Legislative Update 2/21/2020

SF0097 – Born alive infant-means of care passed the Senate Labor Health committee this morning by a vote of 4-1. It will now be put on General File.

HB0197 – Abortion-48 hour waiting period passed House Judiciary committee by a vote of 6-3 Tuesday morning and is on General File. It could be debated in the House this afternoon.

SF0131 – Human heartbeat protection act  has yet to be heard by the Senate Labor/Health committee. If it’s not passed out of this committee by Monday, the bill will time out for this session.

SF0117 – First responder workplace mental injury coverage is on the Senate General File and could be debated on the floor this afternoon.

SF0037 – Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Has passed 2nd reading and will be up for 3rd reading next week.

New items:

HB0001H2048:Amendment Amended the House Budget bill with the following language:

As a condition of these appropriations, the University of Wyoming shall not expend any general funds, federal funds or other funds under its control for any of the following: (i) Elective abortions for students, except under the circumstances described in W.S. 35-6-117; 11 12 (ii) Group health insurance that provides coverage of elective abortions for students, except under the circumstances described in W.S. 35-6-117.”

This amendment passed 37-23, HOWEVER, 3rd reading Amendment #12 is being brought this afternoon to attempt to reinstate those funds. List of Representatives

HJ0003 – Supporting federal missing and murdered persons efforts– I testified in favor of this resolution yesterday morning. Since I started attending Tribal Relations committee meetings in 2015, I have heard time and again that Freemont County has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the nation. It also has a tragically low conviction rate which leads many victims to decide not to report. The jurisdictional boundaries between local, state, federal, and tribal agencies create loopholes in the system whereby jurisdictional responsibilities depend upon the race of the victim, race of the perpetrator and the location of the alleged crime. Jurisdictional boundaries create many other challenges on the Wind River Reservation as well. I told the committee I wish there was a book titled “Understanding Jurisdictional Issues for Dummies.” Because I would buy that book and read it twice. Until then, we need a commitment from the federal government to address this issue. That is what this resolution seeks to encourage.

As paragraph 48 of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship states:

The principle of subsidiarity reminds us that larger institutions in society should not overwhelm or interfere with smaller or local institutions, yet larger institutions have essential responsibilities when the more local institutions cannot adequately protect human dignity, meet human needs, and advance the common good (Centesimus Annus, no. 48; Dignitatis Humanae, nos. 4-6).

SF0008 – Missing and murdered persons and other events-cooperation– seeks to address as much of the problem as it can at the state level by mandating Division of Criminal Investigation to create a database on missing and murdered indigenous persons, ensure the dissemination of criminal information to tribal law enforcement agencies and facilitate better cooperation among all of the agencies. As the original sponsor of the bill says, “this is just a start.” But it is an important one.   

HB0113 – Importation of prescription drugs-study– This bill is looking at a study to import prescription medications to lower costs. It passed the House Labor Health committee today by a vote of 9-0 and is now on the General File.

For an entire list of the bills and their status, click here.

Below are just a few of the bills of interest that are still alive this week.

SF0002 – Legislative budget

SF0097 – Born alive infant-means of care

HB0197 – Abortion-48 hour waiting period

SF0131 – Human heartbeat protection act  

HB0010 – Human trafficking-penalty for subsequent conviction

HB0026 – Tribal ID for voting

HB0046 – Special education funding

HB0048 – Voyeurism-amendments

 HB0098 – Defend the Guard Act

HB0108 – Ban on sanctuary cities and counties

HB0120 – CHIP-state administration

HB0123 – Pharmacists prescribing contraceptives

HB0127 – Prohibition of female genital mutilation

HB0144 – Minimum wage

HB0152 – Student hazing

HB0210 – Modifying termination of parental rights requirements

HB0212 – Select committee on tribal relations

SF0008 – Missing and murdered persons and other events-cooperation

SF0010 – Warrants for digital records

SF0079 – School safety and security

SF0117 – First responder workplace mental injury coverage

Update 2/12/2020 Evening

There was good news and bad news out of the Capitol today. First, the bad news.

Our effort to repeal the death penalty was defeated by a failed introduction vote which needed a 2/3 majority. The vote was 37 for repeal, 23 against so we missed it by 3 votes. Next session we will only need a simple majority to pass both chambers. So, we will keep working.

To see how your Representative voted go here: https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2020/HB0166 and click on the “Digest” tab.

The good news is SF97 Born alive infant-means of care passed the Senate 2/3 introductory vote by 22 in favor, 7 against and 1 absent. The bill still has a long way to go just to pass the first chamber but it was assigned to Senate Labor/Health where there will be an opportunity for public testimony. At this time, the vote count does not seem to be tallied, but I believe by tonight, you should be able to see it here: https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2020/SF0097

Please consider contacting legislators who voted for these two bills and thanking them.

And, for those of you who did contact your legislators, thank you!!!