Locals work on legislation
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
January 6, 2007
With the Wyoming Legislature set to begin its 40-day general session on Tuesday, January 9, legislators have been busy getting their priority bills drafted and prefiled.
Sublette County is represented in the legislature by Representatives Monte Olsen (District 22 of Daniel) and Kathy Davison (District 20 of Kemmerer) and Senators Stan Cooper (District 14 of Kemmerer) and Pat Aullman (District 16 of Thayne). Olsen is taking on a variety of bills aimed at offering relief from high property taxes for homeowners.
Here’s a look at some of the bills locals are working on.
House Bill 77, sponsored by Representative Monte Olsen and a variety of others, would outlaw funeral protesting and make such action a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in fail and a fine of up to $750. What would be outlawed are “protests, pickets, or otherwise causes a breach of the peace within 300 feet of a cemetery, church, building or other facility at which a funeral or memorial service is being conducted, and if the protest, picket or other action occurs within one hour prior to, during or within one hour after the funeral or memorial service.”
House Bill 79 would amend existing law that requires the reporting of abortions to state officials. Representative Kathy Davison is a co-sponsor of the bill, as is Senator Stan Cooper. The bill would impose fines of $100-5000 for failure to file the required report, as well as require the state health department to provide an annual statistical report to the joint labor, health and social services interim committee regarding the number of abortions performed in this state during the preceding calendar year. Davison and Cooper join Senator Pat Aullman and several other legislators in sponsoring.
House Bill 104 would outlaw harassment, intimidation and bullying of students. The bill defines these acts to mean “any intentional gesture, or any intentional written, verbal or physical act or threat that:
• A reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of harming a student; damaging a student's property; placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person; or placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his property.
• Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student.
Each school district would be required to establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying in compliance with statute.
Davison and Aullman are also both sponsors of House Bill 105, which relates to breastfeeding. The bill would exempt breastfeeding from the state’s indecent exposure law and allow breastfeeding mothers to be excused from jury duty; provide for a breastfeeding mother friendly workplace; provide for the protection of breastfeeding mothers who are incarcerated; provide for education on the benefits of breastfeeding; and provide for misdemeanor criminal penalties for interfering with breastfeeding. Not later than the 2008-2009 school year, all state school districts would have to begin providing instruction on the benefits of breastfeeding in a general health and safety course in grades nine through 12 by the 2008-2009 school year.
Aullman and Davison are co-sponsors of Senate File 56, which would authorize the issuance of special license plates to emergency medical technicians.
Davison is also sponsoring House Bill 106, which would require the use of seat belts on school buses for passengers under the age of 12.
Cooper and Davison have teamed up on Senate File 42, which simply cleans up existing statutes regarding the vacation of streets by cities and towns by renumbering.
Cooper and Davison are also sponsors of Senate File 24, which would exempt the state from daylight saving time change.
HOW TO LOBBY YOUR LEGISLATORS
To leave a message for a legislator, call:
Senate Receptionist at 307-777-7711
House Receptionist at 307-777-7852.
Fax a legislator: 307-777-5466.
House District 22 Representative Monte Olsen: firstname.lastname@example.org
House District 20 Representative Kathy Davison: email@example.com
District 14 Senator Stan Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 16 Senator Pat Aullman: email@example.com
Recommend a vote for or against a bill by calling: 1-866-996-8683
Check the status of a bill: 1-800-342-9570
Check out: legisweb.state.wy.us