Budget, firearms, and the carbon negative scam

By Stephanie Wilson
Posted 2/14/24

WHEATLAND — House Representative Jeremy Haroldson (R) is slated to attend the 67th Legislative sessions in Cheyenne this week, but took time to address the Platte County Commissioners last Tuesday.

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Budget, firearms, and the carbon negative scam


WHEATLAND — House Representative Jeremy Haroldson (R) is slated to attend the 67th Legislative sessions in Cheyenne this week, but took time to address the Platte County Commissioners last Tuesday.

Haroldson opened by stating that it is a Constitutional requirement to bring a balanced budget for the state to operate the next two years. Monday, February 12th was the first day of sessions, and according to Haroldson, it is not quite clear what they will be doing once sessions commence. “We had 89 bills as of yesterday (February 5) with 400 in the hopper. Those are 400 that we can’t even look at yet,” Haroldson explained. “We will look at these in the next couple of weeks. It’s difficult to plan and nothing can actually be done until the bills hit the floor.” Property taxes are not surprisingly a topic of discussion. Haroldson indicated that there is some talk about a cap on residential property tax, but is not sure it is a viable solution. “It is something we need to keep an eye on. Legislation will have to act. There are some citizen petitions that are being brought to the ballot so that is interesting.” Haroldson added that he would like to study sales tax and find ways to intelligently fund Wyoming counties.  He also indicated that budgets are not the only topic of discussion as there are other, very important bills coming down the pike. 

“We are running out of the Federal money slug we got as a result of COVID. That is coming to an end. We maybe have 18 months left, and the governor has lowered the amount that counties will be getting; but those funds are drying up,” Haroldson explained. Fortunately, Platte County has not become as dependent upon those funds as other counties have, according to the Representative. “But we do need to also have the education funding conversation, there is a bill coming through now that I find very flawed, as is it geared only toward low-income families,” Haroldson said. “Every child deserves an education, why would we choose an income bracket for that? Even though our cost of education is skyrocketing, what is the funding model? We don’t want income tax, but we really need to talk about this fiscal cliff.”

 An emergency was recently declared in Wheatland due to the dangerous condition of the Black Mountain Water Tower. Haroldson said that he has been working quite a bit on this issue. “Governor Gordon declared this an emergency, we do have our own splash pad now, and a major concern of the engineer was that 700,000 gallons of water could be lost in seconds if that tower falls. We have moved forward with SLIB (State Loan and Investment Board) and did move on that emergency action and have variable vein pumps and a drain tank,” Haroldson explained.  “We are looking for additional funding, and Candy Wright (Town of Wheatland Clerk) has been doing amazing things writing grants and finding funding. I’d like to see if we can proceed without using the 6th Penny Tax funds.” 

Additionally, Haroldson briefly talked about a Supreme Court ruling that states that an 18-year-old has a constitutional right to purchase a hand gun. “The ruling was previously 21 years of age,” he added. “States around the country are aligning their statutes with that; I’ve got a bill that opens it up to 18, 19, and 20 years of age, and when 20, in Wyoming, they can apply for a conceal-and-carry.” Haroldson went on to say that he felt gun-free zones needed to be eliminated. “Statistics prove that these are the very places that people go to commit crimes. There has not been a mass shooting in a school where guns were carried,” he said.  “We know there will be a pro-Palestinian march at the capitol the day sessions start, and no one can carry a firearm,” he said. “It is a weird feeling. It’s our house, and our building, but we have no 2nd Amendment right inside.” 

Haroldson closed by saying that the “Carbon Negative” conversation is a bad conversation in Wyoming. “We don’t have the technology to even try to fulfill that, and the only way to be carbon negative is to eliminate fossil fuels. There is no proof that [fossil fuels] is hurting us. Our fields need a certain amount of carbon, but the narrative is the opposite in D.C. Even in Cheyenne, a shift is happening; a push for wind energy. But we don’t’ have a tax structure around wind,” Haroldson added. “How much wind is enough?” he asked. “And how long can Wyoming hold on their back the ideology of energy in other states? Wyoming is paying for bad policies in other states, and if we lose our legacy industries, we do not want to see how poor this state can be. We are a rich state because coal, oil, and gas has been our foundation.”