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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Wyoming lawmakers are gearing up for a special session to oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Wyoming House members listen to floor debate.
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming House members listen to floor debate.

The Wyoming Legislature plans to gavel into its three-day special session on October 26. The purpose is to pass legislation against vaccine mandates from the Biden administration and corporations.

House Majority Leader Albert Sommers said he and other lawmakers are hearing from many citizens who oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates and want lawmakers to do what they can to keep them from being enforceable.

"A pretty broad public has been worried about these federal government mandates, mandates that would come on businesses and health facilities and federal contracts, and then businesses themselves, very large corporations imposing mandates on people. And so I think we have to discuss it," said Sommers.

House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly opposes the special session. During an appearance on Wyoming Public Radio's Open Spaces, she noted that Wyoming needs more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Lawmakers will meet Tuesday at 10 a.m. and spend that morning considering rules to speed up the legislative process. Those will require two-thirds support from both the Senate and House. If those rules fail, the special session could run as long as six days. The rest of that day will be spent on introducing bills and having committees take public testimony and discuss which bills should be considered by the full legislature.

Wednesday, lawmakers plan to debate, amend and vote on the proposed legislation while Thursday would be used for conference committees to iron out differences between the House and Senate before the bills are sent to the governor.

Bills are currently being drafted and Rep. Sommers said that leadership will have an open mind as long as legislation is focused on vaccine mandates.

"The body will ultimately regulate what they want to see and what they don't want to see," said Sommers.

A rules discussion among legislative leadership will take place this Thursday.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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