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State House District 36

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    Art Washut
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

Biographical Information.

Given the cuts to the Wyoming Departments of Health and Family Services already made by Governor Gordon, how would you immediately protect the most vulnerable among us?

Do you support any legislation that may come before the 2021 session of the Legislature that could result in raising revenue? Please explain.

What is your position on “Medicaid expansion” that allows low-income adults to be eligible for healthcare coverage with 90% funding from the Federal government and 10% funding from the State?

I have been married to my wife, Megan, for almost 40 years. We have raised six children here in Casper. I teach criminal justice and political science at Casper College and prior to that I was a police officer and administrator at the Casper Police Department. I graduated from Casper College with an Associate’s degree in Law Enforcement and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Chadron State College. I also have a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming.
Given that we have a citizen legislature that won’t meet until January, there is little that legislators can do to immediately protect the most vulnerable. The Governor and the executive branch run the government in between our short sessions.
I have not signed a pledge to never raise taxes, but I did tell the voters that I support low taxes. I will carefully examine where we are in January in terms of our fiscal situation. I believe that the cuts are a necessary precondition before we look at placing a greater tax burden on the citizens. If you use the figure that is being discussed, a 1.7 billion dollar shortfall, that equates to about $2,600 for every man, woman and child in the state each biennium. I believe the voters would rightly rebel if we tried to saddle them with additional taxes at that level. After we have made the necessary cuts, I will then consider the revenue alternatives that are presented.
I oppose Medicaid expansion. Experience has shown that states that have expanded Medicare coverage have had higher enrollments and costs than expected. At a time when we will likely be cutting many programs across our state, adding another costly program will not be something I can support.