My Agenda for President Trump’s First Day

My Agenda for President Trump’s First Day
Dave Kinskey, R-Wyoming Senate

Unwinding the Obama legacy will take time, but doing so is critical to the future of Wyoming and this great nation.

There are three layers of federal overreach to be rolled back: laws, regulations and executive orders.

Repealing laws created over the past eight years will take months—perhaps years. Let’s hope the Trump “drain the swamp” mandate unifies the Republican Congressional majorities behind quick action.

Reversing burdensome regulations is the Executive branch wheelhouse. This, too, can be a slow process. President Reagan’s was the last administration to reduce the number of federal regulations in place in the United States. Since the Reagan era of the 1980s, the federal rule book has continued to grow, even under Republican presidents.

Like Reagan, Trump was impelled into office by the frustration of ordinary Americans with ossified government. His staff should, even now, be readying the levers to throw the rule making machine of Washington into hard reverse.

The third front of the Obama rollback is executive orders. Executive orders direct federal departments as to how to interpret and administer acts of Congress. Here a President can act quickly—from his first day in office.

Executive orders are a long-standing tradition, and when done property, are written with care to respect both the Constitution and the intent of the legislation they seek to enact.

That is a tradition President Obama savaged. Frustrated by Congress three years ago, President Obama issued his “I’ve got a pen” manifesto, making clear his intent to ignore Congress anytime it refused to bend to his will.

And use that pen he did, in a breathtaking onslaught of federal overreach. He ignored Constitutional creation of three coequal branches of government. The doctrine of separation of powers was intended to prevent a president from assuming monarchical authority.

Challenged in court, his actions very often fail to pass legal scrutiny. Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency, her appointees to vacant Supreme Court seats no doubt would have found ways to approve Obama’s orders.

But Clinton didn’t win. President-elect Trump did.

On his first day in office he, too, will have a pen. And he can use that pen to unilaterally repeal President Obama’s executive orders.

Wyoming will be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Among the first to go should be Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which has had a devastating effect on the coal industry.

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe, an ardent environmentalist, has criticized the Clean Power Plan as unconstitutional.

“Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy,” Tribe wrote.

With the stroke of a pen, President Trump can help save Wyoming coal jobs, while upholding respect for the Constitution.

Dave Kinskey represents Wyoming Senate District 22 which consists of Johnson County and eastern Sheridan county. A businessperson and former Mayor of Sheridan, Kinskey can be reached at or cell

A Tough Budget: Heading into Session

A Tough Budget: Heading into Session
Dave Kinskey, R-Wyoming Senate

It’s all about the budget. That sums up the legislative session convening in Cheyenne on January 10 for 40 days.

But, work has already begun. The Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) had budget hearings in the days leading up to Christmas. There is no seasonal joy in this work. These are hard decisions that affect lives.

I attended the JAC meetings in Cheyenne.

The sizes of the budget deficits are daunting. First is the general fund. That is the operations budget for state government – the court system and all the executive departments such as the departments of agriculture and health, the prison system, etc. – forty-five agencies in total.

As recently as the past legislative session, the funding gap was hundreds of millions. After being whittled down by the Legislature, and then again by the governor, there remains another $78 million to be cut.

On the hot seat at JAC: any agency that cuts programs but not the personnel that administer them. Pressing for reductions in people is Grinch-like work, but it must be done.

The real challenge is in the education fund budgets. The gap for school operations is $360 million to $400 million per year – nearly five times the remaining general fund deficit. Additional deficits in the hundreds of millions remain in school maintenance and construction budgets.

For the next couple of years, for school operations, savings were used to balance the budget. But, that emptied out the piggy bank. That creates a sense of urgency to start cutting now as it will only be worse if we wait.

There continues some talk about tax increases. But, consider this: to make up the loss in the school operations revenues it would take a four-cent state wide sales tax. That would put the state sales tax at 8 Percent, and in areas with the optional pennies, drive the rate to 9 or 10 cents. That’s clearly not anything I, or the public, nor, I think, the House or the Senate would support.

Class sizes are going to go up, not by a lot, but some. When I went to school we have dozens of kids per classroom. Not ideal by any means, but certainly not the end of the world. I don’t foresee reversion to the class sizes of the post WWII era. But, there is no question we must learn to educate with a lot less money.

There are no easy answers. Wyoming has been through it before. We’ll find a way. We are still blessed in so many ways – Merry Christmas!

Dave Kinskey represents Wyoming Senate District 22 which consists of Johnson County and eastern Sheridan county. A businessperson and former Mayor of Sheridan, Kinskey can be reached at or cell

Upcoming Budget Session

Dave Kinskey (R – Senate District 22)

The state budget has two parts:  revenues and expenditures.  The majority of revenues come, directly and indirectly, from oil, gas and coal.  All three are down.  Experience tells us hard times are ahead.  Families and businesses have had to tighten their belts.  The state must do the same.

But where and how?  The majority of state expenditures are health care, education and the justice system, particularly prisons.  Not as large a percentage, but important, are water development, roads, fulfilling our commitments to our veterans, and other compelling needs.
Continue reading “Upcoming Budget Session”

Chinese Stocks and Wyoming Wool

Dave Kinskey (R – Sen. Dist. 22)

What does the Chinese stock market have to do with the success of Wyoming sheep ranchers?  Quite a bit, as I learned at the recent mid-year meeting of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.

Speaker Larry Prager of Center of the Nation Wool spelled out the China-Wyoming wool connection.  The United States has enough capacity to process 12 to 15 million pounds of wool each year. The U.S. produces about double that amount annually.  The half that cannot be processed here is exported – about 80% to China and 20% to India. Continue reading “Chinese Stocks and Wyoming Wool”

Smaller, More Efficient Government — How?

Last week I had an opportunity to participate in a meeting of the Management Audit Committee in Laramie. This body is a legislative select committee tasked with evaluating state programs for fiscal responsibility, and to ensure they are fulfilling their stated purpose.

Another purpose is to improve operations where possible. I could not help but reflect on my own experiences with quality improvement.

Process of improvement and quality assurance aren’t strange concepts to Wyoming. W. Edwards Deming, considered by many to be the father of total quality management was from Powell, Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming. Decades ago Deming tried to sell his ideas to American corporations – but to no avail. At the time, “Made in Japan“ was synonymous with “cheap junk.” Deming decided to pitch Japanese corporations on his ideas for quality improvement. Continue reading “Smaller, More Efficient Government — How?”

Caregivers Don’t Have to Travel the Path Alone

“You are not alone ….” That’s the theme that resounded throughout the day-long caregiver conference, held in Sheridan on Saturday, Oct. 4th.

Nearly forty people gathered for the event, listening to the challenges and joys of caregiving. Although geared for family members who take care of their loved ones, others in the audience included nursing home CNAs and private caregivers. Some people shared personal stories, other presenters offered resources and tips. I was pleased to serve on a panel with Sheridan Mayor John Heath, County Commissioner Mike Nickel, CVC Director Amy Albrecht, and Senior Center Director of Family Caregiver Services Stella Montano. Like other speakers and attendees, they, too, had stories to share about caring for a loved one. Continue reading “Caregivers Don’t Have to Travel the Path Alone”

Regions and Standing Apart in a Crowded World.

Civic pride is a hallmark of Wyoming cities and towns.  It brands the places we call home with strong identities, and each community’s personality is a reflection of its residents.  In light of this rugged independence, where does regional cooperation fit in?

The fact of the matter is, as strong as Wyoming communities are individually, we are stronger working together. Continue reading “Regions and Standing Apart in a Crowded World.”

Senator Kinskey Legislative Report to Sheridan Chamber of Commerce – March 2015

Dave Kinskey – presentation to Sheridan Chamber of Commerce – March, 2015

Good afternoon.  Now for the latest dope from Cheyenne… that would be me.

So, a guy said to me, you look a lot like the guy that used to be mayor.  I said, yeah, I hear that a lot.  He said, I’ll be it makes you kind of mad, don’t it? [Laughter] Continue reading “Senator Kinskey Legislative Report to Sheridan Chamber of Commerce – March 2015”