Wyoming Pot Bills, Fuel Tax Increase Miss Legislative Deadline
Friday was the last day for the introduction of bills in the Wyoming 2022 Legislative session.
A number of bills are dead either because they failed introductory votes or because they were not voted upon in time to meet the deadline.
Below are just some of the headline bills which either failed to be voted upon in time for the deadline or could not garner the 2/3 majority vote needed for introduction of a non-budget bill in a budget session
House Bill 106 would have decriminalized marijuana. In place of the current potential jail sentence of a year for possessing small amounts of weed, HB106 would have levied a fine of $100. Was not voted upon by the House because it missed the introduction deadline. A bill in the 2021 Wyoming legislative session to legalize weed was approved by the House Judiciary Committee, but as with HB 106. leadership did not bring it to the floor and it wasn't voted on by the full house.
House Bill 143 would have legalized medical marijuana. Was not considered for introduction.
House Bill 14 would have increased the state gasoline tax by 15 cents over three years. Supporters argued that it was necessary to fund road and highway construction. But gasoline taxes in a state where people commonly drive long distances for work, recreation, and medical care are always a tough sell. Was not introduced in time to meet the deadline.
Senate File 87 and House Bill 133 The Second Amendment Preservation Act failed introduction in both houses of the legislature. It needed a 2/3 majority vote for introduction. It came close in the House, garnering 37-23 majority, three votes short of the threshold. The bill did not do nearly as well in the Senate, where 9 voted in favor versus 20 no votes. This lefgislation should not be confused with the Second Amendment Protection Act, a different bill that won an introductory vote this week and is still alive.
House Bill 99 and 153. These bills, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Gray [R-Natrona County], would have named Wyoming Highway 258 near Casper for former President Donald Trump. Neither bill was considered for an introductory vote in time to meet the deadline.
House Bill 20 Medical Treatment Opportunity Act, commonly referred to as Medicaid Expansion. This bill is in a separate category because even though it missed a deadline, the basic idea is not dead for this session. Sen. Cale Case says he may bring it up as an amendment to the state budget bill, which lawmakers will take up this week. Wyoming lawmakers have wrestled with Medicaid expansion for years without it ever winning final approval,
House Bill 74, runoff primary elections. Not considered in time for the deadline on Friday. A similar bill failed to win approval in 2021. Former President Trump urged Wyoming to pass a runoff election bill last year in hopes of enhancing the chances of defeating arch-enemy Liz Cheney in the GOP congressional primary. This year's bill would not have impacted the 2022 Wyoming Primary Elections because it would not take effect until next year.
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