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Efforts Underway To Ensure Wyoming Residents Get First Crack At Shed Antlers

in News/Legislature/Hunting
The large elk antler arch is one a Jackson, Wyoming, landmark. (Getty Images)

Once considered a niche activity, “shed hunting” for elk and deer antlers has become profitable and exploded in popularity. So much so that some legislators say Wyoming residents should have a three-day head start over non-residents

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Senate Favors Letting State, Not Power Companies, Set Rates To Buy Surplus Renewable Energy

in Energy/News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

People with residential rooftop solar installations and those who work in the industry gave the Senate Corporations Committee an earful on a bill that would free electric utilities from being obligated to buy their surplus electricity. 

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Don’t Buy Property Next To A Farm, Then Complain That Animals Have Sex Outdoors, Bouchard Says

in News/Legislature/Agriculture
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Sen. Anthony Bouchard attempted humor to highlight a serious concern of his: residential development encroaching on agriculture operations, then complaining that they’re smelly, noisy and bothersome to their sensibilities.

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“Old, Beat-Up Trailer Just Sold For $675,000!” Legislators Wrestle With Soaring Property Tax Bills

in News/Taxes/Legislature
Sen. Dan Dockstader, R-Afton. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

In discussing soaring property tax rates which have increased from up to 30% – 50% in his district, Wyoming Sen. Dan Dockstader on Thursday said a “old, beat-up, doublewide trailer on a itty-bitty lot” sold for $675,000 last year

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Bill Targeting Critical Race Theory In Wyoming Public Schools Sails Through To Senate Floor

in News/Legislature/Education
Sen. Lynn Hutchings. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Sen. Lynn Hutchings said she sponsored the anti-CRT bill because factions through the nation are spreading “divisive and destructive,” instruction to young people in a way that undermines gains made by Black people in America.

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“It’s A New Form Of Discrimination”: Foster Parents Dispute Native-First Custody Law

in Native American Tribes/News/Legislature

While some Wyoming legislators push to codify the Indian Child Welfare Act on a state level in case the federal law is overturned, several foster moms say the law discriminates against the very children it was designed to protect by denying them permanent homes.

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Bill Allocating $5.25 Million Of Wyoming Money To Help Build Border Wall Passes Committee

in News/Legislature/immigration
Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A bill dedicating $5.25 million to help Arizona and Texas build a border wall and transport migrants to other places passed a Wyoming legislative committee on Thursday afternoon. Gov Gordon said he supports the legislation.

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Banning Foreign Ownership Of Ag Land, Mineral Resources Not So Easy Even In Wyoming

in News/Legislature/Agriculture
Rep. Bill Allemand. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Although some may think in red-state Wyoming that banning foreign ownership of ag land would be a slam dunk, one bill barely made it out of committee on a 5 – 4 vote because of constitutionality concerns.

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Chuck Gray Wants To Do Away With ‘Predatory’ Campaign Tactic Used By Cheney

in elections/News/Legislature
Jenn Lowe, executive director for the Equality State Policy Center, testifies about Senate File 131 on Thursday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

While some call sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters a “predatory” campaign practice, others say it’s just being “accommodating.” Legislators are debating the tactic used by Liz Cheney and whether her mailers were unethical.

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Bill Would Allow Treeing Of Mountain Lions With Dogs Even After Filling Hunting Tags

in News/Legislature/wildlife

Letting Wyoming hunters to keep pursuing mountain lions with hounds, even after they’ve filled their hunting tags, would help keep the hounds well-trained and condition the big cats to avoid people and livestock, say proponents of a bill that would allow it.

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Wyoming Closer To Being First State With Its Own Cryptocurrency; Gordon Doesn’t Like It Though

in News/Legislature/cryptocurrency
(Matt Idler Photos for Cowboy State Daily)

Sen. Chris Rothfuss expressed frustration with a member of Gov Gordon’s staff on Wednesday after she said the governor still had concerns with a cryptocurrency bill. Rothfuss said the governor’s office was “moving the goalposts.”

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Wyoming House Re-Establishes 988 Suicide Call Center Trust Fund – With A $0 Balance

in News/Health care/Legislature
Rep. Landon Brown discusses 988 call centers on the Wyoming House floor. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

The Wyoming State House added an amendment to legislation on Wednesday morning that would allow private individuals and nonprofits to help fund state-run 988 suicide call centers in Wyoming.

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Legislative Committee Moves Forward With Bill Protecting Reporters From Revealing Sources 

in News/Legislature
Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A legislative committee on Wednesday advanced a media “shield law” by an 8 – 1 vote that would protect journalists in Wyoming from revealing their sources. Wyoming is one of only two states without a shield law.

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Sec Of State Chuck Gray Actively Lobbying Legislature; Rep Calls It ‘Uncouth” & “Unstately”

in News/Legislature/politics
Secretary of State Chuck Gray and Rep. Clarence Stylar talk in the Capitol Extension hallway on Jan. 24. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Although Chuck Gray’s active legislative lobbying has surprised some people, it doesn’t infringe on any state laws and many legislators have no problem with it. The longest serving member of the House, however, calls it “uncouth” and “unstately.”

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Wyoming Freedom Caucus Wants State Attorney General To Take Stance On Social Credit Scores

in News/Legislature
Sen. Bo Biteman, photo by Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Freedom Caucus wants Attorney General Bridget Hill to come out against social credit scores. They said Bridget Hill should “take a stand and protect Wyoming’s extractive industries and way of life.”

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Wyoming Hunters Call Out Fake ‘No Trespassing’ Signs On Public Land

in News/Legislature/Hunting
Getty Images

People have been planting fake “no trespassing signs” on public land and trying to chase hunters away. A new bill would qualify that as “hunter harassment”l and punishable by fines up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $50,000 for subsequent offenses.

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Belgian Chef Says He Would Love To Serve Wild Wyoming Horses If They Were Available

in wild horses/News/Legislature
De Kuiper restaurant in Vilvoorde, Belgium, has ben serving horse meat for more than 160 years. (Courtesy Photo)

The owner of a restaurant in Belgium that has been serving horse meat for more than 160 years said Wyoming horses would be great on a menu because they’re free-range and eat natural grasses. The Wyoming Legislature is considering a bill asking Congress to allow some wild mustangs to be rounded up for slaughter.

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Bouchard Introduces Bill That Would Ban Child Sex Change Surgeries In Wyoming

in LGBTQ/News/Legislature
Senate Labor Committee

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for doctors to perform sex change treatments on minors and insurance companies from covering them. “Chloe’s Law,” is named for a woman who transitioned to a man and now regrets it.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Move To Regulate Gaming, Industry Doesn’t Want ‘To Look Like Montana’

in News/Legislature/Business

Skill-based games are age-restricted in Wyoming, and are something the industry itself has told state lawmakers should be limited to adult locations — truck stops, bars and smoke shops. Senate File 41 would accomplish that and was advanced last week.

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Bill Would Prohibit Former Legislators From Immediately Becoming Lobbyists With 2-Year Wait Period

in News/Legislature

There are at least three lobbyists at the Capitol this session who were still elected members of the Wyoming Legislature less than two weeks ago. A bill has been introduced that would require legislators to “cool off” for two years before becoming lobbyists.

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Legislature Pulls Trust-Fund Support For Suicide Call Centers

in News/Health care/Legislature
Rep. Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne, proposed an amendment to remove a $46 million trust fund from 988 hotline legislation. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

State Rep. Landon Brown said carving out the $46 million trust fund from a bill establishing the national 988 suicide call center program in Wyoming was the bill’s best chance to pass.

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Committee Kills Ranked Choice Voting For Wyoming

in elections/News/Legislature
Gail Symons with Civics307 testifies for the House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee on Friday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Citing “ballot exhaustion,” costs and potential to confuse voters, a Wyoming House committee killed a proposal that would have allowed state municipalities to test ranked choice voting.

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Bill That Forbids Teaching Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity In Wyoming Schools Advances

in News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

The “Wyoming Parental Rights in Education Act” advanced Friday to the Senate floor. Detractors say the bill squelches speech and marginalizes LGBTQ families, while proponents say the bill upholds everyone’s values by leaving the teaching of those topics at home with families.

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Wide-Ranging Anti-Abortion Bill Would Remove Exemptions For Rape, Incest

in abortion/News/Legislature
House Bill 152 sponsor Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

House Bill 152 would ban abortion altogether in Wyoming except in cases involving risks of death or serious injury, and it could prevent abortion providers from establishing private clinics on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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Bill: Wyoming Banks Can’t Be Sued For Freezing Accounts If Fraud Against Elderly, Disabled Suspected

in News/Legislature
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bill Landen, R-Casper. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

If it passes the Wyoming Legislature, Senate File 24 would protect banks from being sued for freezing people’s assets briefly if they believe a vulnerable adult is being exploited.

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Gov. Gordon Tests Positive For COVID, Will Work From Home

in News/Legislature/politics
Gov. Mark Gordon gives his State of the State address to the Wyoming Legislature to open the 2023 session. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming Gov Mark Gordon announced on Friday that he has tested positive for Covid. He sad the symptoms are minor and will work from home.

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Rep. John Bear Remark About Guatemalans Landing In Gillette Sparks Refugee Rumor

in News/Legislature/politics
Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette, at the Wyoming Capitol on Thursday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A comment state Rep. John Bear made on Thursday morning that dozens of Guatemalans were on a flight that landed in Gillette on Wednesday night has stoked the political rumor mill at the Capitol that it was an influx of refugees.

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Two Bills Would Make Concealed Carry Permits Legal Identification To Vote In Wyoming

in elections/News/Legislature
Sen. Lynn Hutchings. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

State Sen Lynn Hutchings told Cowboy State Daily that when she arrived at a polling place to vote, she realized she had no form of identification besides her concealed-carry permit. She said, “I’m a state legislator. I’m going to fix that.”

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Bill Would Pay Teton County Judges A $1,900 Monthly Housing Allowance

in News/Legislature
Sen. Bill Landen, R-Casper, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A proposed law that would give judges in Wyoming’s richest county a $1,900 monthly housing allowance is still alive – but detractors worry judges could turn a profit using public funds on their appreciating houses.

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Horse, It’s What’s For Dinner: Legislators Discuss Resolution To Re-Open Horse Slaughterhouses

in wild horses/News/Legislature
(Photo Paul Harris/Getty Images)

To get a handle on growing herds of wild mustangs in Wyoming and the American West, a resolution being considered by the Legislature says Congress should re-open American horse slaughterhouses so the meat can be shipped to places where people eat it. 

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Casper Legislator’s Covid Bill Would Also Prohibit Required Vaccines For Polio, Measles, Mumps

in News/Health care/Legislature
Rep. Jeannette Ward, R-Casper, on the House floor at the Capitol in Cheyenne. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Although Rep. Ward said her Covid bill which would also prohibit required vaccines for polio, measles, mumps and other infectious diseases is a way to prioritize the rights of individuals, physicians said it would put Wyoming “back a few centuries.”

32535 Keep Reading | 2268 words

Child Marriage Bill Survives But Some Argue Restricting Teen Marriage Is Removing Freedoms

in News/Legislature
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Addressing marriage age is an exercise in establishing Wyoming’s state rights, says House Bill 7 sponsor Rep. Dan Zwonitzer. Others argued the state should butt out as marriage is a “contract between a man, a woman and their God.”

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Hageman Warns U.S. Heading For Fiscal Cliff, Says Legislators Must Fight For Coal, Oil & Gas

in Harriet Hageman/News/Legislature
Harriet Hageman visits with Wyoming lawmakers at the state Capitol in. Cheyenne on Wednesday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

U.S. Rep Harriet Hageman on Wednesday told Wyoming legislators that the U.S. is heading for a “fiscal cliff” and it was important that they continue to fight for coal, oil, and gas.

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Sen. Charlie Scott Says Shotgun Is Good Way To Deal With Annoying Drones

in Drones/News/Legislature
State Sen. Charlie Scott says the best way to deal with pesky drones is with "a shotgun." (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Sens. Charlie Scott and Lynn Hutchings on Wednesday said there should be a provision in the drone bill that would allow a landowner to shoot down drones that are trespassing over private property.

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Realtor: Hobbyists Who Buy “Cheap Drones At Wal-Mart” Causing Problems For Legit Drone Operators

in Drones/News/Legislature
Getty Images

In a legislative committee meeting on Wednesday, the president of the Wyoming Realtors association said commercial drone operators are well-behaved. It’s the “hobbyists who buy cheap drones at Wal-Mart and fly them over their neighbors’ properties,” who are causing all the problems, he said.

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Legislator Wants To Reduce What Solar Customers Are Paid For Excess Electricity

in Energy/News/Legislature

Sen. Cale Case has introduced a bill that would repeal net metering, which allows people who produce excess electricity from rooftop panels to sell it back to a utility. Case says it makes energy in the state more expensive and discriminates against the poor.

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State Sen. Says Mother Was ‘Severely Mistreated’ In Boarding School That Forcibly Assimilated Native Americans

in News/Legislature
State Sen. Affie Ellis, R-Cheyenne (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

State Sen. Affie Ellis told a committee on Wednesday morning that her mother was “severely mistreated” when attending a boarding school that sought to assimilate her into a non-native culture. Ellis’ bill would uphold tribal sovereignty over child members.

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House Committee OKs $50 Million Wyoming Outdoor Rec Trust Fund

in Wyoming outdoors/News/Legislature
Moonlit skiing in Wyoming's Grand Teton range. Getty Images.

The bill would create a $50 million trust fund to pay for the Office of Outdoor Recreation to better promote Wyoming outdoors. Currently, Wyoming is last in dollars and jobs generated by outdoor tourism compared to 11 other western states.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Work To Tighten Digital Asset Security

in News/Legislature/cryptocurrency
Rep. Jared Olsen. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Private cryptographic keys can’t be changed, which creates a problem for legal processes that Wyoming is working to solve. House Bill 86 will prevent a court from compelling through discovery the invisible code that makes up a private cryptographic key.

32578 Keep Reading | 1385 words

Perhaps Largest Group Ever, Freshman Lawmakers May Hold Real Political Power In Wyoming

in News/Legislature/politics
Matt Idler Photos for Cowboy State Daily

With 34 first-year members of the 67th Legislature – nearly 37% of the 93-member body – freshman legislators have potential to be the most influential first-term class in Wyoming history, but they will have to come together to make that happen.

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Bill Empowering Game Wardens To Ticket For Criminal Trespass Advances To Senate Floor

in News/Legislature/Hunting

Although there were concerns that a bill empowering Wyoming game wardens to bust trespassers was an attempt to “back-door”restrictions on corner crossing, those fears appear to have been alleviated as Senate File 56 was passed out of committee to the senate floor on Tuesday.

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Ambiguous Federal Regs On Digital An Opportunity For Wyoming, Says State Senator

in News/Legislature/cryptocurrency
Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Nearly 500 decentralized autonomous organizations have registered in the Cowboy State since Wyoming rolled out the red carpet for digital asset companies. They are providing revenue to the state and more opportunity, according to Sen. Chris Rothfuss.

32461 Keep Reading | 1693 words

Wyoming House To Vote On Bill Forbidding Marriage For Teens 15 And Younger

in News/Legislature
Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, speaks from the House floor. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming is one of eight states with no minimum marriage age. Some in the Wyoming Legislature are trying to change that with a bill that would forbid people younger than 16 from marrying altogether, and would require a guardian’s permission for minors ages 16 and 17.   

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Proposed Law Would Expand Alert System For Adults, Similar To AMBER Alert

in News/Legislature
Cowboy State Daily Illustration (Getty Images)

Wyoming legislators are looking at implementing an alert-system for adults similar to the AMBER Alert. The system would dispatch alerts for missing adults in risky scenarios or for those suffering from cognitive issues or disabilities.

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Well, That Was Quick: Resolution To Ban Electric Vehicles In Wyoming Dies In Committee

in Electric Vehicles/News/Legislature
Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily

The resolution to ban electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035 died a short death on Monday. Supporters said the measure was intended to make a statement against states like California and New York which are banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars.

32360 Keep Reading | 2258 words

Far Right And Moderate Republicans Reach Compromise On Wyoming House Rule

in News/Legislature/politics
Wyoming House leadership discuss rules Monday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Elevating from a simple majority to two-thirds vote to overrule House speaker or majority floor leader, some Republicans say factions are finding middle ground. Others, however, say they’ve instead installed “the king and his count.”

32404 Keep Reading | 1859 words

Wyoming Legislators Introduce Education Bill That Mirrors Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law

in News/Legislature
Sen. Dan Dockstader. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming lawmakers are proposing a “Parental Rights In Education” bill which mirrors Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law passed last year. It would forbid teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation to school children.

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Bill Outlawing Flying Drones Over Prisons Soars Through Wyoming Senate

in Drones/News/Legislature
Cowboy State Daily Illustration (Getty Images)

Wyoming has had only two incidents involving delivery of contraband into prisons by drone, but the Department of Corrections says it’s growing across the country. A passed out of the Senate on Monday would make it illegal to fly drones over penal institutions.

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Facing ‘Clear And Present Danger’ From Anti-Coal Policies, Wyoming Lawmakers OK More Money To Sue

in News/Legislature/coal
Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Wyoming Legislature had appropriated $1.2 million for Wyoming to sue other states that have regulations that harm Wyoming’s coal industry. A committee Monday approved a bill allowing the governor more broad authority to spend the money.

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Opposite, Partisan Abortion Bills Vie For Attention In Wyoming Legislature

in abortion/News/Legislature
Protesters gather outside the Albany County Courthouse in Laramie last summer after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Abortion debate expected to heat up as legislators consider polar-opposite bills. One would remove the state’s abortion trigger ban while the other would outlaw abortion-inducing drugs in nearly all uses.

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I-80 Off-Road Vehicle Pass-Thru Could Boost Tourism In Southwest Wyoming, Supporters Say

in Wyoming outdoors/News/Legislature
Getty Images

Allowing off-road vehicles to pass underneath Interstate 80 near Evanston could connect a series of trails and be a huge boost to the area’s tourism, say proponents House Bill 42, which was moved to the House floor on Friday.

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Deacon Says Extending Medicaid Not ‘Fiery Pit Of Socialism’ As Bill Moves Forward

in News/Health care/Legislature
Members of the House Labor, Health and Social Services Committee listen to testimony. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Legislation extending Medicaid coverage for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months passed out of a state House committee by a 5-4 vote on Friday, but not without some passionate debate on both sides.

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Pair Of Trooper K-9s Keep Wyoming Capitol Safe During Legislative Session

in Wyoming Life/News/Legislature
Trooper Billy Quade and his K-9 partner Scout sweep the Wyoming Capitol on Friday morning before the Legislature convened. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Scout and Duster, a pair of black Labrador retrievers, sweep the state Capitol building for explosives and other potentially dangerous devices every day during the Wyoming Legislature’s 37-day session, which began this week.

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Bill Would Ban New Foreign Ownership Of Any Agricultural Land In Wyoming

in News/Legislature/Agriculture
Farmland outside Cheyenne. (Getty Images)

A bill being considered in the Wyoming Legislature would limit foreign ownership of Cowboy State agriculture land. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dalton Banks is joining others like S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem in a growing concern about Chinese influence over America’s agriculture real estate.

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No More Spanking In Wyoming Schools? Legislation Moves Forward To Crack Down On It

in News/Legislature/Education
Sen. Charlie Scott, R-Casper, talks about corporal punishment in schools during a Senate Education Committee meeting Friday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

With only three school districts in Wyoming still allowing corporal punishment, Senate File 47 would allow civil or criminal action against any teachers and administrators who do use it.

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Legislators Worried About Californication Of Wyoming, Introduce Bill Protecting Rodeos

in Rodeo/News/Legislature
Bareback bronc rider Luke Creasy is thrown during a Frontier Days Rodeo event. (Getty Images)

Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams is championing legislation that would prevent towns and counties from banning activities like rodeos. Sen. Dan Laursen says he is concerned with influx of Californians to the state, especially to Jackson.

32003 Keep Reading | 1251 words

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