2021 legislative session

Wyoming Department of Health - State of Wyoming

Since the start of the pandemic, some Wyoming residents and business owners have indicated that state officials, especially the Governor and the state health officer, had a heavy handed approach to health orders.

Wyoming School Boards Association

One of the top priorities of many legislators was to reduce spending for K-12 education. Governor Mark Gordon has mentioned it in his last couple of State of the State messages and the legislature was just a conference committee away from passing a bill to do that. But a major disagreement between the House and Senate over whether there should just be reductions or reductions that included some revenue led to the bill's demise.

It led Casper Senator Charles Scott to claim that the House was a bunch of tax and spend liberals. That overreaction probably won't help future discussions go any smoother, but it's also likely the issue isn't off the table. The good news for school districts is that they won't see cuts this year. Brian Farmer is the Director of the Wyoming School Boards Association. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck asked him to break down what happened.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature just wrapped up a session where $430 million was cut from the existing budget to make up for major losses of revenue connected with COVID-19.

Bob Beck

Local governments watched the 2021 legislative session closely. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Wyoming County Commissioners Association's Executive Director Jerimiah Rieman about how county governments fared in two issues the association was keeping an eye on throughout the session. Rieman began by discussing what changes lawmakers were considering on how local governments get revenue.

State of Wyoming

On Thursday, April 8, Gov. Mark Gordon spoke to reporters about his thoughts on the 2021 legislative session.

Gordon said Wyoming will certainly face economic hardship in the coming years. He said in terms of revenue, he thought the state should first look at existing sales tax exemptions and what revenues can be raised.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature has approved a bill that changes how health orders are issued. It gives the governor and county commissioners power to approve extended health orders in a pandemic.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House and Senate could not reach a compromise on a school funding bill that would have cut around $135 million over three years. The bill is dead for the session.


The University of Wyoming has won complete control over its own water system, capping off what has been a fierce struggle between the university and the city of Laramie.

Bob Beck

Bob Beck: The Wyoming legislature is winding up its work and we thought we'd begin the show discussing what we've seen. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler and I have been covering the session. And Catherine, I think I'd like to start with you. This was actually your first session. What were your takeaways? What did you see?

Wyoming LSO

The Wyoming Senate has voted down a bill that would have named a stretch of highway between Meeteetse and Cody after the late Cody Sen. Hank Coe.

Coe died of cancer in January. He retired last year and represented Cody since 1989, including time as the Senate Majority Floor Leader and Senate President.


The Wyoming Legislature's 2021 general session is wrapping up. It's been the first session for freshman Democrat Representative Karlee Provenza. Provenza represents Laramie and ran on her background with community organizing and her experience with criminal justice reform.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with her about how her first session has gone.

Public Domain, via sckrx

Victoria Bush has been teaching art at the Cody Elementary Schools for three years.

"I've got one kiddo that, you know, he does struggle academically, but he's got kind of like a spunk," she said.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to an education funding bill that would cut close to $80 million out of school funding over three years.

Wyoming Legislature

A bill that would create a voter ID law has passed the Senate after serious discussion about its meaning.

Melodie Edwards

The House Education Committee has tabled a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with school construction. It likely kills the bill.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Once again, the Wyoming legislature has rejected Medicaid expansion. Despite testimony providing overwhelming support for the measure and some federal aid to encourage more states to adopt the program, the Senate Labor and Health Committee voted three to two against the bill.

by Max Klingensmith / Flickr

The Cody School District has started reviewing its budget ahead of potential cuts at the legislative level.

Park County School #6 has cut almost 16 full-time positions due to an upcoming statute deadline for renewing or ending staff contracts. The school district made the cuts via retirement, attrition or elimination.

CC BY-SA 4.0

The Wyoming House Transportation Committee voted to table a bill that would have kicked off the effort of tolling Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming.

The Senate had passed the bill, but the committee in a straw poll at the beginning of the meeting didn't express much interest in passing it.

Dave Johnston Plant
Greg Goebel via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

A Wyoming Senate committee has started working on a bill that is intended to slow the closures of coal plants in the state.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Wyoming House and Senate adopted a new state budget that reduces over $400 million from the existing two-year budget.

Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming House of Representatives has killed a bill that would have set up a taskforce to study the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill would have put together lawmakers, county and tribal representatives, alongside people from the education, business and health care sectors to study how the state handled challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate passed a bill intended to strike a compromise over how the state can regulate Air Ambulance Membership organizations.

Wyoming Legislature

After killing it earlier in the day, the Wyoming House of Representatives reconsidered and passed the bill that would provide a statewide structure for tracking instances of serious police misconduct.

The bill looks to prevent law enforcement officers with records of serious misconduct from getting or maintaining certification in Wyoming.

Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming House of Representatives voted to send two bills dealing with abortion to the Senate.

One bill would outlaw abortions performed for discriminatory reasons, like the fetus having a disability or its race or gender.

Inside the Wyoming State Capitol Building
Bob Beck

A bill that gives more power to elected officials when it comes to public health orders has passed the House.

The measure requires county commissioners to sign off on the extension of a local order after ten days, while the governor would do the same regarding a statewide order.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would expand Medicaid in the state and provide health care coverage to an estimated 25,000 people.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate voted down a bill that would have moved up the primary election with the intent to have a runoff election, if the winner of the primary didn't have over 50 percent of the vote.

CCO Public Domain

After debating it for a few weeks, the Wyoming House gave final approval to a school finance bill. It includes budget cuts and adds revenue to make up for a $300 million budget shortfall for K-12 education.


The University of Wyoming has won round one in a water dispute with the City of Laramie.

The Wyoming House of Representatives gave final approval to a bill that allows UW to drill a well and develop its own water system without interference from the city or the county.

Stephanie Joyce

The last time the state of Wyoming executed someone was in 1992.

"When that execution actually occurred, I felt it," said Sen. Cale Case. "And people all over Wyoming felt it, 'cause we were part of it."