A proposed change to Wyoming’s longstanding practice of dividing its legislative sessions into “budget” and “general” sessions passed the House on Wednesday.
HJ 6, proposing an amendment to Wyoming’s Constitution, was approved by a vote of 42-16, sending it to the Senate for review.
Currently, on even-numbered years, 20-day budget sessions are held to approve a budget for the next two years. On odd-numbered years, general sessions are held to address other issues.
If approved by the Legislature and then by voters, the measure would continue to limit Wyoming’s Legislature to meeting 60 days every two years. However, there would no longer be a budget or general session and no limit on how long legislators could meet during those sessions. For instance, one year’s session might last 25 days and the next year’s might run 35.
The change is seen as a way to make it easier to introduce bills during what are now budget sessions. During those sessions, any bill not dealing with the budget must be approved by two-thirds of the Senate or House to even be introduced and considered by a committee.
Supporters of the measure maintain the Legislature spend too much time on bill introductions during those budget sessions.