State legislators listen to Goshen County Republicans

‘We have to decide that true value doesn’t lie in money’

Rhett Breedlove
Posted 1/24/24

District legislators paid a visit to Goshen County Republicans Wednesday evening at the Pony Express Room at Torrington City Hall.

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State legislators listen to Goshen County Republicans

‘We have to decide that true value doesn’t lie in money’


TORRINGTON – District legislators paid a visit to Goshen County Republicans Wednesday evening at the Pony Express Room at Torrington City Hall.  

The purpose of the meeting was to update Goshen constituents on upcoming bills, progress and older matters of concern while commencing at promptly 6 p.m.

Present at the meeting were Wyoming State Senator Cheri Steinmetz, along with Representatives Scott Smith and Allen Slagle.

Each legislator spoke before several dozen Republicans in attendance, communicating in detail a current list of priorities that are being attended to in Cheyenne. The three legislators also gave constituents an open floor to ask questions in relation to county or state matters.

Despite severe weeklong snow and extremely cold temperatures, each legislator expressed acknowledgement and gratitude to all who were able to take time to attend and ask crucial questions.

Representative Smith started with a bit of courteous humor before offering a much easier way for constituents to communicate with him.

“I have to commend you all for coming out in this heat wave,” Smith joked. “I want you all to have my personal cell phone number. That’s a great way to communicate with me. During our session meetings, there are days where we will have over 700 emails at a time. Calling me or texting me is a much easier way to get ahold of me.”

Representative Smith then proceeded to encourage more active involvement and participation amongst Republican voters, while also touching base on the activities of current Secretary of State Chuck Gray amongst other agenda items.

“I highly recommend that you attend session,” Smith continued. “When there are more people in the gallery, the more conservative the votes. When the galleries clear out, for some reasons I don’t know the voting gets less conservative. If you can come even for just one day at the Capitol, it’s a great opportunity to just learn, watch and be appalled.”

Smith was met with modest laughter throughout the room.

“Another way you can be involved is attend the January 26 session scheduled at 1 p.m. Secretary Chuck Gray is having a public comment for residency, and that’s at the Capitol extension. He is trying to put residency restrictions in policy, which used to be in our Constitution under article six-section one. As far as things we have done so far, I’m on the Transportation Committee. The Wyoming Department of Transportation was really pushing for fuel tax increase. I opposed that greatly, and it did not go through. There’re a few bills that I will be co-sponsoring. One of the things I would like to address is abandoned livestock, and the solar issue has been a big one in Goshen County. It should be commissioners and the Department of Environmental Quality to keep the control local.”

Smith noted one other matter of past concern among conservative Christians.

“With religious assembly during a state of emergency, we should not have churches shut down and deemed unessential. Most things can be solved with a simple phone call. If there are any state agencies you are having problems with, give us a call and we will help as much as we can.”

Senator Steinmetz also advocated on behalf of her Republican voters, discussing in depth ongoing environmental land management, agriculture, energy and Governor Mark Gordon’s current stance on the latter.

“We have put aside 50 million dollars to sue the federal government,” Steinmetz stated. “And we can take independent action on our own. This also asserts that we have entered the union on equal footing with all the rest of the states. We are looking at push back with that, and we recognize that we’re a sovereign state. We have reasserted that. The other thing I have been working on and you might have seen it, is the governor and I are in a scuff about CO2. Regardless of anyone’s belief of CO2, once they put a layer of cost on you and carbon print, we all pay for it. Somebody has to pay for wind, solar and all these things that are affordable, but nor are they reliable. If we keep going down this road, we will be like Texas who have had major outages.

“I am chairman of the agriculture committee this year,” Steinmetz continued. “And we have two bills for energy systems. We hope that will affect some of the rapid development with growth projects, and make sure property owners are protected and have a seat. We are trying to protect our private property owners. So far right now our energy policy in the state is whatever the federal government will give us. I don’t think that is right for our state, and so we are pushing back against that.”

While attentively listening to both his colleagues and constituents all the while, Representative Slagle then took his turn and spoke before all in attendance. Slagle focused on issues in relation to property tax, as well as whether elections should use machines or purely paper ballots.

“I’m sure all of you are aware of the controversy with property tax, and ballot initiative,” Slagle said. “We are looking at some tax bills this year, but I can’t predict it all. There’re two cap bills, and one of them will put a five percent cap on residential. However it’s only on a residential house, and it’s only on the amount of increase from the previous bill. Who knows how that will be amended. 

“We need to be talking to our county commissioners, and how we can change the vote in our county,” Slagle continued. “It’s a local issue, and our county commissioners have a lot of power to say we are going to do paper ballots. We will get a lot of pushbacks from our clerks, but I think there are ways to do it without using machines.”

While on the matter, Representative Slagle made it a valid point to display public appreciation for both the efforts of county commissioners as well as clerks.

“I didn’t realize how hard you guys worked until I started serving on the legislature,” Slagle said with a smile.

Shortly before the meeting came to its end, and after taking numerous questions from an abundant number of fellow Republicans, Senator Steinmetz spoke of freedom and self-reliance on behalf of the sovereignty of Wyoming.

“If our federal government is not going to protect us, then we will protect us,” the Senator stated. “We will fight for our worth, and that’s all we can promise you. A lot of bills got left on the Speaker’s desk. When someone runs for Speaker or President of the Senate they no longer represent their district, they represent the entire state.

“We need to make sure that the legislature is weighing on our energy policy, because we represent all of you. We have to decide if we are going to participate in the crazy. The conservative movement is gaining momentum, and we will take this state in the right direction. We have this ability with our small population, which is actually a giant community. We are a tight-knit state even though there are not a lot of us. People will follow a strong leader, not Bill Gates. Do we value our relationships, property and way of life? Or are we going to sell that for over-inflated dollars? We have to decide that true value doesn’t lie in money. It is our families, land, people, our heritage and who we are. We all have a decision to leave with you right now, and that is our freedom and prosperity.”

Each Representative and Senator then proceeded to mingle and answer questions personally with several individuals as those in attendance began to exit the room.