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March 11, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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March 11, 2010
 

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www. LovellChronicle.com March 11, 2010 I The Lovell Chronicle I 7 MAXFIELD Continued from page 1 health department had put that way down at the bottom of the list as far as priority goes because of the fact that it was so small here and the Powell hospital is so close and we really didn't have the service area here. But when we went we showed 'em that there was 100 miles that you guys had to cover to bring people back, and for anybody who has come down offthe mountain or ridden in an ambulance, 20 miles is pretty far." SECRETARY OF STATE Service as Wyoming's secretary of state has been a dream come true, Maxfield said. He said he realized early on that, as one of the five top elected officials, he could make a major difference. "I fell in love with what I saw in the position of secretary of state," he said, noting that he first ran for the office in 1994 but lost. He was later elected to two terms as state auditor and successfully ran for secretary of state four years ago. "It's truly something I've set my heart and my eyes on for a long time, and without my wife, Gayla, I would never have accomplished this." When he first took office, Maxfield said, he had a lot of ideas about things he wanted to do, but he found out that expectations and reality are sometimes two different things. He said he promised on the campaign trail that he would bring Wyoming into compliance with federal guidelines for voting so Wyoming's voting system would be in line with what the federal government was asking. 'vVe made that happen within 11 months after I took office," he said, adding that any of his accomplishments in office are due to the hard work of his staff. "I've got the best staff, bar none,':he said. "None,of the things we've accomplished, and i believe we've accomplished a great deal, could have happened without our staff." Maxfield ticked off a list of accomplishments during his first three years in office: He said the secretary of state's Web site has received national acclaim and is interactive, allowing people to do business with his office directly via computer without having to "do the paper trail back and forth" or come into the office. He said the site has made things much more convenient in the areas of agriculture, liens and business. The Wyoming Secretary of State's Office processes more than $20 million in a biennium, Maxfield said, noting that most of the business comes in $50 and $100 increments. And the staff must "turn around" the paperwork in just five days by state law. "We've implemented some new ways to fast track that," he said, "and our fscal tracking mechanism we've put into place has, I think, made us more responsible in the way we report to the public." Maxfield said he had no idea when he was running for office how important a role the office plays in fighting business fraud. Within three days of taking office, he said, he received calls from USA Today, Forbes and Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan because a national study showed that Wyoming was one of the top three states for illegal money laundering. "When I got that news, I said 'not on my watch," he said, and he worked with the Wyoming Legislature to enact legislation to help his office deal with some of the companies that were using Wyoming's good name to do illicit business in the state. "And trust me," he added, "it was happening everywhere." With the legislation in place, Wyoming has driven more than 4,000 companies out of Wyoming. He said his office has interacted with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is trying to come up with an overall plan for the country on how to handle business registrations. "And the last thing Wyoming needs is a'one size fits all' from Washington," he said. "So we've tried to stay ahead of it with the legislature to make sure that doesn't happen to our state. We don't want federal guidelines imposed on us. I believe with the legislature, with what we've started to do and with our commitment we can solve this problem on our own." It is a problem, Maxfield said, noting that thousands of companies are using Wyoming as a point of contact for money laundering. The secretaryofstate's office has developed a new campaign finance program through which candidates above the county level may file on line, and after the filing date has passed, a citizen will be able to check a Web site in regard to campaign financing - where the money comes from, how it is spent and how much campaign money a candidate has. Maxfield said he has several goals for his next term of office: Keep going after business fraud. Increase education in the area of seams by working closely with the media and getting the word out whenever a new seam is discovered. He said a down economy brings out the worst in seams, because people want to believe when they're told something will improve their lives. Continue to investigate complaints through the new Division of Compliance in the secretary of state's office. He said the office recently prosecuted a man in Cody on 19 counts of fraud and said the man made more than $1.6 million selling false securities to fellow church members and friends. Continue to "guard" Wyoming's bucking horse symbol, noting, "The bucking horse belongs to us, and it's really important" to fight to keep Wyoming's trademark. Maxfield said he would be proud to serve another four years as secretary of state. "Every day when I go to that magnificent building, the capitol, I'm humbled," he said. "I always feel blessed that Wyoming voters have made it possible for me to serve. People die around the world for the right to vote and it's a treasure. And I'll never forget that. I consider a vote to be a treasure. Today I ask for your treasure, I ask for your vote to allow me to serve as your secretary of state for four more years. "If I'm allowed to do this I promise that I will continue to work for you and I will always honor your vote." PETERSON Continued from page 1 "We talked about the burn rate and how fast schools could be built," Pe- terson said. Meanwhile, the House had restored $52 million for school capital construc- tion and added $10 million to local government and $4.1 million to the Devel- opmental Disabilities Pro- gram. Senate amendments added $12.9 million for the purchase of a new state li- quor warehouse but cut $12.1 million from the bud- get by having state employ- ees participate in funding the state retirement fund. The Senate also cut $7.9 million by freezing the school transportation reim- bursement program at cur- rent levels. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Phil Nicholas (R-Laramie) pro- posed cutting each body's recommendation in half- chopping the House budget increase to $31.8 million and the Senate's cuts to $3.4 million, and after con- ference committee :wran- gling, that's essentially what the two houses con- curred on. FINAL COMPROMISE Under the final com- promise, Peterson said, the legislature added $1.5 million to the budget for developmental disabilities funding, $27,500 for an ep- ilepsy program, $149,828 for a law clerk for a district judge in Sublette County, $15,000 for funding for the blind, $21.9 million ex- tra for school capital con- struction (two projects, in- cluding the Powell school), $6.5 million for local gov- ernment, $12.9 million for the liquor warehouse and $200,000 to fund new sex offender laws. The com- promise also kept intact the Senate's $12.1 million cut by requiring state em- ployees to participate in the retirement program but eliminated the cut in school trazisportation funding. Local government is taking a big hit, Peterson said. The governor rec- ommended $60 million in funding and the JAC add- ed $20 million more. The House had recommended an additional $10 million in funding, but the confer- ence committee trimmed that increase to $6.5 mil- lion. "That's still quite a hit for cities, towns and coun- ties," Peterson said. "When you add in SLIB money, di- rect distribution, commu- nity facilities money and business ready communi- ties money, they went from $441 million over the last biennium to $124 million in this budget." One thing that con- cerns Peterson is that the legislature included $89 million in federal Ameri- can Recovery and Rein- vestment Act money in the budget including $28.3 mil- lion for the Dept. of Health, $27 million for major main- tenance at the Universit;y of Wyoming, $17 million in major maintenance at com- munity colleges, $13.5 mil- lion in tuition mitigation funding to hold off tuition increases at UW and the community colleges and $2.2 million for the Dept. of Family Servies. "We blame the cities and towns for spending one-time money on ongoing operations, but we did the same thing," Peterson said. "We're using ARRA money to the tune of $89 million, and that just broadens the gap between revenue and reality. My guess is that unless we get a handle on spending, that's going to come back and bite us in two years. "I was very conserva- tive and voted against any- thing that would cause us to dip into savings. Every- one said it was a rainy day, but I wasn't convinced and neither was the governor." Peterson said that, during the interim, the JAC will study ways to in- volve the public and more legislators in the budget- ing process and study the Wyoming retirement fund, Abandoned Mine Lands funding, School Facilities Commission funding and external cost adjustments for school funding. Peterson and Rep. Elaine Harvey (R-Lovell) have been named co-chair- men of the Select Commit- tee on DevelopmentalDis- abilities. 7 You're Invited i] to the second i:iii!i!i!i!iii!i!!!! Hazard Mitigation i,: Meeting for Big Horn County residents  iiiiiii!i!iiiiiiii!il;ii Thursday, March 18 ....... ................ 1:30 pm !!!i!!!i!i!i!!!!ilili:: Big Horn Federal, Greybull i!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ii!00!00!i!i!iiiii!i!i Come help prepare the Pre-disaster iiiiiiiiiiiiliiii!i ..... MitigationPlanforBigHornCounty. !ii!ii!iliiiiiiiiiiii[ Come help iiiiiiiiiii!ililiiiiiii Identify potential hazards !iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill Protect people and property ii!iii!iiiiiiiiiii!!! Developgoalsand strategies iliiii!iiiiliii!ill Plan actions to reduce threats iiii%ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii YOU know the county. Your help is neededi[i!i!i!i!i!!i!i ...... =::::::::::::::4:: Everyone is invited. iiiiiii!iiiiiiii!!i :iiii:iiiiiii!i!iiiiiii!i Call John Hyde, 548-2516, for more information. i;;iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii'i :iiiiiii: iiiiiiiilililili : Coe to address chamberkMonday school District No. 2 Supt. Dan Coe is sched- uled to be the speaker at the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce general mem- bership meeting Monday. Coe will talk about the 0roject to remodel Lovell High School. The no-host luncheon is scheduled for noon at the Mustang Country Grill in Lovell. G0P chairman booked for Lincoln Day Dinner BY NATHAN OSTER The Big Horn County Republican Party will hold its annual Lincoln Day Din- ner fundraiser Saturday, March 27, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Herb Asp Com- munity Center in Greybull. Diana Vaughan, the state Republican par- ty chair, will be the main speaker and Dan Coe of Lovell will emcee the event. Republican candidates for state and county of- fice have been invited to a meet-and-greet session that will kick the evening off at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will follow at 6:15 p.m. The fundraiser will also feature live and silent auc- tions. Join the Madness with Big Horn Federal March 18th and 19th Updated Brackets and Scores for NCAA Men and Women Horn 00ral Powell" Cody Lovell