Legislative Update – March 1, 2023

Courtesy photo

Hello Sublette County and LaBarge, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you on March 1, the 35th day of the General Session of the 67th Legislature. Today we worked bills in Third Reading, concurrences and Joint Conference Committee reports.

I will highlight four bills that passed the House on Wednesday.

SF0109 - Prohibiting chemical abortions – 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. This bill does not ban contraception or the “morning after pill.” The debate included significant discussion and concern that these chemical abortion drugs needed to remain available for other medical purposes. To address the concern, an amendment was passed that bans the procedure of chemical abortions, rather than a specific set of drugs. This amendment made the bill cleaner and accomplished the bill's goal, which is prohibiting chemical abortions. I voted in favor of this bill, and it passed the House.

SF0120 - Restoration of civil rights – allows non-violent felons to regain their civil rights, including the right to own and use guns, serve on a jury and hold public office after five years. If a person is a repeat offender, they are automatically ineligible for rights restoration. Those convicted of violent crimes such as murder, kidnapping and sexual assault are not eligible to have their civil rights restored without a pardon from the governor. I believe the restoration of rights for those with non-violent crimes helps reduce recidivism. This bill passed, and I supported it.

SF0133 - Student eligibility in interscholastic sportsbans transgender athletes competing against biologically born females in Wyoming schools. The bill has a fallback provision. If the ban is struck down in court, a commission would be created to review transgender athletes on a case-by-case basis. There was an amendment on Third Reading for the ban to apply to grades 7-12. This bill brings uniformity to the issue across the state, and as a co-sponsor of this bill, I was pleased to see it pass the House today.

SF0137 - Subdivisions-fencing requirements. This bill requires a subdivider to construct, pay the costs of and maintain a perimeter fence for any part of a subdivision that is adjacent to lands where livestock can be legally run. As more and more of our large private land holdings are being subdivided, this is becoming a more significant issue. I supported this bill and it passed the House.

I can be reached at [email protected] with questions or comments. Thank you.