Wyoming Constitutional Amendment Faces Decisive Senate Vote
A proposed Constitutional Amendment that would specify the Wyoming Legislature is responsible for deciding school funding faces a critical third vote on Tuesday in the Wyoming Senate.
Senate Joint Resolution 4 would need a 2/3 majority vote in both houses of the Wyoming Legislature plus a majority of people voting in the 2018 general election to be approved. If it becomes law, the proposal would specify that the courts could not order lawmakers to impose new taxes to pay for education in Wyoming.
The courts could, however, still declare the state's school funding system to be unconstitutional.
The bill's primary sponsor is Republican Sen. Affie Ellis of Cheyenne.
Wyoming's school funding has been the subject of numerous court battles dating back to 1980. Those decisions have often left the courts as the primary decision maker on Wyoming school funding issues.
Even if the proposal wins the support of two-thirds of Wyoming Senators, it would still face a major hurdle in the Wyoming House of Representatives. A similar proposal in the Wyoming House, House Joint Resolution 9, failed to make it out of committee.
Constitutional Amendments in Wyoming also face a challenge at the ballot box, as state law requires that a majority of those voting in an election vote for the proposal, rather than just a majority of those casting a ballot on the proposed amendment.
That means people who bypass the issue when voting essentially count as ''no" votes.