Bills passed in the 67th session of the Wyoming Legislature are starting to show up on Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk for approval.
With his signature, Gordon will sign the first three bills of 2023 into law Wednesday afternoon. He’s expected to sign Senate File 23, House Bill 28 and House Bill 29.
SF 23: Transfers responsibility and oversight of court-supervised treatment programs from the state Department of Health to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
HB 28: Increases the minimum estimated cost of community college capital construction projects needing approval by the Community College Commission from $100,000 to $250,000.
HB 29: Modifies the definition of distance education for community colleges. It also eliminates the full-time weighted equivalency for distance education class credit hours for calculations in the community college funding allocation model.
As of late afternoon Tuesday, 33 bills had received concurrence, 14 of which were signed off by the Senate president and speaker of the House and sent to Gordon’s desk. Concurrence happens when both chambers agree to each other’s version of a particular bill.
Once the leaders of the two chambers of the Legislature sign off on a concurred bill, the next step in the legislative process is Gordon’s signature of approval, or lack thereof.
Before any bill becomes law, it must be presented to the governor. If Gordon approves the bill, he’ll sign it. If any bill sent to the governor is not signed and not returned within three days it also becomes law, but without a signature.
If the governor disapproves of a law, he can veto it by returning it to the body of origin with his objections.
If both bodies still wish to pass the vetoed bill, they can override the governor’s veto with a two-thirds vote in each body.
Senate File 13 was the first bill of the 2023 session to receive concurrence in both houses when it passed through the Senate on Monday afternoon. It makes entertainment-based businesses in Wyoming eligible for a bar and grill liquor license, a less competitive license than what they have to apply for now.
One of the major advocates for SF 13 was April Brimmer Kunz, co-owner of a future indoor golf simulator business in Cheyenne and former president of the Wyoming State Senate.
The bill passed through the Senate on concurrence with a 24-4 vote.
What If They Don’t Agree?
When concurrence can’t be reached on a bill, a conference committee is arranged between both houses with three members representing each, except on the budget bill, which involves five members from each.
These committees, in a joint meeting, iron out the bill’s differences by adding, striking and compromising amendments.
If after the first conference committee a resolution cannot be arranged, subsequent meetings will allow an unlimited number of members to participate.