By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon signed the one bill that made it through the recent Wyoming Legislature special session that proposes action in opposition to the federal vaccine mandate.
On Friday, Gordon signed HB1002, which prohibits state and local public entities from enforcing a federal mandate. However, it would not take effect until a federal court, in response to legal action, blocks the mandate.
The bill also provides $4 million to help those harmed physically or financially by the mandate take legal action against the federal government and expresses support for Wyoming taking legal action to halt the mandate.
Gordon noted that he had already committed to challenging President Joe Biden administration’s vaccine mandates in the courts prior to the special session being called.
He added while he appreciated the Legislature’s support through the bill, he was concerned about the cost to taxpayers of the special session.
“This bill confirms the Legislature’s support for the Executive branch’s previously-expressed determination to fight federal overreach in the courts,” Gordon said. “I thank the Legislature for recognizing their distinct constitutional responsibility as appropriators in forwarding resources to support this endeavor. The people of Wyoming can rest assured that this Governor will always be committed to protecting the constitutionally enumerated rights of Wyoming citizens.”
Wyoming has filed three separate legal actions to challenge the federal vaccine mandates, including a lawsuit against the Biden administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees.
A second lawsuit challenges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws that require any worker for a company employing more than 100 people to get a vaccine or be tested regularly for coronavirus. The third asks a federal court to overturn the vaccine mandate on health care workers throughout the nation.