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Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming LGBTQ Group Plans To Fight Transgender Sports Ban In Court

in U.S. District Court for Wyoming/LGBTQ/News/Legislature
People gather outside the Wyoming Capitol in late February to protest a bill banning biological males from competing in girls' sports in Wyoming. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A Wyoming LGBTQ advocacy group is planning to challenge in court recently passed legislation that bans biological males from participating in girls’ sports in Wyoming.

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Chuck Gray Says Complaints Against Rep. Cyrus Western Have “Merit,” Forwards To Wyoming AG

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

Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray said Tuesday he believes four election finance complaints made about a mailer allegedly sent by state Rep. Cyrus Western last summer have merit. He’s forwarded them to Attorney General Bridget Hill.

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Let The Bills Do The Talking: Gordon Says He’s Not Swayed By National Spotlight In Wake Of Not Signing Legislation

in News/Mark Gordon/Legislature/Government
Gov. Mark Gordon, left, speaks with Cowboy State Daily reporter Leo Wolfson on Friday.

Although some have complained about Mark Gordon’s non-confrontational style, the governor says he’s not swayed by state or national criticism. He says his record is enough.

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Lummis Praises Legislature For Passing Transgender Sports & Abortion Bills

in News/Cynthia Lummis/Legislature
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, addresses Wyoming lawmakers at the state Capitol in February. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

On a conference call with reporters, U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis on Thursday said she agreed with the Wyoming Legislature for passing the transgender sports bill and the ‘Life is a Human Right Act’.

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Wyoming Legislature: Joint Management Council Identifies Interim Topics For Off-Session

in News/Legislature/politics
State Sen. Bo Biteman, R-Ranchester, and Wyoming Treasurer Curt Meier. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

The Joint Management Council on Thursday identified topics legislative committees will be focused on before the next session. Combatting ESG or “woke capitalism” will be a main focus.

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Benched During Session, Sen. Dan Laursen’s ‘Unbelievably’ Good Behavior Gets Him Back On Committees

in News/Legislature/politics
State Sen. Dan Laursen and Anthony Bouchard on the Senate floor during the 2023 General Session. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Powell Sen. Dan Laursen is out of Senate President Ogden Driskill’s doghouse and has been rewarded for good behavior by being placed on a committee. He was the only legislator, out of 93, not to be assigned to a standing committee last session.

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Sheridan GOP Censures Rep. Cyrus Western, Call For Resignation: He Says They Won’t Get It

in Wyoming Republican Party/News/Legislature/politics
(Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Cyrus Western, R-Big Horn, was censured Saturday by the Sheridan County Republican Party for his alleged role in a political mailer that targeted local people and labeled them as “Wanted … for trying to tear our state apart.” The party also called for Western to resign; he says he won’t.

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Gordon’s Refusal To Sign Certain Bills A Political Statement, Lawmakers Say

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

Some legislators were critical of Gov Gordon for taking the maximum amount of time legally and then letting bills become law without his signature like the transgender sports bill and an abortion bill, while others say weren’t bothered by Gordon’s lack of support.

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Legislating By Template Draws Criticism, But Former Lawmakers Say That’s Nothing New

in News/Legislature/politics

Although Gov Mark Gordon and House Speaker Albert Sommers condemned bills that were influenced by outside sources, longtime former legislators told Cowboy State Daily that using or adapting legislation that has been successful in other states is nothing new.

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Wyoming Becomes First State In The Nation To Ban Abortion Pills

in abortion/News/Legislature
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon touted his “strong pro-life record” after signing a ban on chemical abortions and allowing a broader abortion ban to become law without his signature, saying it invites lawsuits and is a poor substitute for a change to the state Constitution.

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‘Draconian And Discriminatory:’ Gordon Won’t Sign Transgender Sports Ban, Becomes Law Without Signature

in News/Legislature
Photo by Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday said banning biological males from competing in girls school sports is “draconian” and “discriminatory,” but allowed the bill to go into law without signing it.

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Gordon Vetoes Cheney-Inspired Absentee Ballot Bill; Sec Of State Chuck Gray Disappointed

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

Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a Chuck Gray-supported election security bill on Friday that would have banned members of the public from mailing absentee ballot request forms to voters. This was a practice used by former congresswoman Liz Cheney during her 2020 campaign.

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Gordon Signs Bill Giving Guns Rights Back To Non-Violent Felons

in Guns/News/Legislature
State Sen. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, sponsored Senate File 120, which allows some non-violent felons to own guns. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming’s governor on Friday signed into law a bill, sponsored by Sen. Eric Barlow, restoring gun and other civil rights for non-violent felons five years after their sentences are complete.  

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Analysis: Wyoming Moderate Conservatives Had More Success In 2023 Legislative Session

in News/Legislature/Government
Sen Dan Furphy (left), Sen Fred Baldwin (right)

A Cowboy State Daily political analysis shows that although there were a few outliers, Wyoming lawmakers closer to the center of the aisle politically had the highest success rate for getting bills passed during this year’s legislative session.

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Hageman Denounces Transgender Surgeries, Doesn’t Regret Criticizing Legislators For Failure To Act

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

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman on Wednesday defended calling out Wyoming lawmakers last month for not passing legislation that would prohibit gender-related surgeries in Wyoming. “It is absolutely something that should not be going on and I will double down on that when it comes to our children,” she said.

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Secretary of State Chuck Gray Pleased With Election Integrity Improvements Passed In Legislature

in elections/News/Legislature/politics
Secretary of State Chuck Gray (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Although it wasn’t an overwhelmingly successful legislative session for staunch conservatives, election security was one bright spot, which Secretary of State Chuck Gray made his presence well-heard in.

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2023 Legislature By The Numbers: 500 Bills, 23 Vetoes (So Far) & More Than 3,000 Cups Of Coffee

in News/Legislature/politics
Senate Chamber during the 2023 Wyoming State Legislature General Session. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

From gender identity to health care and property taxes, Wyoming lawmakers plowed through high-profile issues in a 37-day session. Along the way, they considered nearly 500 bills fueled by more than 3,000 cups of Capitol coffee.

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With Time Running Out, Dockstader & Storer Led Successful Effort For Property Tax Reform

in News/Legislature

Maybe bipartisanship can work after all. Sen. Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, praised the efforts of Rep. Liz Storer, D-Jackson, for her “hard work and perseverance” to adapt his original tax reform bill to make it a more comprehensive solution. “We all worked together to make this happen,” he said.

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Gov. Gordon Criticizes Out-Of-State Influences; Rep. Bear Calls Gordon “Arrogant” For Criticism

in News/Legislature

In remarks to the Legislature on Friday, Gov Gordon criticized legislation that was modeled on bills already passed in other states. Rep. John Bear said Gordon’s remarks were “arrogant” and an excuse for “more conservative bills not passing.”

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Gordon “Scolds” Two Senators For Getting Appointee Voted Down But Victorious In The End

in News/Legislature
Sen. Tim French, left, and Sen. Dan Laursen, right.

Things got testy after two Park County senators were successful in getting one of Gov Gordon’s appointees shot down. But after a successful campaigning effort, Gordon’s appointee got voted back in, much to the displeasure of the senators.

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Hageman’s Comments To State Legislative Members ‘Unheard Of’ In History Of Body

in News/Legislature
Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily

When U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman criticized members of the Legislature earlier this week, she did something that the congressional delegation never does — get involved in their business. Former Sen. Al Simpson called it “embarrassing.” Other former members said it was bad form.

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Maybe Nonresidents Can Spend Week At $10 Million Wyoming Shooting Complex While Waiting To Hunt Shed Antlers 

in News/Legislature
Photo by Matt Idler

Nonresidents will have to wait a full week before joining the hunt for shed antler, after Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill into law that called for that delay. Gordon on Thursday also signed a bill that could give Wyoming a $10 million shooting complex.

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Senate President Driskill Gives Anthony Bouchard Last Warning For Ethics Complaints 

in News/Legislature
Sen. Ogden Driskill (left), Sen. Anthony Bouchard (right)

Senate President Ogden Driskill warned Cheyenne Republican Senator Anthony Bouchard in a letter Wednesday that he could face serious penalties, including expulsion from the Senate, if future ethics complaints against him are substantiated.

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Wyoming Property Tax Reform Measure Back From Dead, Would Pave Way For Residential Relief 

in News/Legislature
Rep. Liz Storer. Photo by Matt Idler.

Lawmakers have been stymied when it comes to giving homeowners a break on property taxes amid double-digit tax rate increases. An unusual amendment, which replaces a still living bill with a bill that had been dead, may help change the situation going forward.

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Strike 2! Bouchard Gets Hit With Ethics Complaint Over “Doctors For Grooming” Comment & More

in News/Legislature

A lobbyist filed an ethics complaint over comments Sen. Anthony Bouchard made on his Facebook page. One of his comments said members of the Wyoming Medical Society should call themselves “Doctors For Grooming” for their support of allowing children to undergo gender change surgeries and treatments.

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Senate Passes Postpartum Medicaid Extension, Bill Headed To Governor’s Desk 

in News/Legislature
Sheila Bush, Executive Director for the Wyoming Medical Society. Photo by Matt Idler

A bill that would provide around six times more postpartum Medicaid coverage to new mothers in Wyoming was approved in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon by a razor thin 16-14 vote. It now heads to the governor’s office to be signed into law.

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Wyoming House Narrows Transgender Sports Ban To Only Apply To High School Girls’ Sports  

in News/Legislature
Rep. Karlee Provenza (left), Rep. Mike Yin (right)

In an effort to sway fellow legislators against voting for the transgender sports ban, Rep. Trey Sherwood said in a pole-vaulting competition between Rep. Provenza (left) vs Rep. Mike Yin (right), she would bet on Provenza.

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Convention Of The States Bill Killed In Monday Night Massacre; Fear Of Losing 2nd Amendment Rights Cited

in News/Legislature
Sens Dan Laursen and Anthony Bouchard. Photo by Matt Idler

Many conservative legislators abandoned state Sen. Dan Laursen’s, Convention of States bill on Monday. Many opponents said they feared a runaway convention that ends up stripping away Second Amendment rights.  

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Ethics Complaint Filed Against Sen. Anthony Bouchard After He Calls Person “F**king Idiot”

in News/Legislature
Senator Anthony Bouchard

A Green River woman filed a complaint with the Legislative Management Council Sunday after she said Cheyenne state Sen. Anthony Bouchard cursed at her over a dispute on his “Chloe’s Law” bill in a private text message on Saturday night.

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House Votes Yes On Law To Keep Indian Children Out Of Non-Native Foster Homes  

in News/Legislature
Rep. Clark Stith. Photo by Matt Idler

The state House approved its first reading of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Opponents argued that the law is racist against native children and causes them permanency problems. Proponents said it’s necessary to preserve sovereign interests of American Indian tribes.

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Property Tax Relief? Not Really. Legislature Has Passed 1 Property Tax Bill Out Of 21 Introduced

in News/Legislature
Sen. Dan Dockstader (left) talks to Rick Kaysen of Wyoming Association of Municipalities

House Bill 99 is the only bill for property tax reform to make it across the finish line in the 67th legislative session so far. That’s despite there being a huge financial surplus in the state and legislators saying it was a “top priority.”

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Chemical Abortion Ban Clears First House Vote After Lengthy Debate  

in News/Legislature
Rep. Martha Lawley (R-Worland). Photo by Matt Idler

The Wyoming House of Representatives on Monday approved the first reading of a bill outlawing chemical abortions.  Senate File 109 would make it a misdemeanor to prescribe or dispense abortion drugs in Wyoming, except in cases of rape, incest, or severe health risks.

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$10 Million Shooting Sports Complex One Step Closer As Bill Moves To Gordon’s Desk 

in News/Legislature
(Getty Images)

Those who argued that a multi-million dollar shooting sports complex would be a big shot in the arm for Wyoming tourism are closer to getting their wishes, as a bill that could lay the groundwork for the facility is headed for Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk.

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Hageman Nudges Sommers To Quit Sitting On Bills: “This Is About Protecting Our Children”

in News/Legislature

Congresswoman Harriet Hageman on Saturday urged Speaker of the House Albert Sommers to take action on bills addressing gender identity, gender surgeries, and school vouchers. “This is about protecting our children. In Congress, I’m fighting for these very issues. I hope the Wyoming legislature will do the same,” she said.

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“Shame On You!” Legislator Says Technique To Substitute Bill Thwarted Will Of People

in News/Legislature
Sen. Bo Biteman (photo by Matt Idler)

State Sen. Bo Biteman lashed out at the House Appropriations Committee for substituting a bill rather than offering amendments. “Just vote it up or vote it down but to do this after hearing all the testimony and pull this on a fellow legislator, it’s not OK and it’s not how we do business around here.” 

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Sen. Charlie Scott Has Been In Legislature Since Disco Era; Still Uses Same Filing System

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

When Charlie Scott began his 45-year run in the Wyoming Legislature in 1979, Space Invaders was the most popular video game, “My Sharona” by The Knack was the number one song, and Christopher Reeve had his career breakout moment as the title good guy “Superman” in the year’s top box office draw.

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End To Crossover Voting Bill Close To Hitting Gordon’s Desk, But Will He Sign It?

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

A bill that will restrict voters from changing party affiliation to influence the results of other parties’ primary elections has reached its farthest point in the Wyoming Legislature. But Gov. Mark Gordon has so far been noncommittal on whether he’d sign, veto or let it pass unsigned.

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More Wyoming Ranchers Could Get Money For Wolf Losses If Gordon Signs Bill

in News/Legislature/wildlife
Rancher Mel Cheney moves a carcass that he suspects wolves had fed on near Yellowstone Park. (Photo by Matt Moyer/Getty Images)

Compensation for livestock animals killed by wolves has been available only to ranchers adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, but a bill sent to Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk would extend that across Wyoming. 

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Wyoming Legislators OK First Per Diem Rate Increase Since 2005

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

A joint conference committee of the Wyoming Legislature voted Friday to support increasing the per diem rate paid to state lawmakers and other officials citing concerns that people may be dissuaded from public service because they may fear it would be a financial drain.

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Bouchard Calls For House Speaker To Be Censured For Inaction On Child Sex Change Bill

in News/Legislature/politics
Photo by Matt Idler

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard is outraged that his bill to forbid doctors from performing gender-change treatments on children has been subjugated to the bottom of the Speaker of the House’s drawer with a “do not pass” recommendation from the House Appropriations Committee.

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Sommers Explains Why He Won’t Allow Transgender Education Bill To Be Debated On Floor

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

The speaker of the House says he has stifled a few bills for very specific reasons. That includes Senate File 117 which would prohibit public schools from teaching young children about gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Crossover Voting Continues To Cause Contention With Wyoming Lawmakers

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

Resurrected after failing in a committee, an effort to get rid of crossover voting for Wyoming primary elections is close to landing on Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk. But that hasn’t stopped heated debate with supporters saying it protects the integrity of political parties and opponents claiming it’s outright “corruption.”

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Wyoming Legislature Divides Along Conservative Battle Lines

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

As it grows in numbers, influence and organization, the Wyoming Freedom Caucus is advising its members daily how to vote on dozens of bills considered by the Wyoming Legislature. Some say that’s politics as usual, others that it’s created a lockstep faction that favors its platform over individual lawmakers.

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Ban On Wyoming Transgender Treatments For Kids Voted Down; Chance For Resurrection Exists

in News/Health care/Legislature
Rep. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, argues for Chloe's Law, a bill he sponsored that would ban transgender treatments for minors. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

A Wyoming state House committee voted to kill the much-debated “Chloe’s Law” on Wednesday, which would have banned transgender-related treatments for minors, but the House may still have an opportunity to hear it before the legislative session ends.

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House Speaker Continues To Stall Bill Banning Gender, Sexual Orientation Teaching For Grades K-3

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

House Speaker Albert Sommers has sat on a bill for 25 days that would bar public school teachers in Wyoming from teaching gender identity and sexual orientation to children. An attempt to maneuver around the speaker failed by a vote of 34-27 on Wednesday.

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Jackson Democrat Says If You Vote Against Per Diem Hike, You Shouldn’t Get It

in News/Legislature
Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, on the House floor of the Wyoming Capitol earlier in the 2023 session. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, pushed through an amendment to a bill that would raise the per diem for state legislators. His amendment would make it so those who voted against it, would not get the per diem increase.

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Workers Lobby Against Bill, Say Wyoming Has Legacy Of Being Anti-Union

in News/Legislature/Business
Adrian Munoz testifies against Senate File 147 at the Wyoming Capitol on Wednesday. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Despite passionate testimony from nearly two dozen construction workers and plumbers, Wyoming state lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that would prohibit government entities from bidding union-specific projects.

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Wyoming Dairy Farmers Close To Being Allowed Third-Party Milk Sales, But Can They Cut The Cheese?

in News/Legislature/Food

The latest edition of Wyoming’s Food Freedom Act allowing dairy farmers to sell products through a middleman sailed through both legislative chambers and barring a governor’s veto, will soon be law, though an amendment making sure people can cut the cheese at farmers markets failed.

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Sutton Site A Signature Away From Being Next State Archaeological Site

in News/Legislature
Test excavation of one of the Sutton stone circles conducted by Sunrise Powers II co-principle investigators George Frison and George Zeimens. (Photo Courtesy Sunrise Historic And Prehistoric Preservation Society)

A bill that will protect a site with unusually large ceremonial circles, next to one of the world’s oldest red ochre mines, managed to avoid a last-minute rewrite and passed the House with unanimous approval.

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