No Special Session In Wyoming


   Members of the Wyoming Legislature have narrowly voted against calling a special session to consider overrides of several vetoes issued by Governor Mark Gordon after the end of the regular session.

     The vote through the Legislative Service Office was triggered when 12 senators and 26 representatives signed a petition, enough to top the 35% threshold in each chamber needed to call a special session.

     The vote was close, 50-43, with the Wyoming Senate voting in favor of a special session 16-15, but the House turned it down 35-27. 

     Gordon angered conservatives when he vetoed bills for property tax relief of 25% up to $2 million of assessed value of a home, easing limits on guns in public places and putting up new barriers to abortions if the current ban were overturned by the courts.

       Gordon said both times he agreed with the goals and intent of the bills, but felt the gun bill gave too much power to the legislature and that the abortion bill would trigger an expensive court fight and might delay new anti-abortion moves.

     The Wyoming Freedom Caucus led the push for the special session, but Senate President Ogden Driskill, House Speaker Albert Sommers, and Rep. Barry Crago wrote in a Sunday op-ed that the special session would be vulnerable to potential chaos with each member at liberty to introduce whatever bills they chose.” 

      Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep John Bear blasted the op-ed piece calling it  “unprecedented to have presiding officers weigh in” and further evidence the legislature needs “better leadership with more of a can-do attitude rather than will-not-do attitude.” 

     Senator Anthony Bouchard went on Facebook with his own attack against those who’d voted for the bills, but against the special session, saying “they are LIARS and voted yes for legislation as a cover vote,” Bouchard wrote.