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Wyoming lawmakers agree on “safe” session rules

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Steven Girt/GirtCommunications

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KIFI)-Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, Senate President Dan Dockstader, and House Speaker Eric Barlow have committed to a joint plan aimed at ensuring a safe legislative session.

Beginning March 1, state lawmakers will convene a hybrid in-person and remote session. 

The intent is to allow remote participation by lawmakers, the public, and the Executive Branch.  To allow for public access and to keep people safe, the March hybrid session there will be requirements to social distance and to wear masks in public spaces.  Legislators and legislative staff, Capitol building custodial staff, and some credentialed journalists will be eligible for vaccinations.   The plan involves fewer than 100 vaccines.

The executive branch, which won’t have vaccine available, will work remotely.

“Our priority is keeping people safe and preventing COVID-19 infections while fulfilling the constitutional functions of the Wyoming Legislature,” said the Governor, President and Speaker.

The three leaders agreed that a legislative session this spring is necessary to define the state’s budget and work together on Wyoming’s path to recovery. They agreed to these steps in an effort to ensure that every state House and Senate district has equal opportunity for representation; to reduce the risk of having to halt legislative or executive operations; and to set out options for abundant and vigorous public engagement. 

“In order for this session to proceed safely and successfully, it is important that all Wyoming legislators are able to fully and completely attend to their legislative responsibilities. Wyoming citizens expect nothing less,”  Governor Gordon said. “Committing these resources to this purpose is an important step to preserving equal representation for our citizens. I want to acknowledge the work of the Speaker and the President in accommodating virtual access for all citizens and their respect for the Executive Branch by allowing remote participation. I am thankful for the thoughtful work of our Legislature and look forward to working with them on the significant challenges facing Wyoming. ” 

Article Topic Follows: Wyoming Politics

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