“From Your Garage to the Assembly Line” Inventors Conference
Senator Enzi’s annual Inventors Conference is right around the corner. He invites Wyoming residents to join him at the free conference that helps ideas become a reality. Protecting your idea, funding for prototypes, and how to sell your ideas are a few of the workshops all focused on the development of patents, businesses and marketing. If you have an idea, this can be your most valuable resource in planning your next move.
The conference will be at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs on April 21 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Room 1005. Free pre-registration is appreciated by contacting the Senator’s state director, Robin Bailey, at (307) 682-6268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enzi questions defense chief on military budget cuts
Recently Senator Enzi questioned Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta concerning the defense cuts being proposed by the president and what effect that might have on Wyoming. Enzi received assurances from Panetta that there will be no unilateral elimination of one military base per state (Wyoming only has one) and that the Defense Department will use the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) process to evaluate possible closures.
Sec. Panetta noted that under the FY 2013 budget proposal, the nuclear capabilities of the U.S., including missiles, would be maintained. There have been no long term decisions regarding missile cuts, but one possible option is to maintain current levels.
Senator Enzi also encouraged Secretary Panetta to look at the relationship between the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 187th Airlift Squadron and the Air Force’s 30th Airlift Squadron. He said this type of joint unit should be used as a model for the future of the military.
The Senator also voiced his concerns over TRICARE and how the coverage was becoming more expensive while providing less care.
Funding for roads and bridges
“If we want to have roads, we have to pay for them,” said Senator Enzi earlier this month as he introduced an amendment to the highway bill to help address the lack of revenue available to fund America’s bridges, roads and infrastructure.
Enzi noted that the federal government is out of money and the only way to keep our roads and bridges safe is to cut spending or increase revenues. His amendment would allow the gasoline tax to be indexed with the rate of inflation, which would have increased the price of gasoline by one half of one penny had it been enacted last year. A single penny increase in the gas tax would provide $1.6 - $1.8 billion a year that could be used to fund critical transportation projects across the country.
The Simpson Bowles report said a 15 cent per gallon raise was needed over the next three years if we want safe highways. Senator Enzi pointed out that the current transportation bill is being paid for with a budget gimmick that provides two years of spending while taking 10 years to raise the revenues– and stealing from retirement funds to pay for roads is not right.
The gasoline tax was the original funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund and has not been increased from 18.4 cents/gallon per since 1993 when gasoline was $1.50/gallon.
Wyoming state offices
Senator Enzi's five state offices in Cheyenne, Gillette, Casper, Cody and Jackson offer office hours where Wyoming residents have the opportunity to meet with Senator Enzi’s state representatives in his absence. Upcoming office hours include:Monday, March 26th
9:00 am – 10:00 am – Pine Haven Town Hall
11:00 am – Noon – Hulett Town Hall
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Sundance Town Hall
Wednesday, March 28th
10:00 am – 11:00 am – Pinedale Town Hall
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Sublette County Library in Big Piney
Friday, March 30th
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Buffalo Town Hall
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm – Kaycee Town Hall
Tuesday, April 17th
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Gillette City Hall Council Chambers
Cheyenne students receive Congressional Award
Senator Enzi and his wife Diana were in Cheyenne recently and presented students Patrick Meier and Victoria Stille of Cheyenne with their Congressional Awards. This honor is given to young adults who excel in the categories of volunteering, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.
Meier was awarded the Bronze Congressional Award, and Stille the Silver Congressional Award.
More information on the Congressional Awards Program can be found by clicking here.
PILT extension a win for rural WY communities
Senator Enzi supported an amendment to extend full funding of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for one year. The amendment was attached to the Highway and Surface Transportation bill and received considerable bipartisan support.
“PILT isn’t a giveaway to our counties,” said Enzi. “It is compensation for the money they lose because they are unable to tax federal lands in their borders even though they are required to provide services on those lands.”
As approximately half of Wyoming is under federal control, counties are unable to obtain property tax revenue from large plots of land within their boundaries. Counties receive funds based on a congressional formula and funds are used to offset the cost of providing government services.
Mandates are distressing
Senator Enzi joined 47 of his colleagues in supporting the Blunt amendment, which would prevent the possibly illegal intrusion of the federal government into the core functions of religiously affiliated employers.
“Our country’s foundation is based on our citizens being able to make their own decisions without government interference,” said Enzi. “I’ll continue to stand up for that individual liberty.”
The amendment failed to get enough votes and the proposed mandate is currently moving forward.
National League of Cities Speech
Senator Enzi recently spoke to 1,200 local officials from all over the U.S. during the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference about protecting sales tax revenues and marketplace fairness.
Connect with Senator Enzi on Facebook
If you haven't already become a "fan" of Senator Enzi's Facebook page, check it out. It is a great way to see more of what is going on in Congress. Click here to view his page.
Facebook Banner Photo Contest
Senator Enzi is looking for a new banner photo for his Facebook page and invites all of his Wyoming Facebook followers to send photos of Wyoming for him to consider.
Please send your photo to email@example.com or in a Facebook message with your name, address, phone number, email address and where in Wyoming the photo was taken.If there are enough entries, Sen. Enzi plans to announce the winner March 30, so submit your photos soon!