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Gordon vetoes bills to ‘prevent legislature from overstepping authority and creating confusion for public’


CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KIFI) – Governor Mark Gordon took action on 18 bills Friday. He vetoed one bill he said encroaches on the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches and another he said could create confusion for consumers, meat processors and producers.

The governor said SF0013 - Federal land use plans - legal actions authorized would have duplicated funding for legal actions by the State and have been unconstitutional. The bill authorized the Legislature to take legal action against the federal government and provided $75 million in borrowing authority for it to do so. In his veto letter, the governor lambasted the bill as a “clear attempt to cross, blur and trample the line of separation between our equal, but separate, branches of government.” 

Governor Gordon criticized the bill as not being fiscally conservative, pointing out $75 million represents 67 percent of the Attorney General’s office biennial budget. He said the bill would only “enable duplicative Legislative litigation safaris that would be counterproductive and contrary to Wyoming’s well established practice of cooperation between branches.”

The governor also expressed concern about the confusion that would be created in the courts over who represents Wyoming. It is the Executive branch that “is uniquely designed to provide one voice when it is necessary,” he wrote.

“At best, competing litigation efforts would only serve to confuse courts as to who represents the State of Wyoming, and at worst it would enable frivolous and political pursuits,” the governor wrote. 

The governor also vetoed SF0103 - Wyoming PRIME Act, which as a “trigger” bill, would only become effective if the federal PRIME Act is passed by Congress. The governor said while he is supportive of food freedom legislation, the Wyoming PRIME Act could create confusion among consumers, meat processors and livestock producers. Early media reports demonstrate the potential confusion created by the bill. Currently, an attempt to use the provisions of SF0103 by Wyoming producers before the federal PRIME Act is passed by Congress would put them at risk of fines and license revocation, and imperil Wyoming’s primacy for its meat and poultry inspection program. Finally, if the federal PRIME Act is passed by Congress, but is amended during that process, Wyoming statute would likely need to be changed to conform, which could unnecessarily delay state implementation.

The Governor’s veto letters may be found below.

Governor Gordon signed the following bills Friday: 

  • SEA0034 SF0014 State fair board-powers and responsibilities.
  • SEA0035 SF0113 Light and high profile vehicle closures-2.
  • SEA0039 SF0096 Trusts and bank assets in bankruptcy-clarification.
  • SEA0040 SF0080 Solid waste management-definition amendments.
  • SEA0043 SF0053 Sixth judicial district-number of judges
  • SEA0046 SF0026 Special district vacancies
  • SEA0047 SF0035 Public records-DOC investigations.
  • SEA0053 SF0023 Public utilities-energy resource procurement.
  • SEA0059 SF0100 Prompt payment of insurance claims.
  • SEA0063 SF0083 Revisor's bill.
  • SEA0064 SF0090 State-managed local government equity investment pool.
  • SEA0069 SF0042 Low-carbon reliable energy standards-amendments.
  • HEA0043 HB0126 Child care is a residential use of property.
  • HEA0046 HB0058 Forensic genetic genealogy pilot program.
  • HEA0047 HB0029 Cold case database and investigations.
  • HEA0051 HB0138 State funds-pool A participation and fund limits.
Article Topic Follows: Wyoming Politics

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