Washington, D.C. --U.S. Senator Mike Enzi will hold a Small Business Committee field hearing in Casper next week in an effort to "take some Wyoming sensibility back to Washington."
Ten witnesses on three separate panels are scheduled to testify at the hearing, which is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, April 3 at the Parkway Plaza in Casper. The hearing is titled, Entrepreneurship in America: Solutions for Tax and Regulatory Fairness for Small Business.
Enzi, who is an active member of the Senate Small Business Committee, said the hearing will better illustrate to his colleagues, the real-life impacts aggressive taxation and government regulation has on small businesses.
"I want to get official testimony from Wyoming small business people telling us precisely where they need help and what the federal government can do to stimulate job creation," said Enzi. "Up until taking office in January I worked in small business and was a small business owner myself, but not everyone in government has the benefit of this experience. I believe the first-hand information gained from this hearing will better illustrate to other lawmakers the need for practical, small business-friendly legislation."
As a member of the Small Business and Labor Committees, Enzi is playing an integral part in crafting legislation which improves the small business climate. These issues include Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) modernization, flexible compensatory time off for workers, estate and capital gains tax reform, home-based business tax and regulatory improvement and others.
"In the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business, seven of the top 10 problems participants listed were federal taxes and regulations," Enzi said. "If we want to create jobs, we need to give people a healthy environment to work in."
Witnesses set to testify represent the spectrum of small business interests. The list includes Wyoming legislators, state government officials and business group representatives.
Those set to appear at the hearing are Eli Bebout, president of NUCOR Oil and Gas, Inc. of Riverton. Bebout is also the Wyoming House Majority Floor Leader. He will be joined on the first panel by rancher and state representative John Hines of Gillette. Robert O'Neil, director of Operations for the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Moran and Terry Oldfield, Casper resident and vice president of MiniMart Corporation have recently been added to panel one. Frank Galeotos, director of the Wyoming Department of Employment Services, Dennis Hemmer, director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality in Cheyenne and Diane Wolverton of Laramie, the director of the Wyoming Small Business Development Centers will make up the second panel. Panel three consists of the president of the Wyoming Society of Certified Public Accountants, Casper resident Richard Bratton Jr., David Reetz president of the Powell Valley Economic Development Alliance and Tom Jones of Cheyenne who is the president of the Wyoming chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. A witness from the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association and the Wyoming Retailers Association will also be on hand for the hearing.
Senator Enzi has also committed to another Small Business Committee field hearing in Great Falls, Mont. April 2 concerning interstate meat inspection practices. Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) is expected to attend both this and the Casper small business hearings.
Enzi encouraged the public to attend.
"These hearings bring a little of the Washington legislative process to Wyoming, but the best part will be taking Wyoming sensibility back to Washington," he said.