The state of Wyoming is going to lend $25 million to Lannett Co., which is a pharmaceutical company based in New Jersey. The company has plans to expand its Wyoming operations. The new expansion could create anywhere from 110 to 400 new jobs in the state over the next several years. The bill was originally drafted to be a direct loan to the pharmaceutical company, but it was determined that would violate the state constitution. The state’s constitution prohibits legislation geared to benefit a single entity. The bill was then amended to become a state loan program, which could disperse loans to various entities. The loan to Lannett Co. was still included in the bill.
State senator and bill sponsor Hank Coe believes that the amendments make the legislation better. “Really what Senate File 97 has in it now, it opens it up to any applicant, city, town, county, joint powers board, to apply for the money,” said Coe. “It's the fair way to do it. It's the right way to do this.”
The bill will also create an investment fund. The fund would be used for large economic development projects that also had backing from private funding sources. Coe hopes that the amendments to the bill and the creation of a state loan program will help diversify the state’s economy and bring more jobs to Wyoming. Governor Matt Mead agreed that Wyoming should focus on investment and economic development. “Wyoming has been successful in its efforts to attract and retain companies and is starting to see even more interest from private businesses looking to expand or relocate. Many of the projects are large scale. The state must position itself to work at the speed of business.”