Wyoming Legislature Reaches Halfway Point, Many Bills Dead
As the Wyoming Legislature reaches the halfway point of the 2022 budget session, a fair number of high-profile bills have either been voted down or have died for this session because they missed a legislative deadline.
That even includes a few bills that got majority votes in their favor.
That happens during a budget session because a 2/3 majority vote is needed for non-budget bills, a much higher threshold than the simple majority vote needed for introduction during a regular session.
One such example is House Bill 133, the house version of the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Despite fairly strong support in the House, a 37-23 vote fell short of the margin needed for introduction. But the Senate version of the same bill, SF 87, did not fare nearly as well in that body, with 20 senators voting against the measure and only 9 in favor with one absent.
A similar-sounding bill with some key differences-- SF 102, the Second Amendment Protection Act--was passed by the Wyoming Senate and is now headed to the House. One of the sponsors of SF 87, Sen. Anthony Bouchard, took to social media on Thursday to call SF 102 a "fake bill."
Bills targeting the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Wyoming classrooms have had mixed results so far this session. House Bill 97 banning Critical Race Theory, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Gray, didn't have quite enough support for introduction despite winning a 35-24 vote majority.
But a bill that would limit Critical Race Theory, SF 103, easily passed the Senate on Thursday, albeit in an amended version from the original bill. That measure is now headed to the state house.
Other high-profile bills that are dead for this session include bills that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, legalize medical cannabis, and name a stretch of highway for former President Donald Trump.
Also dead for this session are proposed constitutional amendments that would have called for an Article 5 Convention of the States and one that would have gotten rid of the 2/3 majority vote threshold for introduction of non-budget bills in a budget session.
Likewise, a constitutional amendment aimed at creating runoff elections in Wyoming primaries where no candidate gets a majority is dead for this year.
The session enters it's third full week on Monday. It's scheduled to wrap up by March 11.
Here is the remaining schedule for the 2022 Wyoming Legislature:
Day 11 Monday, February 28 Last day for 2nd Reading in House of Origin.
Day 12 Tuesday, March 1
Day 15 Friday, March 4 Last day for 3rd Reading on bills in House of Origin. [CROSS-OVER] Budget Bill-JCC Deadline Interim Topic Request Form Deadline, 4 p.m.
Day 16 Monday, March 7 Last day for bills to be reported out of Committee in second house. Budget Bill-Adoption of JCC Report Deadline
Day 17 Tuesday, March 8 Last day for Committee of Whole on bills in second house.
Day 18 Wednesday, March 9 Last day for 2nd Reading on bills in second house.
Day 19 Thursday, March 10 Last day for 3rd Reading on bills in second house.
Day 20 Friday, March 11 Joint Conference Committee Reports; All JCC Reports due to Front Desk by 2:00 p.m. Adjourn by midnight.
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