State Officers Want to Remain in Capitol After Renovation

By: Kyle Markley Email
By: Kyle Markley Email

Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - Senate File 103 to rehabilitate and restore Wyoming's Capitol Building has the offices of the Secretary of State, State Auditor and State Treasurer concerned that when construction begins they could be moving out for good.
A move that would be unprecedented in Wyoming.
Construction to the State Capitol Building is set to begin in the spring of 2015 if Senate File 103 passes, as expected, during this year's legislative session.
An $86 million renovation and expansion to the Herschler Building has been factored into the $259 million budget for the project, which would temporarily move everyone out of the Capitol Building for two and a half years.
But the bill filed by the legislature's management council does say if there isn't room, some offices might not be moving back to the Capitol.
"We're concerned with the latest plan because of the fact that it moves all the electeds out of the building," said Max Maxfield, Wyoming Secretary of State.
Officials say one of the unique things about Wyoming is for visitors to come see and talk to their state officers.
"It's access and I think that's important and that's important for transparency and for accountability to the citizens in that they have access to us in one central location and place," said Cynthia Cloud, Wyoming State Auditor.
State Auditor, Cynthia Cloud, said it's a matter of preserving history as well. She showed us documents created in the Capitol Building by State Auditors dating back to the 1890's.
Renovation plans would convert more space into legislative meeting rooms and while more space is needed, state officers say consideration should be given to those that are there 12 months of the year.
"We think we ought to be in the Capitol. It's the people's house and it's not just in existence during the time the Legislature's here," said Maxfield.
"The building, as I think one of the guides here has talked about, will feel more like a morgue and I'm concerned it becomes more like a clubhouse for lawyers, lobbyists and legislators," said Mark Gordon, Wyoming State Treasurer.
"I think we need to just have all options available for us to look at the space and what's needed," said Rep. Rosie Berger, (R) Sheridan County
Representative Rosie Berger said she believes it's critical to give consideration to keeping the officers in the Capitol and hopes they can find a way that they can remain there.
"I think that everyone is probably going to probably make some sacrifices, compromise and we'll come to a consensus and being able to accommodate something that looks traditional to what we're doing today," Berger said.
Senate File 103 details a priority list for remaining in the Capitol, with top priority going to the Secretary of State, then to State Auditor, State Treasurer and finally the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.


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