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Gov. Gordon Vetoes “Born Alive” Bill

in News/Legislature

By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday vetoed a bill aimed at guaranteeing medical care for any child born alive after an attempted abortion.

The bill was one of four vetoed by the governor as he took action on the final 11 bills on his desk from the Legislature’s recent budget session.

The “Born alive infant” bill, Senate File 97, would require that doctors “shall take medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive” after an unsuccessful abortion.

The bill was approved in the House by a vote of 44-16 and in the Senate by a vote of 23-7.

But Gordon, in his veto message, said the legislation was unnecessary because existing law guarantees appropriate medical care.

“This bill will not do anything to improve on those laws which already exist,” he wrote.

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Wyoming’s Smoking Age To Rise To 21

in News/Legislature
cigarettes tobacco

By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s legal age for consuming nicotine products will match up with the federal government’s under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday.

Senate File 50 was one of 29 bills from the Legislature’s recent budget session signed into law. It would prohibit the sale of any products containing nicotine, including vaping materials, to people age 21 and older.

Prior to the bill’s approval, the legal age for people to use nicotine was 18. When the federal government set the age at 21 earlier this year, there was no way for Wyoming authorities to enforce the law because Wyoming’s law set the age at 18.

Under the law, anyone caught selling or delivering nicotine products to a person under the age of 21 could be fined up to $250 for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.

Tax On Vaping Materials, E-cigarettes Becomes Law

in News/Legislature

A new tax on vapes and vaping materials will take effect in July under legislation signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon.

Gordon on Tuesday signed 28 bills into law, including House Bill 73, which imposes an excise tax on electronic cigarettes and vaping materials of 15 percent.

The measure was promoted by sponsors as a way to make sure that e-cigarettes and vapes are taxed in a way similar to other nicotine products.

Also signed Tuesday was a bill creating a state coal marketing program to promote Wyoming coal to potential consumers. HB 4 also set aside $1 million for use in marketing.

The bills were signed as the Legislature neared the end of its budget session. The session was scheduled to end Thursday.

House, Senate Let 14 Bills Die Without Review

in News/Legislature

A bill that would have required Wyoming’s school districts to adopt safety and security policies for their schools died Monday as the Legislature entered the final week of its 2020 budget session.

Senate File 79 was one of a handful of bills to die in the House and Senate on Monday as legislators reached the deadline for the review of bills on the “general file,” those returned to the floor of each chamber after approval by committees.

SF 79, proposed by Sen. Affie Ellis, R-Cheyenne, was approved in the Senate despite objections it would place a burden on local school officials. It then cleared the House Education Committee, but was not reviewed on the floor of the House by the deadline for the general file.

It was among seven bills to die without House debate on Monday. Also allowed to die was SF 54, a bill that would have let schools give surplus food to children who might otherwise not have enough to eat.

Senators also failed to review seven bills on the “general file,” among them a measure that would have prohibited the blades from wind turbines from being disposed of in landfills and one that would have named Wyoming Highway 59 between Douglas and Wright the “Wyoming Law Enforcement Memorial Highway.”

The budget session is scheduled to end Thursday.

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