Brown: Legislature Becoming Polarized
Outgoing House Speaker Kermit Brown (R-Albany) says the Wyoming Legislature has become more polarized since his first term began in 2005.
Brown says voters continue to send fewer moderate representatives to speak for them, opting instead for more extreme conservatives.
"I think we see a trend that way," says Brown. "And now with the budget revenues decreasing, why, the hawks are on the hunt. They want to cut everything, and you have to be really careful about how you manage that."
"Sure, we have to reduce," says Brown. "But state government might make up something on the order of a third of Wyoming's GDP -- and if you just shut down state government, you throw the entire state in a tailspin."
Brown says new legislators usually back off on budget cuts after serving for a few years and gaining a better understanding of the state budget as a whole.
"After they've been there for awhile, they see that state government provides a lot of services and a lot of things for people in the state of Wyoming that they didn't know about," says Brown.