Entries by BetterWyoming

Session recap: Relief and reform for rising Wyo. property taxes

Rising home values have increased Wyoming property tax bills. The Legislature responded with targeted relief that will benefit nearly 10,000 households while untangling complicated issues with the state’s tax structure to allow for further reforms. They managed this while avoiding the slash-and-burn approach favored by the Freedom Caucus that would have gutted funding for local towns and counties.

Session recap – Lawmakers bravely confront Wyoming’s hottest non-issue: transgender student athletes

Four transgender students participate in Wyoming high school sports. For a decade, a policy governing trans student eligibility in athletics has gone unused, because local communities have handled situations on a case-by-case basis. But the so-called Freedom Caucus shares the national media’s obsession with transgender people. So, confronting this trendiest of boogeymen became a priority during the 2023 session, while other issues that affect tens of thousands of Wyoming residents went ignored.

Session recap: “Crossover voting” is banned in Wyoming. Now what?

After years of attempts, the Wyoming Legislature passed a law banning voters from switching parties to cast a ballot in the primary of their choice. The result will be confusion, disenfranchisement, and a whole herd of RINOs joining the GOP.

Session recap: WTF is going on with abortion in Wyoming?

The Legislature ditched the “trigger ban” it passed in 2022 in favor of two new bans—all of which are or will be tied up in court. Abortion remains legal until a ruling comes down from the Wyoming Supreme Court about whether abortion is “healthcare” protected by the state constitution. Meanwhile, the governor and others increasingly believe the issue will be decided eventually at the ballot.

Session recap: You gotta fight for your right … to marry children

Religious fundamentalists in the Wyoming Freedom Caucus and the Wyoming State GOP fought tooth and nail for the “freedom” to continue marrying children. Fortunately, this was one of many fights that they lost in 2023, as the Legislature passed its first law prohibiting marriage for children under 16.

The winding road to Wyoming’s biggest healthcare access win in a decade

A bill to extend Medicaid coverage for uninsured new Wyoming moms faced opposition from the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” legislative leaders, and the Wyoming State GOP. But a coalition of healthcare access advocates and pro-life lawmakers pushed “Medicaid for Moms” all the way to the governor’s desk.

“Florida Bills” (mostly) fail at the Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming and Florida are worlds apart by most standards. But a raft of bills inspired by laws in the Sunshine State have come forth during the 2023 session, as so-called “Freedom Caucus” members seek to fight Critical Race Theory, transgender athletes, and other non-issues in Wyoming.

Lawmakers defeat bills targeting Wyo. public schools and libraries

Proposals brought by the so-called “Freedom Caucus” to divert public money to private and religious schools and to criminalize librarians for “obscene” books have all failed this session.

All the Wyo. Legislature’s unconstitutional abortion bans

Two bills poised to pass the Wyoming Legislature in 2023 double down on last year’s “trigger ban” by adding further restrictions, including removing exceptions for incest and rape and banning pharmaceutical abortion. But both new laws will certainly be challenged in court and they likely will not stand.

Wyo Legislature once again looks to restrict primary voting

A Wyoming Senate Committee that has already killed one “crossover voting” ban during the 2023 legislative session is set to hear another—the last one standing. But party purists in years past have gone to great (and shady) lengths to restrict primary voting, so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen.

Freedom Caucus bill would prosecute Wyoming librarians as child pornographers

The bill would remove protections for librarians against overzealous government censorship, opening them up to prosecution for child pornography and obscenity. Fortunately, some in Wyoming are fighting back against banning books and demonizing librarians.

Will the Wyo. “Freedom Caucus” kill health coverage for new moms?

A bill to stop the rollback of Wyoming Medicaid coverage for uninsured new moms has broad support. Advocates for HB-4 say it will ensure the health and well-being of both mothers and their babies. But Freedom Caucus member Rep. Chip Neiman, who as House Majority Floor Leader can unilaterally kill any bill he wants, might not let it see the light of day.