Current Edition

current edition

Wyoming Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was among the featured speakers at the 2019 Public Lands Council Legislative Conference, held in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of April each year. 

Cheney, who is third ranking in House leadership, has been described as a “forceful leader in the Republican party,” and Wyoming Stock Growers Association President Jim Magagna noted Cheney is a strong supporter of western issues.

Supporting ranchers

Magagna noted Cheney responds quickly to issues facing western people. Recently, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt was preparing to issue policy related to migration corridors that Wyomingites were not pleased with. 

“Congressman Cheney became aware of this, and she got on the phone with the Secretary’s Office immediately,” Magagna said. “It was just a matter of hours before the Secretary called to say he was not moving forward with policy on migration corridors.”

“The migration corridor issue was tag-teamed by Sen. Enzi and I,” Cheney said. “That was a really good example of how important it is to make sure we hear from our constituents. As soon as we did, we were able to take action.” 

Cheney also re-introduced legislation both to de-list grizzly bears and to prevent court review of the decision. However, legislation must also be introduced in the Senate. 

“If we can push and combine grizzly bear delisting with other legislation, that is the most likely way we can get something done,” she said. 

Cheney commented, “The issue, as ranchers know well, is that litigation is such a problem. Every time we take a step, we make it clear we don’t want to see the court system abused is crucial.”

Further, Cheney reintroduced the Equal Access to Justice Act, which would disclose payments to organizations for attorneys' fees.
“The other thing that has happened that doesn’t get that much attention are the judges the president is nominating,” Cheney said. “We hear a lot about the Supreme Court, but I think one of the longest-lasting legacies of this administration will be the conservative judges that are being appointed up and down the bench.” 

The conservative influence in the courts will have an impact going forward. 

“No matter what Department of the Interior – or any other agency or department is doing – that ranchers’ voices are heard and western people have input,” she continued. “It is more important now than it’s ever been.”

Partisan politics

With Republicans no longer in the majority across both houses of Congress, education becomes an increasingly important tool, Cheney said.

“Educating our colleagues about all this stuff is a large part of what we do every day,” she explained. “Thank goodness we have a Republican Senate and White House to make sure that things do get blocked. It’s been an interesting three months in Congress.” 

“I really did believe, as soon as Speaker Pelosi rose to her speakership, we would see moderation,” Cheney said. “I know she was trying to get speaker votes, but I really thought we would see a move to come to the table and work something out in good faith conversations. That is not what has been going on.” 

With measures ranging from the Green New Deal to oversight of nearly every aspect of American life, Cheney said even bizarre principles are concerning.

“I worry they’re planting a flag out on the far left so when we negotiate, it’ll seem like things aren’t quite so crazy,” she explained. “The Green New Deal is one example.”

Making strides

“We need all of your help to make sure we talk to people about critical land issues, like where our food comes from,” Cheney said, noting that ranchers are critical 

To get legislation passed in the next several years, Cheney said putting pressure on Congress and working closely with some of the moderates will be key.

“There are moderates now in the House in the Democratic party, because they sit in seats that they won from us in the last election, unfortunately,” she explained. “In talking to friends of mine on the other side of the aisle, the moderates feel like they are the silent majority.” 

Cheney continued, “Unfortunately, the people who are not moderate have control of the caucus right now.”

Issues like trade, prescription drug prices, infrastructure and more may serve as a uniting force, providing the opportunity for Republicans and Democrats the opportunity to work together.

“What I don’t know is if the Speaker will be willing to cut deals or if she doesn’t want to give President Trump any victories at all, which will result in a stalemate,” she described. “As much as possible, when we can find Democratic Senators and House Members who are really to go to the mat to fight these fights, it’s important.” 

“The more voices out there speaking on behalf of things that matter, the better,” Cheney emphasized. “We have to put as much pressure on the Democratic Caucus as we can.”

“It’s important that congressmen and women know we don’t want massive, one-size-fits-all land management out of Washington, D.C.,” Cheney said. 

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Casper – As Wyoming’s lone representative in the House of Representative in Washington, D.C., Cynthia Lummis continues to work to make improvements in the federal government for the benefit of Wyoming citizens.

In her Dec. 16 visit to the Roundup office in Casper, Lummis marked the Equal Access to Justice Act, Farm Bill and Endangered Species Act as her top priorities continuing in the new year.

EAJA

Lummis remained adamant that her top priority this year and continuing through 2014 is the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).

“EAJA is my top priority legislation that I submitted to House Majority Floor Leader Eric Cantor, and I want to see  it on the floor of the House for a vote in 2014,” said Lummis. “That bill has not yet come out of the House Judiciary Committee.”

One obstacle that the bill must hurdle before 2014 is the change in the ranking member of that subcommittee.

“We once again have to work with minority party staffers on the House Judiciary Committee to get them comfortable with the bill,” she noted. “It is our highest priority piece of legislation in my office for 2014.”

Farm Bill 

Lummis also added that a Farm Bill extension was passed on Dec. 13, but she sees rough roads ahead for the legislation.

“The conference committee completed their work, but there wasn’t time in the last week of the session to give the Farm Bill a score from the Congressional Budget Office or to get it into statutory language to present the bill to both houses to adopt,” Lummis explained. “So, they just did an extension.”

The conference committee report, she added, didn’t reach the agreements she was hoping for, specifically in nutrition spending.

Non-farm bill

“I was more hopeful that the committee would just split the different between the House and Senate bill, in terms of nutrition spending, but rumors are that the report went more toward the Senate position,” she continued. “While that is unsubstantiated, if it is true, that position will be problematic in the House.”

The root of the issue, however, is that 80 percent of the funding in the “farm” bill covers non-farm programs.

“That is part of the reason the House separated the nutrition bill from the Farm Bill – to show people that the Farm Bill is not a farm bill anymore,” Lummis said.

Endangered species

Lummis also continues her work with endangered species, noting that the Endangered Species Working Group is nearing completion on its work.

“The working group has now completed all of its hearings,” she commented. “We might have a few more mini-hearings, but then we are going to start working on a bill.”

The bill will focus on making small, incremental changes to make it more palatable.

“This will not be a comprehensive bill,” Lummis noted. “There is no sense throwing out red meat to shoot at.”

The focus of the bill will be on transparency in the science being used by the Endangered Species Act. 

“Right now, some decisions on listings are being made based on hidden science,” Lummis said. 

She also noted that several other incremental advances that are “so common sense everyone should agree on them” are planned to be implemented.

21st century

“I’m going to continue my efforts to try to advance the notion that the manner in which environmental legislation is implemented is a 20th century model,” Lummis commented. “It is time to advance to a 21st century implementation model, so we actually do conservation instead of litigation.”

Her focus on improving the implementation of laws aimed at environmental conservation extends from the federal land management policy act (FLMPA) to the national environmental policy act (NEPA) to the ESA.

“All Americans now have an environmental ethic and understanding embedded in their DNA,” Lummis explained, “but we are implementing these laws in such a way that I compare it to driving an Edsel when we should be driving a Tesla.”

Rather than continuing to implement laws in an out-of-date fashion, as if it is still 1973 when the laws were passed, she said we need to move forward.

“We have gone so far beyond those days in terms of understanding species management and how to truly balance responsible, shared use of land, water and air in a way that conserves it for future generations,” Lummis commented.

Other efforts

Lummis also marked a host of other bills she has been working on.

“I’m still trying to find a way to the help the state, so we are compensated for those Teton land sections that are owned by the state, but the federal government is using without compensation to the state,” she commented.

Another bill sponsored by Lummis is also aimed to help kayakers gain access to Yellowstone National Park’s rivers. 

“In terms of the larger umbrella, I want to start moving people to think about things in a 21st century way,” Lummis emphasized. “The people who are going to be more resistant are those who are financing their organizations through litigation and who benefit by staying in this 20th century manner of implementation.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cheyenne – On Feb. 28, the Wyoming Legislature reached the halfway point for the 2018 budget session, meaning it was also the last day scheduled for third reading of bills in the house of origin. 

“Any legislation that did not successfully pass third reading in the primary house by Feb. 28 will not go on for further consideration in the opposite chamber,” says the Legislation Services Office (LSO). 

LSO reports that, of the 330 bills and resolutions numbered for introduction, 188 bills remain active. Of those, the Senate introduced 126 pieces of legislation and moved forward with 102 of those, and the House introduced 204 bills, only passing 86 for Senate consideration. 

“Both the Senate and House have addressed a broad range of issues affecting Wyoming residents and now the second house will get a chance to make changes and pass or vote down those bills sent from the house of origin,” LSO comments. “Although these bills have passed in their primary house, the legislation still must gain approval of the second house and be sent to the Governor for consideration before becoming state law.”

Deadlines

In the final 10 days of the session, several important deadlines have been set. March 5 is the last day for bills to be reported out of committee in the second house, and March 6 is the last day for Committee of the Whole (COW) on bills in the second house. Additionally, March 8 is the last day for third reading on bills in the second house. 

The Wyoming Legislature plans to wrap up the 2018 Budget Session on March 10.

A top priority over the next 10 days is the completion of the state’s 2019-20 biennial budget. 

“The bodies will spend this week reconciling the differences between the final Senate and House versions of the budget bill through a joint conference committee (JCC),” according to LSO. “After each chamber votes to concur on the conference committee’s action, the bill will be sent to Gov. Matt Mead for his consideration.” 

Ag bills

While a number of the bills potentially affecting the agriculture industry did not meet deadlines or reach the threshold of a two-thirds majority to continue through the legislative process, there are a number of bills that impact Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers still on the table. 

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup encourages our readers to interact with producers groups they are a member of, as well as with their local legislators, to ensure their interests on the farm and ranch are protected. 

The following is a summary of a selection of bills and their status in the legislative process.

House Bills

HB 1 – Budget Bill – S Appointed JCC Members

HB 13 – Municipal Extraterritorial Jurisdiction – Repeal – S Referred to Corporations

HB 14 – Municipal Jurisdiction – S Referred to Corporations

HB 20 – Game and Fish Agreements with Federal Agencies – H Postponed Indefinitely

HB 39 – Wildlife Conservation License Plates – S Received for Introduction

HB 48 – Cruelty to Animals – Penalties – H Failed Introduction

HB 51 – Reporting of Gross Receipts – H Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 77 – Instream Flow Consultant – S Referred to Agriculture

HB 89 – Feeding Garbage to Swine – H Withdrawn by Sponsor

HB 90 – Country of Origin Recognition – USA Beef – H Did Not Consider in COW

HB 91 – Right to Repair Farm Equipment – H Postponed Indefinitely

HB 92 – Beef Checkoff Penalty – Repeal – H Postponed Indefinitely

HB 93 – Speeding Fines Amendments – 2 – S Referred to Transportation

HB 94 – State Lands – Net Gain in Acreage – H Failed Introduction

HB 98 – Real Estate Transfer Tax – H Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 104 – Wind Energy Production Tax – H Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 130 – State Fair Endowment – S Referred to Agriculture

HJ  3 – Federal Single Subject Constitutional Amendment – H Failed Introduction

HJ 4 – State Lands Mineral Royalties Constitutional Amendment – H Failed Introduction

Senate Files

SF 45 – State Fair Board – H Referred to Agriculture

SF 47 – Eminent Domain – Wind Energy Collector System – S Failed Introduction

Cheyenne – On Feb. 28, the Wyoming Legislature reached the halfway point for the 2018 budget session, meaning it was also the last day scheduled for third reading of bills in the house of origin. 

“Any legislation that did not successfully pass third reading in the primary house by Feb. 28 will not go on for further consideration in the opposite chamber,” says the Legislation Services Office (LSO). 

LSO reports that, of the 330 bills and resolutions numbered for introduction, 188 bills remain active. Of those, the Senate introduced 126 pieces of legislation and moved forward with 102 of those, and the House introduced 204 bills, only passing 86 for Senate consideration. 

“Both the Senate and House have addressed a broad range of issues affecting Wyoming residents and now the second house will get a chance to make changes and pass or vote down those bills sent from the house of origin,” LSO comments. “Although these bills have passed in their primary house, the legislation still must gain approval of the second house and be sent to the Governor for consideration before becoming state law.”

Deadlines

In the final 10 days of the session, several important deadlines have been set. March 5 is the last day for bills to be reported out of committee in the second house, and March 6 is the last day for Committee of the Whole (COW) on bills in the second house. Additionally, March 8 is the last day for third reading on bills in the second house. 

The Wyoming Legislature plans to wrap up the 2018 Budget Session on March 10.

A top priority over the next 10 days is the completion of the state’s 2019-20 biennial budget. 

“The bodies will spend this week reconciling the differences between the final Senate and House versions of the budget bill through a joint conference committee (JCC),” according to LSO. “After each chamber votes to concur on the conference committee’s action, the bill will be sent to Gov. Matt Mead for his consideration.” 

Ag bills

While a number of the bills potentially affecting the agriculture industry did not meet deadlines or reach the threshold of a two-thirds majority to continue through the legislative process, there are a number of bills that impact Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers still on the table. 

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup encourages our readers to interact with producers groups they are a member of, as well as with their local legislators, to ensure their interests on the farm and ranch are protected. 

The following is a summary of a selection of bills and their status in the legislative process.

House Bills

HB 1 – Budget Bill – S Appointed JCC Members

HB 13 – Municipal Extraterritorial Jurisdiction – Repeal – S Referred to Corporations

HB 14 – Municipal Jurisdiction – S Referred to Corporations

HB 20 – Game and Fish Agreements with Federal Agencies – H Postponed Indefinitely

HB 39 – Wildlife Conservation License Plates – S Received for Introduction

HB 48 – Cruelty to Animals – Penalties – H Failed Introduction

HB 51 – Reporting of Gross Receipts – H Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 77 – Instream Flow Consultant – S Referred to Agriculture

HB 89 – Feeding Garbage to Swine – H Withdrawn by Sponsor

HB 90 – Country of Origin Recognition – USA Beef – H Did Not Consider in COW

HB 91 – Right to Repair Farm Equipment – H Postponed Indefinitely

HB 92 – Beef Checkoff Penalty – Repeal – H Postponed Indefinitely

HB 93 – Speeding Fines Amendments – 2 – S Referred to Transportation

HB 94 – State Lands – Net Gain in Acreage – H Failed Introduction

HB 98 – Real Estate Transfer Tax – H Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 104 – Wind Energy Production Tax – H Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 130 – State Fair Endowment – S Referred to Agriculture

HJ  3 – Federal Single Subject Constitutional Amendment – H Failed Introduction

HJ 4 – State Lands Mineral Royalties Constitutional Amendment – H Failed Introduction

Senate Files

SF 45 – State Fair Board – H Referred to Agriculture

SF 47 – Eminent Domain – Wind Energy Collector System – S Failed Introduction

SF 53 – Small Water Projects – H Passed COW

SF 55 – Water Development Account III – H Postponed Indefinitely

SF 64 – Appropriation to State Engineer – H Referred to Appropriations 

SF 67 – Wyoming Public Lands Day – H Placed on General File

SF 69 – 2018 Large Project Funding – H Re-Referred to Appropriations 

Archived audio from the House and Senate are available at wyoleg.gov, as is a current status of all bills received by the Legislative Services Office. 

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cheyenne – The 2015 General Session of the Wyoming Legislature came to a close this week, as Wyoming’s legislators considered the final bills and began preparations for the next year. 

After bills have been signed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House, they are sent to the Governor’s Office for his signature. Governor Mead has three days to sign the bills after they are received.

During the last week, both the Senate and the House looked at conference committee reports and stood by as Governor Matt Mead signed a number of bills.

Interim committees also worked to set their schedules for the coming year, and Management Council prioritized interim topics for each committee. Those topics of importance to agriculture and Wyoming’s agriculture interest groups will be detailed in the March 14 Roundup.  

Next week, we’ll also summarize the high and low points of the legislative session from the viewpoint of Wyoming’s agriculture groups. We’ll look at the most important bills that passed, as well as bills that didn’t make the cut this year. 

Below is a list of the status of bills, as of March 6 at 8:30 a.m.

House Bills

HB 1 – General Government Appropriation-2 – House Speaker Signed SEA 56

HB 4 – Prohibited Livestock Grazing – House Do Pass Failed

HB 18 – Drone Protection Act – Senate Do Pass Failed

HB 35 – Boards and Commissions – Senate Do Pass Failed

HB 70 – Omnibus Water Bill – Construction – Assigned Chapter Number

HB 75 – Balanced Budget Compact – Senate Died in Committee

HB 95 – Heavy Vehicle and Commercial Driver’s License – House Died in Committee

HB 100 – Highway Funding – House Speaker Signed HEA 100

HB 121 – Constitutional Convention – Limitations – House Appointed JCC 2 Members

HB 124 – Determination of Highway Rights-of-Way on Federal Land – Senate Did Not Consider for Introduction

HB 133 – United National Agenda 21 – Prohibition on Implementation – House Died in Committee

HB 165 – Access to Public Land – House Do Pass Failed

HB 203 – Livestock Brands – Reciprocity – House Failed CoW

HB 209 – Transfer of Federal Lands – Senate Died in Committee

HJ 1 – Regulation of Freedom – Assigned Chapter Number

HJ 2 – State Superintendent of Public Instruction – House Do Pass Failed

HJ 3 – Free-Roaming Wild Horses – Assigned Chapter Number

HJ 4 – Balanced Budget Amendment – Senate Failed on Third Reading

Senate Files

SF 7 – Tethering Dogs – Senate No Report Prior to CoW Cutoff

SF 9 – Right to Farm – House Speaker Signed SEA 77

SF 10 – Education Administration – Assigned Chapter Number

SF 30 – Camp Guernsey – Range Management Fund – Senate Concur Failed

SF 36 – Personal Identifying Information – Definitions – Assigned Chapter Number

SF 44 – Large Project Funding – House Speaker Signed SEA 47

SF 51 – Water Development – Amendments – House Speaker Signed SEA 67

SF 55 – Omnibus Water Bill – Planning – House Speaker Signed SEA 69

SF 56 – Study on Transfer of Public Lands – House Speaker Signed SEA 78

SF 63 – Predator Ownership – House Appointed JCC 1 Members

SF 68 – Property Rights Ombudsman – Senate Did Not Consider in CoW

SF 69 – Nonresident Allocation of Game Licenses – Senate Do Pass Failed

SF 80 – Trespassing to Collect Data – Civil Cause of Action – House Speaker Signed SEA 82

SF 126 – Water Quality – House Speaker Signed SEA 75

SF 133 – Bighorn Sheep Relocation – House Speaker Signed SEA 83

SF 134 – Bighorn Sheep Plan – House Speaker Signed SEA 60

SJ 1 – Right of Privacy – Constitutional Amendment – Failed Senate CoW 

SJ 4 – Constitutional Convention – Senate No Report Prior to CoW Cutoff

SJ 5 – State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Senate No Report Prior to CoW Cutoff 

SJ 6 – Sage Grouse – Senate No Report Prior to CoW Cutoff

Signed by Governor Mead

HEA 1 – HB 8 – Landowner indemnification

HEA 77 – HB 56 – Wyoming Food Freedom Act

HEA 89 – HB 108 – Trespass – Landowner Liability 

HEJR 4 – HJ 6 – Wyoming Local Food Production 

SEA 31 – SF 29 – Motor Vehicle Drivers License Exemptions

SEA 19 – SF 37 – State Protection of Date Privacy 

SEA 26 – SF 43 – Wyoming Telecommunications

SEA 45 – SF 46 – Fire Misdemeanors

SEA 24 – SF 137 – Farm License Plates

SEA 61 – SF 12 – Trespassing to Collect Data 

SEA 76 – SF 4 – Dry Bean Research 

The most up-to-date information on each bill is available at wyoleg.gov. Look for the legislative review in the March 14 edition of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, where Wyoming agriculture interest group leaders will weigh in on the session. 

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..