No more term limits for some statewide elected officials. The Wyoming Supreme Court says they're unconstitutional. Secretary of State Max Maxfield filed a legal challenge back in 2011.
Friday's ruling covers the offices of Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction. The court didn't rule on whether term limits for the office of Governor are constitutional.
Friday's ruling follows a 2004 decision that overturned term limits for state legislators. Wyoming voters approved term limits by initiative in 1992 with 77 percent of the vote. But the court sided with Secretary of State Max Maxfield, saying qualifications for state offices are spelled out in the Wyoming Constitution and requirements can only be changed by constitutional amendment, not state law. Max Maxfield, who's now in his second term, filed the legal challenge in 2011 in his individual capacity. He says voters have always had the right to limit terms. Maxfield says he hasn't made up his mind whether he'll run for a third term.
It may depend on how long it takes him to complete two major issues he's been working on. He still has two years left in his present term. The three high powered gun bills we've been following have passed the house on a final vote.
104 would make it a felony in Wyoming to enforce stricter federal gun regulations created after Sandy Hook and other recent mass shootings. 103 would bar cities and counties from enacting their own gun regulations and 105 would allow concealed weapons in schools for folks who've passed background checks and know how to handle a gun. These three bills head to the Senate.
The Wyoming lottery bill punches through a second House vote. House Bill 77, allowing Wyoming to join the multi-state Powerball is scheduled for a final House vote Monday.
One bill laid back on second reading because it needs more work is get the whistleblower bill. Sue Wallis is the sponsor of House Bill 126 which would criminalize undercover investigations of Wyoming factory farms.
This comes after Wyoming law enforcement charged nine factory farm workers with animal cruelty following an undercover investigation at a pig farm in Wheatland last spring. Wallis says she brought the bill because she claims animal rights groups are trying to destroy animal agriculture.
The Senate passed on a first vote House Bill 223 which would keep the search for UW and community college presidents secret. Second vote on Monday.