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Pinedale Online > News > February 2023 > Wyoming Legislature update Feb. 27, 2023
Wyoming Legislature update Feb. 27, 2023
by Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
February 28, 2023

Hello Sublette County and LaBarge, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you on February 27, the 33rd day of the General Session of the 67th Legislature. Today marks the beginning of the last week of the Session and the last day for bills to be heard in the Committee of the Whole. We also worked through Senate File bills on 3rd Reading, and bill concurrence.

The following three bills were heard and passed Committee of the Whole:

SF0109 - Prohibiting chemical abortions. This bill would make it a misdemeanor to prescribe or dispense chemical abortion drugs in Wyoming, except in cases of rape, incest, or severe health risks for the mother. The bill does not inhibit access to contraception devices or emergency contraception. There was significant debate on a standing committee amendment. Part of the adopted amendment passed and outlined that the bill's listed criminalized drugs would still be legal for other medical purposes. Much of the debate focused on one of the four drugs listed in the bill: misoprostol. Testimony from doctors in committee reported that this drug is routinely used for other purposes, and by listing it in the bill, pharmacies may be reluctant to carry it. The bill passed the Committee of the Whole with the drug misoprostol still criminalized in the language. I believe additional amendments will be coming to clarify the bill's intent further, and I look forward to continued debate.

SF0133 - Student eligibility in interscholastic sports. This bill bans biologically born males from competing against biologically born females in Wyoming schools for grades 9-12. It replaces the existing state policy through the Wyoming High School Activities Association. The bill creates a five-member school activity eligibility commission along with an appeals process, should the ban not hold up in the courts. We heard testimony that no one has appealed to the Wyoming State High School Activities Association in the nine years it has had its existing policy. This bill passed the Committee of the Whole and I am a co-sponsor. Without a statewide solution to this issue, local school districts will be subject to Title 9 lawsuits, regardless of whether they decide to let a transgender student participate or not.

As Speaker of the House, I told the body that we would stay in session until midnight to hear all of the Senate files on General File. Around 7:30 pm, Majority Floor Leader Neiman made a motion to end Committee of the Whole. The Freedom Caucus, of whom Representative Neiman is a member, voted with the Democrats to stop debate, effectively killing SF0144 - Chloe's law-children gender change prohibition and SF0136 - Property tax relief-assessment rate reduction, the last real chance of property tax relief. The Senate Revenue Committee had inexplicably killed HB0098 - Property tax-homeowner's exemption on Friday, February 24. I voted to continue debate and to hear more bills.

Despite the rhetoric you may be hearing, Majority Floor Leader Neiman killed 9 bills in his desk today, almost double the number of Senate Files that I held back.

I can be reached at albert@albertsommers.com with questions or comments. Thank you.


Pinedale Online > News > February 2023 > Wyoming Legislature update Feb. 27, 2023

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