Wyoming Legislative Coverage

Wyoming Public Radio will bring you coverage of the 2020 legislative session. Read and listen to our coverage from the session. You can also follow our coverage on Twitter using the hashtag #wyleg.

The 2020 Budget Session begins February 10th.

Keep updated with this session:

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming legislature has passed a bill that makes it legal to grow hemp in Wyoming, and legalizes the sale of products made from hemp, including CBD oil.

A bill that would have imposed a 20-hour work requirement on those who receive Medicaid has been defeated.

Bob Beck

Community Colleges may soon be able to offer bachelors degrees of applied sciences. The House gave final approval to a bill that supporters say will help economic development and can improve the number of four-year degrees in Wyoming.

Stephanie Joyce

The Wyoming House and Senate went well into the morning hours and adjourned without reaching a deal on a bill that provides a severance tax break for closed in oil and gas wells.

The disagreement was over the price when the tax kicked in. Earlier in the day Cheyenne Representative Bob Nicholas feared that the legislation would let some companies take advantage of the state by re-starting wells and paying small amounts of severance tax money at a point where the wells are the most productive.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming legislative session has technically adjourned, though there are still some loose ends to wrap up. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss Medicaid, tax measures, and what could carry into the interim session.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate has passed a bill that would allow the Board of Medicine to sanction doctors who don't tell the state that they performed an abortion. Supporters say they are trying to put teeth into a law that currently exists.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that will allow a private school to be built in Teton County without interference from local officials.

Senate Defeats Lodging Tax

Feb 26, 2019
Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The last major revenue raising measure for the state has failed. The Senate defeated a 5 percent lodging tax increase, with 3 percent of revenues going towards statewide tourist promotion and the rest going to counties.

Dwayne Reilander via CC BY-SA 4.0

Environmental groups filed a notice to sue the state of Wyoming. This comes after Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill that allows the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to authorize a grizzly bear hunt in the state.

Senate Considers Hemp Bill

Feb 22, 2019
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

A bill that would finally allow Wyoming farmers to grow industrial Hemp has made its way through initial debate in the State Senate.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a five percent lodging tax that could provide over $20 million to Wyoming's tourism industry. Three percent of the tax would go towards state tourism promotion and the other two percent would go to counties to promote local tourism. Senator Hank Coe of Cody said during floor debate that the tax is important.

DAVE PARKER / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

A Senate committee has voted 4-1 to approve a bill that would require doctors who perform abortions to document how many times they have performed the procedure.

Oil and gas drilling on Butler's property.
Cooper McKim

A bill that would give a severance tax exemption to encourage oil and gas producers to re-open shut down wells will go to the House Floor.

People listen to proceedings in the Wyoming House of Representatives
Bob Beck

A bill that would remove county zoning authority from over private schools has received initial support from the Wyoming House of Representatives.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate will soon get a chance to debate a 5 percent statewide lodging tax proposal that supporters say will raise $32 million. Most of the money will go to fund tourism promotion in the state.

Public Domain

Wyoming is a step closer to having a new public records law. The House passed Senate File 57 that sets up deadlines for governmental agencies to respond to a public records request and puts in place an ombudsman whose job is to make sure those requests are met.

Strong opposition to a proposed corporate income tax that was targeted at large-box stores will likely die this session without a vote. After a lot of opposition, the bill started to lose support in the Senate.

Screenshot from SF 118
wyoleg.gov

A bill under discussion in the Wyoming legislature called tax liability mineral production may not sound important, but Sheridan Representative Cyrus Western, and other legislators, assure that it is. Counties see it as a step towards recovering taxes owed to them from mineral companies - ad valorem taxes.

Bob Beck

Wyoming Senator Eli Bebout is finishing his 12th legislative session in the Senate after 14 years in the House. He was first elected as a Democrat from Fremont County in 1986.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

An effort to abolish the death penalty in Wyoming has failed. The Senate voted 18 to 12 to defeat a bill that would have changed Wyoming's maximum punishment to life without parole.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A legislative committee has approved a bill that would override a Teton County decision to keep a private school from being built. The House Corporations and Political Subdivisions committee voted 6-3 to send the bill to the floor.

Lynn Hutchings

A State Senator released a statement denying that she ever compared homosexuality with bestiality or pedophilia.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A bill that would change the way Wyoming handles rape kits or sexual assault biological evidence kits is moving to the House floor.

Wyoming LSO

For years local school districts argued that they were the ones who should determine how good a job a teacher was doing. Under a bill approved by the Wyoming Senate, they will now have that power.

Lynn Hutchings

The Wyoming legislature is moving into its final three weeks. Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard checked in with Bob Beck about the latest news, including budget discussions and controversial remarks made by Senator Lynn Hutchings.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate President said that an investigation is being conducted to determine if any action should be taken against Cheyenne Senator Lynn Hutchings regarding some comments she made to high school students who lobbied her regarding LGBTQ issues.  

wyoleg.gov

State Senator Lynn Hutchings of Cheyenne has been accused by the group Wyoming Equality of comparing homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. It came during a conversation with Cheyenne Central High School students at the legislature earlier this month. 

Bob Beck

It's not really that unusual for anti-abortion bills to be considered by the legislature, but they frequently are defeated in committees or don't get much traction. But it appears that may be changing. Wyoming pro-choice supporters were unnerved by the passage of two bills that set certain requirements on doctors two years ago. This year, two more anti-abortion bills have passed the house that people have their eyes on.

Tennessee Watson

This session, Wyoming lawmakers killed two different bills that would have required the U.S. Citizenship test to graduate from high school. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow pushed the idea as a way to strengthen civics education across the state. Critics argued that rather than more exams, kids need more opportunities to experience democracy in action.

created using Mapchart.net

Wyoming is one of just five states without laws pertaining to the parental rights of perpetrators of sexual assault. House Bill 107 would change that.

Pages