Wyoming Senate Amendment Would Bar Using State Money For Lawsuits
If an amendment attached to the Wyoming Senate Budget Bill becomes law, Wyoming school districts would be barred from using the money they get from the state to sue the state over school funding.
A similar amendment failed Monday in the state house.
The Senate amendment was approved on Friday. Sheridan Republican Senator Dave Kinskey argued allowing districts to use state money to sue Wyoming amounts to giving "somebody the knife to cut our throat."
As lawmakers continue to struggle with how to pay for education in Wyoming in light of declining revenues, the threat of lawsuits by districts remains a very real possibility.
A series of court decisions dating back to the last century in Wyoming has already had a major impact on school funding. The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that paying for education is the state's primary obligation under the state Constitution.
The courts have also mandated all school districts across the state offer the same level of education statewide so that areas of the state that are doing well economically are not supposed to offer a better education than poorer parts of the state.
While the Senate budget amendment would bar districts from using state money to file lawsuits, districts could use savings accounts or any other non-state funding source to file lawsuits. The vote in favor of the amendment was 20-10.