Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes

Legislature discusses future of Wyoming Pioneer Home

Agar working on amendment to allow time for options


February 22, 2018

The biggest question Thermopolis residents have been asking this past week has to do with the Wyoming Pioneer Home. Under SF112, the facility would be privatized, allowing a company to take over it as well as the Wyoming Retirement Center in Basin.

Senate District 20 representative, Wyatt Agar, was not present during the bill’s introduction on Friday, as he was assisting his wife during their annual bull sale, but he returned to Cheyenne early Saturday.

Agar said he and Representative Nathan Winters have been working on an amendment to stretch the timeline should the decision be made for privatization, a decision which would be made by the State Health Department. Agar further explained extending the timeline would provide the community time for options such as putting together a non-profit for operating the Pioneer Home or bringing it under the Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital District. At the same time, Agar is also putting together an amendment for a bill that looks at establishing skilled nursing facilities for veterans. The amendment would require looking at existing state facilities first as part of the level 1 and level 2 studies, which would help put the Pioneer Home at the forefront.

As for funding issues, Agar said he and Winters are also looking at stretching funding for the Pioneer Home through the biennium rather than just for a year. This will also go to keeping the facility operating as it is.

Agar said he and Winters are joined in their efforts by other representatives from the Big Horn Basin to be a collective force to help the facilities in Thermopolis and Basin. He is very impressed with how the legislators from the Big Horn Basin have come together to help restore funding in the basin.

In other happenings at the Legislature, Agar expects there to be a push to have Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne moved up the list of capital construction projects.

This is something he will continue to vote against he said, as the school currently ranks around 20th on the list and he sees no reason to move it up.

A bill on which Agar is the prime sponsor — SF92, which addresses electronic logging devices for commercial vehicles — was in committee Monday afternoon, Agar said, and he expected to know it’s fate by Monday night.


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