Legislative session in Wyoming is coming to and end.
Below are some highlights and analyses on what happened in Cheyenne this year. The work the legislature is doing on reforming the criminal justice system is incredibly possitive, and opposes oppressive measures that have nothing to do with Wyoming or its residents.
Most of the legislation we opposed failed and much of what we supported either passed or made it further than ever before.
The truth is, however, we have a lot of work left.
Many criminal justice reform measures worked on over the past year finally made it through to the governor’s desk. Several bills, though, continued to die in the Senate Judiciary Committee, maintaining the senate’s reluctance to really dig in on reforming our criminal code.
All the perennial bad pieces of legislation continued to either die in committee or in their first chamber, including a ban on sanctuary cities and counties, requiring identification at the polls on Election Day to deal with "voter fraud," and criminalizing protest against "critical infrastructure," which is entirely unnecessary and could suppress legal free speech.
The Wyoming legislature continues to introduce legislation targeting abortion providers and those seeking abortion services. This year, such bills were deemed a “gift to women,” marking a turn in how such legislation is discussed and making it clear there are some at the legislature who do not trust Wyoming residents to make their own decisions about their health care.
The bill failed its first vote on the senate floor, however, this was the first time ever the senate voted on repealing the death penalty and we got very, very close to passing it. We are heartened by the work of our bill sponsors, the coalition to end the death penalty, and we will keep working. People often feel their voices are not heard in Cheyenne, that legislators only listens to paid lobbyists and not their own constituents. There is no magic formula for getting the vote on a bill, but when it comes down to some of these key issues, your voice truly does make a difference.