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Wyoming Democrats vote against a special session to address vaccine mandates

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Wyoming Democratic Party

Wyoming's Democratic legislators are voting against having a special session to address vaccine mandates.

As the federal government prepares to hand down vaccine requirements for large employers, Republican leadership in Wyoming has pushed for a special session to take action. They are currently taking a vote of legislators with plans to have a session that begins October 26.

In a letter signed by Wyoming's entire Democratic caucus, two senators and seven representatives announced their intention to vote against the special session, spelling out their reasons for doing so.

"We believe a special session would be an undue burden to the taxpayer, a waste of time and resources for legislators and our staff, and would further cause an undue burden to Wyoming businesses who would be forced to choose between following state or federal law, requiring them to be in violation of one or the other," the letter states.

Teton County Representative Mike Yin serves as the minority caucus chairman. He said the state hasn't even seen the federal mandate yet, so it can't make informed decisions.

"In general, the Democratic caucus doesn't see the need for a special session," he said. "Not only does this not seem necessary, it would be premature."

Yin said if the session does happen, Democrats will also vote against a proposed rules change.

"The thought behind the special session is that it would be a very select set of bills that would get rushed through the process with a very short time frame that hinders the legislative process," Yin said.

He added the shorter time frame would allow for less deliberation and less public input.

Democrats make up just 10 percent of the Wyoming Legislature — nowhere near what they need to stop the session on their own. But Yin says it's important for his Republican colleagues to understand the Democrats' argument, spelled out in the letter.

Republicans only need a simple majority to call the session but will need a two-thirds supermajority to pass the rules change and expedite the lawmaking process.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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