To Veto Or Not To Veto: Gov Gordon Has 55 Bills On His Desk

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has 55 bills on his desk awaiting his signature, the veto pen, or he can allow them to go into law without a signature. They include a bills to outlaw gender change surgeries for minors, eliminate gun-free zones in the state, and state regulation of abortion clinics.

Leo Wolfson

March 12, 20244 min read

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon addresses the Legislature on the last day of the 2024 budget session March 8, 2024.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon addresses the Legislature on the last day of the 2024 budget session March 8, 2024. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Gov. Mark Gordon has some important decisions to make over the next couple of weeks that could dramatically change how people work and live in Wyoming.

Sitting on his desk are as many as 55 bills recently passed during the 2024 legislative session, which ended Friday.

Gordon has until March 23 to sign all of the bills, let them pass into law without his signature or veto them. That includes the 2025-2026 biennial budget.

Under state law, if legislation is sent to the governor with two days or fewer remaining in the session, he has 15 days after the Legislature adjourns to act on it.

For all other bills sent to him during the session, the governor must sign or veto them within three days of its transmittal, excluding Sundays, or it becomes law without his signature.

Gordon has already signed 69 bills into law from the 2024 session. He let one bill pass into law without his signature and vetoed another. On Thursday, Gordon also line-item vetoed four parts of the budget.

The Legislature responded on the last day of the session Friday by overriding three of those vetoes.

Regulations of Abortions would put abortion clinics in Wyoming under jurisdiction of the Wyoming Department of Health and implement more regulations of their practices. It also would require pregnant mothers who are planning to get an abortion to have it no less than 48 hours before a planned surgical or chemical abortion.

This bill received the signature of the Senate president and House speaker last week and the governor has taken no action on it.

Although its sponsor, state Rep. Martha Lawley, R-Worland, told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday she believes it has passed into law, a spokesperson for the governor said that is not right as the Legislature adjourned before 11:59 p.m. last Friday, so the governor still has until March 23 to sign it.

What’s Left?

As far as impact to Wyoming, the biggest bill remaining on Gordon’s desk is the biennial budget, passed on the last day of the legislative session.

According to the Legislative Service Office (LSO), the appropriations and transfers in this bill amount to $11 billion. Of this total, $3.4 billion is being spent from the general fund. A total of $170 million is being put into savings.

One of the most controversial bills remaining is legislation that would repeal gun-free zones in Wyoming. A number of groups have been pushing Gordon to sign the bill into law, including Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne.

Another hot-button bill is Children Gender Change Prohibition, which would prevent Wyoming medical practitioners from offering transgender surgeries and treatments to minors in the state.

There are four main property tax bills sitting on Gordon’s desk for consideration.

  • Property Tax Exemption for Long-Term Homeowners would cut property taxes by 50% for homeowners age 65 and older who have paid residential property taxes in Wyoming for at least 25 years. This requires an application.

  • Property Tax Refund Program would expand the state’s existing property tax refund program to include people who make up to 165% of the Wyoming median income or median income of their county. This requires an application.

  • Property Tax Exemption-Residential Structures and Land would establish a 4% year-to-year cap on property taxes. The bill only includes residential tax structures for this tax year and will expand to associated residential land next year.

  • Homeowner Tax Exemption exempts 25% of all home value assessed up to $2 million in Wyoming. It will run through 2026.

By The Numbers

According to LSO, a total of 366 bills and resolutions were introduced during the session. The Legislature passed 126 of them.

The Senate was more successful with its legislative efforts this session. Of the 107 bills that were introduced in the Senate, 71 passed both in the House and Senate. The House introduced 84 bills and 55 of those got the approval of both bodies.

Sixty-one percent of committee bills passed both chambers, while 20% of individually sponsored bills passed both bodies. Legislation that passed both houses has either been acted on or is waiting to be acted on by Gordon.

On the budget, Gordon has 15 days as of last Friday to consider line-item vetoes and sign the bill. The appropriations and transfers in the bill for the 2025-2026 fiscal biennium total $11 billion. Of this, $3.4 billion is from the General Fund and including $170 million of discretionary transfers to savings.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter