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Wyoming Legislature will start special session today

 (KOTA TV)
(KOTA TV) (KOTA)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 9:20 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now/Press Release) -

Update from Oct 26, 1:37 p.m. | The House of Representatives did not vote to adjourn the special session. The House did vote to approve remote participation during the special session. After a reconsideration vote, the Wyoming Senate also voted to allow remote participation during the special session.

Update from Oct 26, 1:20 p.m. | The Senate did not vote to adjourn the special session. The Speaker of the House, Eric Barlow, is allowing members to share thoughts on the special session before voting whether or not to adjourn.

Update from Oct 26, 12:00 p.m. | The Wyoming House of Representatives and the Wyoming Senate both voted against adopting the proposed joint rules for the special session. This means if the legislature moves forward with a special session, it will operate the way it does normally instead of with the proposed rules and the mirror bill process. The House and Senate did consider other amendments to the rules for each house.

Update from Oct 26, 10:55 a.m. | Grace Foulk is tweeting about today’s session. Here’s the thread.

Update from Oct 26, 10:20 a.m. | Day one of the Wyoming Legislature’s special session convened at 10 a.m. You can view the House of Representatives morning session here.

The House of Representatives listened to a letter from Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon to begin the special session. The Governor shared an update on the work his office is doing to respond to policies coming from President Joe Biden’s administration.

Speaker of the House, Eric Barlow, then shared a message with Representatives. He mentioned that everyone in the chamber has been affected by the coronavirus. He talked about the passing of Representative Roy Edwards in 2020. He also spent time thanking those who have been serving on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Following Speaker Barlow’s words to legislators, the House of Representatives began a discussion on the rules for the special session.

Original story published Oct. 26 at 8:20 a.m. | Wyoming Lawmakers decided to approve a special session this month to consider legislation to address COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The Wyoming House of Representatives and Senate needed a two-thirds majority to vote in favor of this session.

On Tuesday morning, at least one lawmaker in Wyoming shared their thoughts about the special session on Twitter, including Representative Karlee Provenza. She said the proposed rules limit public input.

Other groups, including the League of Women Voters of Wyoming, expressed similar concerns about the mirror bill process and some of the other rules proposed for the special session in a statement sent out on Monday.

The statement reads, in part, “The mirror bill process contemplated by the proposed rules is appealing if the priority is finishing the session as quickly (and cheaply) as possible. It is not appealing if you value the regular process of working proposals through one chamber and then another, with opportunity for legislative action and public input at each stage of the process, with opportunity by lawmakers to assess and amend bills throughout the process. The special session rules also short-circuit debate and voting by one chamber on bills that have passed the other chamber.”

“LWVWY asks the Wyoming Legislature to use the time and process necessary to preserve public input and to enable lawmakers to legislate wisely.”

This morning our Wyoming News Now anchor and producer, Grace Foulk, took some time to explain what we know heading into the session. You can listen to that below.

Wyoming will hold special session starting today

There are a few changes since I recorded this video. The House and Senate did not adopt the proposed rules for the special session. Business, it seems, will continue like it normally does during a session. However, there are a few amendments to the rules to allow lawmakers to participate remotely. Quick update on what we know about Wyoming's special session as of Tuesday morning.

Posted by Grace Foulk Wyoming News Now on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

This article will be updated over the course of the special session with more information as well as any answers to questions.

For updates on Day 2, please see this story.

Below is information from the Legislative Service Office about the special session.

The Wyoming Legislature will convene for a special session Tuesday at 10 a.m. to consider legislation that addresses the COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Wyoming. Under the tentative schedule, the first order of business will be to consider draft special session rules. Additionally, bills will be introduced and referred to standing committees, which are tentatively scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon. All floor proceedings and committee meetings will be live-streamed and archived on the Legislature’s YouTube channel.

Members of the public who wish to participate may attend committee meetings in-person at the State Capitol or remotely by registering for the Zoom meeting for each committee meeting by clicking the “testify” button provided on the Legislature’s calendar page at www.wyoleg.gov.

Additionally, the public can also voice their support or opposition to proposed legislation using the Online Hotline. Anyone wishing to provide written materials should do so by emailing documents directly to legislators and to LegDocs@wyoleg.gov. Hard copies will not be accepted.

Members of the public can also sign up to receive daily meeting and floor calendars through the Legislature’s email subscription service. To sign up, click on the “GovDelivery” link located at the top of the homepage at www.wyoleg.gov and select “session schedules” from the topics list.

For a complete list of all proposed legislation to be considered during the 2021 Special Session, visit the Legislature’s 2021 Special Session Bills page.

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