I’m a Realtor and mother of four and I want to bring the voice of Wyoming's hardworking families to the state legislature. I’m running to represent House District 8 for my 4 boys, and all of our children. I'm running for Wyoming’s future.This moment demands new, innovative ideas and active, bold leadership. I bring a new perspective to the table. I know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. I know how to live lean and work hard. I will use my experience to advocate for the needs of Wyomingites. I will fight to make our collective voices heard in the legislature.
Crises exacerbate inequality. Our solution will reveal what we are willing to sacrifice to balance our budgets. This guide duly highlights two key areas to Wyoming’s future stability. 1. Healthcare - the Department of Health is shouldering more than 1/3 of the cuts to the general budget. Our most vulnerable populations bear this cut unequally. Options like Medicaid expansion would soften this blow. We must find real solutions that don’t leave our most vulnerable neighbors out of Wyoming’s recovery. 2. Revenue - Our failures to address mineral dependence and the accompanying boom and bust cycle has left us with no safety net. We must take swift, meaningful action to bring in new streams of revenue to rebuild our economy.
Under Wyoming’s current tax structure, any effort used to attract non-mineral related businesses to the state will actually bring a loss to our state because public service costs (education, law enforcement, roads, etc.) will outweigh what new residents and businesses would pay in taxes. While I wish we could focus on promoting our public lands and investing in local businesses (definitely future goals) any plan that does not start first with updating our antiquated tax structure to allow Wyoming to pay its own bills is naive at best, dishonest at worst. A few options that have had some support in the legislature include the "big-box" tax or increases to the lodging tax, sales tax, gasoline and fuel tax, and wind power generation tax.
We have a shared responsibility to protect and care for our most vulnerable neighbors.
It’s time to follow the will of a majority of Wyomingites and realize the promise of affordable healthcare for all Wyomingites by expanding Medicaid. Studies have demonstrated that the offset in health outcomes and federal assistance will actually decrease our expenses over time. This will compound as more citizens can access preventive care and non-emergency medical services. Medicaid expansion can also protect our endangered rural hospitals which are too often on the knife’s edge of closing due to uncompensated care and rising costs. This will help ensure that we all have better care wherever we roam in the Cowboy State.
Bob was born and raised in Lander. He attended Casper College and UW and UW law school. He lived in Cheyenne working at the Attorney General's office before moving to Riverton where he practiced law, started a paintbrush company and worked the family ranch. In 2006 the family moved back to Cheyenne. He practices law and operates the brush company. Bob has 3 children, Kali (teacher), Connor (architect) and Quentin. Bob has always been civically active. This includes: United Way volunteer; special Olympic coach; city planning commission, Caring For Children Board; Community Entry Services Board, Magic City Enterprises board; Rotary club, Elks club, Service to Man club, & Kiwanis. Bob is current chair of House Appropriations Comte.
We are facing the largest fiscal crisis since statehood. We have a shortfall of nearly $1.5 billion dollars. The governor has authorized $350M in cuts to date. There is still over a billion dollar shortfall. There will necessarily be more cuts. With that said, it is a fundamental duty of government to provide assistance to those most in need and who are unable to help themselves. Further budget reductions should be administered with this in mind. In December the appropriations committee, which I chair, will review all agency budgets and recommend where to cut. We are constitutionally required to balance the state budget. It will be a difficult job. Experience and leadership will make a real difference for you, Cheyenne & Wyoming.
The House Appropriations is now drafting multiple revenue enhancement bills. We performed a similar function in 2016 during the last economic downturn. As chairman - I lead the House Approp. Comte. introducing 8 bills that helped replenish General Fund dollars. The task this year will be exponentially more difficult. House leadership and the House Approp. Comte. has been meeting through-out the summer and fall developing plans for addressing our budget crisis. We are preparing multiple bills and budgetary amendments that will raise revenue. All options are on the table, including a sale tax, cigarette tax, or gasoline tax. The fiscal cliff in front of Wyoming is truly enormous. We must act now to protect our future.
I have always supported expansion. It is a fiscally advantageous opportunity for the state and it protects those most in need.