Gov. Mead says he’ll ask the legislature to fund courthouse security projects, including the Riverton Justice Center

(Lander, Wyo.) – Gov. Matt Mead on Thursday morning told attendees at the Wyoming Association of County Officers that he will be pushing for the legislature to fund courthouse safety efforts statewide.

“Generally by law its the county’s responsibility,” he said of the requirement to provide secure court facilities. However, Mead said he understands that if someone is called for jury duty, they have to show up. It is one of the few places that a person cannot refuse to go to.

“I need to know courthouses are secure,” he said. Mead told the county officers present for the weeklong convention that he would be asking the legislature to fund courthouse projects.

Mead used Fremont County’s need for a new justice center in Riverton as an example. He said that project is necessary not only because a bullet was shot into the courtroom about a year ago. “That building wasn’t even designed to be a courthouse,” he said.

State Treasurer Mark Gordon also, noting the necessity of many projects, called the Riverton justice center a “huge problem.”

Mead listed other efforts he’d be bringing before the legislature, such as more funding for school safety and protections for the coal industry. He said the EPA recently rejected the state’s visible regional haze mitigation plan. He called on law makers to focus more efforts on forest fires, which he called the largest haze contributor, rather than the energy industry.

Besides Mead and Gordon, State Secretary Max Maxfield, Auditor Cynthia Cloud and Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill also spoke this morning at the WACO conference.

Maxfield said the state needs to continue to help fund county projects. Cloud spoke about several of the things her office has done to meet budget cuts and warned the counties to be prepared for retirements. Gordon discussed some of the funding delays caused by the sequester. Hill kept her talk short but pointed. (Read more about her speech here.)