Governor Mead has signed into law the most drastic changes to the duties and powers of a statewide elected official in decades. Mead signed Senate File 104 yesterday afternoon at the state capitol in Cheyenne (pictured).
The new law replaces the superintendent of public instruction as head of the state Department of Education with a director appointed by the governor. Mead says closely considered the Wyoming Constitution and the future of the state when making his decision to sign the bill into law.
While there has been a lot of talk about this being a personal vendetta between legislators and schools superintendent Cindy Hill, Representative Rosie Berger of Big Horn says the idea of replacing the voter-elected superintendent with a governor-appointed director has actually been discussed by legislators for a number of years.
The law culminates a testy battle between the Legislature and Hill over her administration of the Education Department the last two years.
Also yesterday, Mead appointed Jim Rose as interim director to take over supervision of the department and execute the transition until a permanent director is appointed. The former Democratic state lawmaker is executive director of the Wyoming Community College Commission.