A measure aimed at resolving a dispute between Cheyenne and the Frontier Days Rodeo was allowed to take effect Friday without Gov. Mark Gordon’s signature.
Gordon declined to sign Senate File 134 because he said the state should not get involved in local disputes.
“As governor, I hold sacred the belief that governments govern best when they govern least and when they remain closest to the people,” he wrote in a letter explaining his action. “This bill interferes with local prerogative. Furthermore, it seeks to solve a problem that has not existed outside of one jurisdiction.”
The bill stems from a dispute between the city and the rodeo over the cost of security for the 10-day event.
Cheyenne officials have said they need some assistance paying the security costs and have said unless they can get some help, they might be forced to withhold the rodeo’s special event liquor license.
The bill will allow the organizers of large events such as Cheyenne Frontier Days to apply directly to the state for special event liquor licenses.
Gordon said he would allow the bill to become law, but wants the Legislature to avoid trying to solve local problems in the future.
“Should the Legislature craft statutory remedies for every dustup?” Gordon wrote. “That is a question that intransigence laid at the feet of the Legislature this year. It was answered broadly even though the issue was initially raised in only one circumstance. I sincerely hope this rebuke will provide a teachable moment for us and that this approach to solving local disputes will not become a norm or necessity.”
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