Legislative Wrap Up

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Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - You could hear a pin drop in these halls today which were buzzing with activity and plenty of noise over the last month. And so the 62nd Legislature is now in the history books.
Medicaid expansion was the big enchilada this session. Several versions of expansion failed. The only vehicle to survive was a budget amendment I call a Medicaid exploratory option.
It allows state officials to explore a Medicaid expansion system that fits Wyoming.
Senator Charles Scott, chairman of the Labor, Health and Social Services Committee believes the Wyoming Legislature doesn’t have much of a stomach for most parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Taking a peak at some of the highly-charged bills which failed introduction, the bill to decriminalize small amounts of pot and the one to raise the state minimum wage to nine bucks an hour.
Cheyenne Democrat Jim Byrd sponsored those two,
Two marriage bills also failed to be put into play. Representative Cathy Connolly’s gay marriage bill changing Wyoming’s definition of marriage as a contract between a man and a woman to between two natural persons.
Also Representative Gerry Gay’s bill which would’ve forbid Wyoming to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.
All the gun bills died.
House Bill 119, would’ve repealed gun free zones in schools and other public places,
while House Bill 111 and Senate File 109 would’ve left it up to school districts to decide if they want to allow firearms on school property and if so, how the policy should be enforced.
The Senate measure which would’ve allowed firing squads for executions fell three votes short for introduction.
And senators also killed the Katie’s law bill. Senate file 47 would’ve allowed authorities to take a suspect’s DNA when charged with a felony.
The way the law is now, law enforcement can only take DNA from defendants when they’re convicted of a felony.
Senators let the bill calling for a shorter school year by switching in-service teacher training days to the summer months or when school was not in session, die without debate.
A few of the big ones did make it through.
The Capitol renovation and restoration bill will cost up to 259 million dollars to renovate the Capitol and add on to the Herschler Building. Including 40 million worth of furniture and equipment.
The bill to raise the speed limit to 80 miles an hour on sections of Wyoming interstates was successful. WYDOT would determine on what stretches the higher speed limit would apply.
And the bill to allow cameras on the outside of school buses made it through,
The cameras collect images of motorists passing school buses when they shouldn’t be doing it, putting kids in danger
Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has been covering the Legislature for nearly 30 years.
We asked him for his take on this year’s session.
We also wanted to know if he was surprised many of the high-profile bills we just talked about went down.
That pretty much does for us for this session.
I want to thank our viewers for allowing us to bring the Wyoming Legislature into your homes during the last month.
I’m Robert Geha reporting from the State Capitol.

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