Numerous bills pass into law


March 2, 2023

Governor Mark Gordon took action last week on the long list of bills that had made their way through the legislative process and onto his desk.

Friday was the last day for bills to be reported out of committee in the second House. Any legislation that did not meet the deadline will no longer be considered during this session.

Among the bills that have now made their way into law was HB 65, which establishes the 988 hotline system for suicide prevention and mental health crises. The bill establishes a trust fund and reserve account for the system and provides for an advisory board, as well as establishes confidentiality of information given by callers.

Another bill that has received attention throughout the session is HB 07. The minimum legal age for marriage has now been increased to 18, although it is still possible to marry from the age of 16 with consent from a parent or guardian.

The new law also states that, “all marriages involving a person under 16 years of age are void”.

HB 279 meanwhile requires that a voter must present an acceptable form of identification in order to obtain an absentee ballot in person.

Gordon made particular note of HB 18, which helps to establish a new “Ashanti Alert” – similar to an Amber alert – to send out rapid notifications to cell phones and media about missing adults.

These can be requested by local law enforcement and will be initiated statewide by Wyoming Highway Patrol if specific alert criteria are met. The legislation came from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force established by the governor.

Gordon exercised his veto authority on SF 71, State loan and bond programs, pointing out that the bill reduces the amount of funding available to the State Loan and Investment Board for farm loans.

This, he said, shrinks the safety net available to the agriculture industry. Gordon also expressed concern that the changes the legislation makes to the interest rates for farm loans put the State in competition with private financial institutions.

Additional bills now signed into law include:

HB 20 – Requires that notice is given, as well as opportunity to comment, before an exchange of state lands is completed.

HB 181 – Makes amendments to the online sports wagering law, which requires permitting and licensure and specifies the associated fees, criminal background checks and revenue calculations.

HB 13 – Clarifies the duties and powers of the Office of Guardian ad Litem.

HB 79 – Allows concealed carry permits to be used as identification when voting.

HB 175 – Makes modifications to the laws surrounding student absenteeism to allow for excused absences for events associated with the state fair.

HB 86 – States that no person shall be compelled to produce the private cryptographic key that relates to a digital asset or identity except in certain circumstances.

HB 57 – Updates the definitions of “armed forces” and “uniformed services” to align with federal law.

HB 15 – Clarifies that a board of county commissioners does not have the authority to dissolve a museum, archaeological or geological district under its general authority to dissolve county-created boards and commissions.

HB 05 – Updates the definition of an election registry list to include the voter identification number generated by the state, information about absentee ballot status and registration date.

HB 239 – Decriminalizes “vehicle idling”. Drivers are no longer required to stop their engine, lock the ignition and remove the key before allowing their vehicle to stand unattended.

HB 142 – Requires a city to provide notice to anyone owning property within 300 feet of an area it intends to annex.

HB 41 – Allows the owner of a lightweight trailer to permanently register it for a fee of $300.

SF 08 – Allows the Wyoming Department of Health to make subsidy payments to behavioral health centers based on need, rather than by nearby population.

SF 11 – Changes the eligibility for the state’s colorectal cancer early detection and prevention program from 50 years of age to the national recommendations, and from ineligible for Medicare to “uninsured or underinsured”.

SF 31 – Repeals the law allowing a civil action for trespassing on nearby land for the purpose of resource data collection. Trespassing for this purpose in general remains unlawful.

SF 25 – Requires district and county and prosecuting attorneys to be licensed and a member in good standing of the Wyoming State Bar throughout their term of office.

SF 68 – Establishes prescriptive easements for water conveyances for users who have used and maintained a water conveyance under a claim of right for ten years.

SF 173 – Prohibits a bank or financial institution from choosing a name that resembles an existing business anywhere in the state closely enough to cause confusion.

SF 139 – Expands the criminal offense of unlawful use of a credit card to include charge and debit cards.

SF 69 – Updates the language for laws on retaining court records to refer to scanning and digitizing instead of microfilming.

SF 35 – Specifies that federal political action committees do not have to file contribution and expenditure reports as long as they are exclusively related to federal candidates or issues.

SF 10 – A compact with other states to allow professional counselors licensed in one state to exercise this privilege in other participating states.

SF 43 – Allows county commissioners to form a district for emergency medical services via a resolution.

HB 127 – Requires healthcare facilities to allow members of the clergy to visit patients and residents during a healthcare emergency if that visitation has been requested and the clergy member abides by the requirements put in place for that facility.

HB 56 – Designates “Purple Star schools” that take specific actions to assist military-connected students, such as to have a staff member designated as a military liaison and maintain a transition program.

HB 21 – Requires that a person wishing to lease state land has “actual and necessary use” for the land for producing agricultural commodities.

HB 31 – Authorizes a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to act as a local education agency when applying for state and federal grants.

HB 174 – Increases the limit in the homestead exemption; every resident of the state is now entitled to a homestead not exceeding $100,000 in value, rather than $20,000.

HB 165 – Prohibits insurers from discriminating against living organ donors.

HB 96 – Requires that insurance coverage on a property under a transfer on death dead be extended for a grace period.

HB 148 – Specifies where alcoholic beverages may be sold in a commercial airport: in the terminal building and connected concourses.

HB 62 – Allows banks to provide access to customer data to a third-party financial service provider with the express written consent of the customer.

HB 42 – Specifies the requirements to operate an off-road recreational vehicle near an interstate.

HB 104 – Allows the use of artificial light including thermal or infrared imaging while hunting predatory animals at night.

SF 37 – Authorizes payment for the services of a licensed podiatrist under the Medical Assistance and Services Act.

SF 29 – Amends the requirement to distinctly brand a livestock animal after a positive brucellosis test to be discretionary.

SF 95 – Designates July 20 as Moon Landing Day.

SF 65 – Repeals the compensation paid to local registrars for registration of records.

SF 58 – Designates Sutton archaeological site in Platte County as a state archaeological site to be managed by the State Parks department.


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