2019 legislative session

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.

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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.

Stephanie Joyce

A controversial bill that some say infringes on first amendment rights has passed a Wyoming legislative committee and will move to the House floor.

A bill that would abolish the Death Penalty easily passed the Wyoming House Friday. Supporters say it's time to end government-sanctioned killing and they argue that it's a waste of taxpayer money.

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Women would have to wait 48 hours to have an abortion under a bill that was approved Friday by the Wyoming House of Representatives.

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The American Lung Association's new State of Tobacco Control report gave Wyoming failing grades for its tobacco policies. Among the criteria was funding for prevention programs, smoke-free workplace laws, tobacco tax rates, services to help quit and the minimum age to buy tobacco. In Wyoming the minimum is 18.

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A bill passed out of a legislative committee yesterday that would make it easier for counties to collect ad valorem taxes. A report last year found counties were missing out on over $50 million in delinquent ad valorem taxes, often due to bankruptcies.

Since the legislature might once again be considering Medicaid expansion for those who can't afford insurance, the Senate is considering a bill that would pay for a study.

ideastations.org

The Wyoming Senate is taking another crack at requiring those on Medicaid to get a job, perform community service, or take college or job training classes in order to receive benefits.

Wyoming Legislature

Speaker of the House Steve Harshman convinced the House to take another step towards school safety.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming Senate voted to restore $1.5 million it removed from the state breast and cervical cancer program. The cut was made earlier in the week after members of the Appropriations Committee complained that it allowed non-poor people to access the funds.

Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Leadership from the Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee announced plans to update and modernize oil and gas regulations. They plan to work with the public and private sector along with Governor Mark Gordon during the interim session. The committee will study how to better align rules with current practices.

Wyoming State Legislature

A bill that would require a 48 hour waiting period before someone can get an abortion has received initial support in the Wyoming House. Opponents of the bill call it government overreach and an intrusion on reproductive rights. Cheyenne Representative Sue Wilson said she struggled with the bill initially, but now fully supports it.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A number of people packed a large legislative committee room testifying on a bill that would create criminal offenses, including murder, for the harm of what the bill calls an unborn child. Senate File 128 is the Unborn Victims of Violence act.

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For the second year in a row, Wyoming lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase penalties for interfering with critical infrastructure, focusing on oil and gas facilities. It was vetoed last year by former Governor Matt Mead.

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The State Senate has voted to reduce a spending increase that's used for teacher pay. The External Cost Adjustment is part of the school-funding model and the governor supported an $18 million increase to keep the model constitutional. Tuesday night, the Senate cut that increase in half. Senators Chris Rothfuss and Jeff Wasserburger says the cut to an increase that's used for teacher pay could put the school funding model in jeopardy of being unconstitutional.

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The Wyoming Senate has cut all the funding for the state's breast and cervical cancer program. The cut came during a debate over the state budget. Sheridan Senator Dave Kinskey added that the program is not just for poor people, so people without insurance can access those funds.

Tennessee Watson

A bill that would increase penalties for interfering with the operation of critical infrastructure like pipelines or oil and gas facilities is held up in the Minerals Committee. Wyoming legislators gathered Monday to discuss the Crimes Against Critical Infrastructure bill and delayed a vote until Friday after hearing considerable public comment.

Illustration of a person vaping an e-cigarette
Consumer Reports

The House Revenue Committee voted not to adopt an additional tax on tobacco products including e-cigarettes. It would have attached one more dollar on the end of tobacco sales.

Enbridge Uranium Cartoon
Enbridge Inc.

A bill that would exempt uranium producers from a severance tax has passed through the House Revenue Committee. The goal is to ease the financial burden for companies when the market is particularly weak. The general counsel from Cameco, the state's largest uranium producer, said money saved would be used to improve operations and provide good paying jobs.

Cut Out From Rocky Mountain Power's Presentation On Its Integrated Resource Plan
Rocky Mountain Power

More and more coal-fired power plants are setting retirement dates and the next steps for them are unclear. The Senate Minerals committee heard a bill attempting to deal with these power plants. It aims to create a process allowing decommissioned plants to continue under new ownership.

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A bipartisan bill that would make Wyoming the first state to legally classify digital assets as property, is heading to the Senate floor.

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