospitals in the state, and yet still give each hospital something," explained Harvey. "Every hospital across the state is dealing with uncompensat- ed care. There are some crit- ical access hospitals that are essentially living from pay period to pay period, so those are the ones we are trying to get the most amount of mon- ey to. Our hospital (NBHH) doesn't require a full trans- fusion like some of the other hospitals but a big Band-Aid might help." Harvey said the biggest news of the week is the sup- plemental budget bill. "When we got here, we were about $300 million be- hind," she explained. "We were able to stop some funds that were going into a perma- nent account, which made the deficit more like $225 million. That was due to the decrease in the oil and natu- ral gas prices. We were able to take the flow of revenue that was going into the state reserve account and bring it back into the general fund." Harvey said it was "quite a balancing act," where money was diverted to take care of immediate needs. The bill passed the House and the Senate and was on the Governor's desk at the beginning of the week. "The Governor has three days to sign it and he has the power to do line item ve- toes," said Harvey. "We will be here long enough to over- ride any of the vetoes if we need to." Senate File 29, a bill of- fering exemptions to drivers of farm equipment, certain types of trucks and motor- homes, made its way into the House for consideration and passed. The Governor is expected to sign the bill this week. "The bill helps out farm- ers especially because, for example, if the wife drives the beet truck during the harvest season she won't have to get a CDL," ex- plained Harvey. "It also applies to certain types of motorhomes." A somewhat diluted ver- sion of a bill that would al- low concealed carry of fire- arms in public buildings, including schools, passed the Senate, amended to al- low local school districts to make their own policies re- garding carrying on campus was on its way to the floor of the House. At press time the bill was under consider- ation in the House on third reading. "Some people who feel we should be able to car- ry guns wherever we want are pretty upset about it be- cause they feel it is infring- ing on their second amend- ment rights," explained Harvey. "The Senate posi- tion is for local control on lo- cal campuses. Their position is that schools can decide for themselves what they want on their campuses." Harvey said she antici- pated that the House would not concur with the Senate on the issue. A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to try drugs that are not yet ap- proved by the FDA made its way to the House this week. It passed through House committee on Monday and was to be considered some- time during the week. Har- vey said she was for the bill, mainly because she felt peo- ple in that position should be able to take that risk if they felt it was a good option. Several weeks of long hours and late nights are about to conclude for law- makers as the current leg- islative session draws to a close. Harvey said she would most likely be packing her bags and returning home to Lovell this weekend. North Big Horn Hospital Clinic is pleased to announce that we now have 2 Certified DOT Physical PA-C Brendan Fitzsimmons, MD Call 307-548-5201 to schedule DOT Physical appointments NORTH BIG HORN HOSPITAL CLINIC 1115 Lane 12, Lovell, WY www.nbhh.com ~r=~ Find us on Facebook MORE CONSTRUCTION continued from page I handicap access ramps last summer, Dickson noted, "I thought I'll never have a bet- ter opportunity than right now, but I figured it would be three to five years before we could do the storm drain under the sidewalks. I didn't know where I could come up with the money." The town received ap- proval from WyDOT to stub in the eventual storm sewer on Jersey and Main, and the project was agreed to and funded by SLIB. The stub was installed. THE FUNDING IDEA In December Dickson and DOWL's Dayton Alsak- er of Sheridan were talking with SLIB grants and loans manager Beth Blackwell in Cheyenne about the town's sewer lagoon lift station project. "As we got ready to leave, Dayton said we're go- ing to relinquish approxi- mately $1 million back to SLIB that was not spent on the Main Street Project due to great bids, great contrac- tors and great engineering," Dickson said. "We were ap- proximately $1 million un- der budget. Dayton said, how about if we use some of that money for the storm drain?" Dickson said Blackwell agreed to look at the idea and if it fit the original pur- pose of the grant, the scope of the project, she would con- sider it. "She said send me a let- ter with your request and tell me how it ties in with the original scope of the project," Dickson said. "We went back to the grant application, and it said the project dealt with health and safety issues be- cause of the deteriorating infrastructure. We felt like with the drainage problems, problems with mosquitoes created by pooling water and flooding issues, it would fit the scope." Dickson delivered the UNCOMPENSATED CARE continued from page i problems facing small hospitals. If the bill passes, it will undergo the concurrence process with the Senate version of the bill, which had a $5 million appropri- ation for uncompensated charity care. "We'll try to get some of that money back," he said. He said the legislature is putting millions of dol- lars into the University of Wyoming, so he asked, why not hospitals? Some have suggested that the issue become an interim study, but he called that approach "kicking the can down the road" for a problem that is only getting worse. "Some hospitals are in a dangerous situation, and the legislature is not rec- ognizing that or doing any- thing about it," Peterson said. GUN FREE ZONES Another issue facing the Senate during the past week has been the bill to repeal most of the gun free zones act (HB 114), which has now been amended in the Senate to allow guns in schools, the Legislature and governmental meet- ings if approved by a local governing body like a school board. Peterson has been wary of repealing the gun free zones act but likes the idea of local control. "It's now a bill I could support," he said. He said some have ar- gued that having gun free zones puts a target on schools or other institutions because mass shooters will look for such places where there is less of a possibility they would be confronted. "I somewhat agree with that," Peterson said, noting that his 250 to 300 emails on the subject are split about 50-50 for and against the amended bill. He noted that a school like Burlington might be 45 minutes from an offi- cer of.the law, so the school board might want to allow and train a staff member to be able to respond in case of an emergency, as long as the responding law enforce- ment officer knows who letter to Blackwell in Janu- ary, and she said she would take it to her boss, SLIB Di- rector Bridget Hill. About a month later, Dickson had yet to hear a decision, but the potential project came up during another conversa- tion with Blackwell in Chey- enne. She said she had just been working on the project and would run it by Hill. On Feb. 17, SLIB notified the Town of Lovell that SLIB had allocated $300,000 for the storm sewer project. The work is tentatively scheduled to begin on Mon- day, March 23, Dickson said, noting, want to get ahead of the spring rains. "This is a miracle," Dick- son said. "I was figuring this project would be four to five years out because I didn't have any way to pay for it." The storm sewer pipe can't be any larger than 15 inches, Dickson said, be- cause of other utility lines at the site that can't be moved, would be wielding the weap- on so as to not cause addi- tional confusion. "Is it a school safety bill or a gun rights bill?" Pe- terson asked. "We're try- ing to find a common sense solution. HB 114 passed on sec- ond reading Tuesday. A resolution calling for Wyoming to participate in calling for a constitution- al convention to require the federal government to adopt a balanced budget was defeated by the Senate 22-7 Tuesday after wording in the resolution (HJ 4) be- came too watered down, Pe- terson said. He said some legislators have feared that a constitu- tional convention wouldn't be "one state, one vote" as proposed and that large states would prey on small- er states, so the language was weakened. "I tried to get it back to an application instead of language like 'intending or 'thinking about it'," Pe- terson said. "It was just a statement and not an ap- plication. Why send a reso- DON'TLET THE FARM BILL COMPLICATE YOUR CROP INSURANCE. No one understands crop insurance changes or how to apply them more than our specialists. Crop insurance is all we do. And we understand your trust in deing it right. So if you ever have a crop insurance need, you won't have to question your crop insurance plan. so the new drain won't be able to handle all of the wa- ter. Some will still go east on Washakie. But it will allevi- ate standing water. "There will still be high water, but I don't think it will overtop the curb," Dick- son said. "We're putting it into the system sooner (at Jersey and Main)." With Wilson Brothers installing the pipe and Rei- man Construction handling the concrete, the project should take about six weeks to complete, Dickson said. Reiman will also be in town this spring replac- ing cracked concrete pan- els, sealing street joints and striping on Main Street. When the company can start is anybody's guess, Dickson said. ' /ou need (consistent) 40-degree weather," he said. There will be lane clo- sures but no detours during this final phase of the Main Street Project, Dickson said. lution that says nothing? It became a vague statement, so the sponsors urged us to vote 'no' the way the resolu- tion stood. "It was embarrassing to send a resolution that says nothing. I hated to see it go, but it's better to say nothing than something as stupid as this. The effort (for a bal- anced budget convention) is growing, but Wyoming has decided to sit on the side- lines and take a wait-and- see approach." LOCALGOVERNMENT Peterson did have some good news for local govern- ment. The supplemental budget passed this week, if agreed to by the Gover- nor, allocates $10 million in additional funding for cities, towns and counties. Peterson said Big Horn County would see $71,390 in additional revenue, Lovell $28,859, Greybull $22,586, Frannie $19,688, Deaver $20,177, Cowley $26,010, Byron $25,251, Basin $15,713, Burlington $21,552 and Manderson $19,394. Billings Clinic Jared J. Lund, MD Dermatology Dr. Lund is board certified in dermatology with additional fellowship training in Mohs and reconstructive surgery. He provides diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders and diseases of the skin including skin cancer. Cardiology Dr. Scott-Tillery provides Discover the difference with a no-cost, no-obligation crop insurance plan review. CASPEROFFICE: 307-577-4700 Farm Credit Services of erir AGRICULTURE WORKS HILL.