It is great to see the continued estimates that show Wyoming’s economy improving. It is very important, though, that the state legislature not waste another boom. That is why the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is so important. It provides a mechanism to make sure that cash savings is built up during a boom period. There is more than enough revenue across an economic cycle in Wyoming. Tax increases are wrong. Rather, politicians need to stop wasting the boom periods by overspending. That is the answer.
It is very troubling that the State Auditor refuses to open up the state checkbook. We need to pass common sense transparency legislation.
The bill I brought during the last session (HB123) would have created a process to sue the state of Washington for their refusal to cite a coal export terminal, a violation of the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause. Just one coal export terminal would create thousands of jobs.
The Left has tried to change the meaning of the Interstate Commerce Clause to grow government but this is one of the main situations it was supposed to address. It was designed to prevent coastal states from blocking interior states from exporting their goods.
Here are some of my conservative friends in the Wyoming state legislature. We’re here today for what could be the last day of the session before veto overrides. While we have not been able to fix the fiscal troubles of our state this session, I remain confident that we will in the future move our state in a more conservative direction.
From left to right: Rep. Cheri Steinmetz, Rep. Mark Jennings, Rep. Chuck Gray, Rep. Tim Salazar, Rep. Bo Biteman, Rep. Scott Clem, Rep. Lars Lone and Rep. Marti Halverson.
I believe House District 57 needs conservative, accountable leadership. During the mineral boom, Democrats and establishment Republicans teamed up to follow the lead of the old Washington’s out of control spending habits. Wyoming’s state spending nearly tripled. For example, Wyoming state government has been providing grants to some politically connected private businesses. They also have begun to abandon competitive bidding of contracts.
In the process, Wyoming’s state government squandered our state’s abundant mineral revenues. We’ve seen these same habits in our Casper City Council.
Each time conservative voices tried to point out the out-of-control spending, the establishment denied that there was a problem. Now, in 2016, the establishment is openly talking about property and sales tax increases as well as creating a state income tax.
The establishment does not want to acknowledge the real answer to their out of control spending. Tax increases are not the answer. Rather, state government needs to use the common-sense, conservative spending practices that Wyoming families and businesses follow to control state spending. One of the key solutions is to control our spending with zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting would require agencies to start at zero with each of their biennial budget requests. Agencies would go line-by-line through their proposed budget and prioritize their spending.
I ran to push back on the federal government’s war on our way of life. The EPA’s newly issued rules requiring over a 30% reduction in nationwide emissions by 2030 is unconstitutional and also not allowed by the jurisdiction given to the EPA in federal statute. We need to fight these illegal rules.
I will be a voice to ensure that the legislature follows the law and is transparent. The lack of competitive bidding in the Capital Square Project, which is in violation of Article 3, Section 31 of our State Constitution, is emblematic of this lack of transparency.
I will point out when our legislature’s priorities are out of whack. One example is Wyoming state government’s refusal to hold a Presidential primary.
I will be a voice opposed to efforts to bring liberal values to Wyoming. For example, in 2013 SF115 passed the State Senate and was four votes away from passing the House. This bill would have made public restrooms open to both males and females. These efforts are wrong and out of step with Wyoming’s values.
I have been a conservative Republican my entire life and not just when it’s politically convenient. I hosted a radio show called the “Chuck Gray” show on KVOC AM 1230 and KMLD 94.5 FM to advance conservative, common-sense solutions in Wyoming. In 2013, I was a top ten finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Conservative Journalism.
Public Participation in the Legislative Process:
If you would like to contact Representative Gray directly during the session, call the House Receptionist at (307) 777-7852 to leave a brief message for Chuck. Written mail may be directed to a Representative Gray in care of the Wyoming House, State Capitol, Cheyenne, WY, 82002. Fax messages may be sent to Representative Gray at (307) 777-5466.