I have great news! Last Friday afternoon, the President of the Senate formally killed SJ 3, the public lands transfer constitutional amendment that would have helped pave the way for the state to take over national forests and other public lands in Wyoming. This bill was so overwhelmingly opposed by the Wyoming public that it was never introduced or assigned to a committee. Legislators received many emails and calls and had a lot of in-person conversations with citizens who asked them to oppose the measure.
Thank you for your inspiring action to protect our beloved public lands! A great diversity of Wyoming people stepped forward, spoke up, stuck to your convictions and showed us the power of the grassroots! This success would not have been possible without you.
Week two news and looking ahead
Last week was productive for us in other ways, as well. We helped convene a working group to revise problems with SF 25 – wildlife location and research information. We are working toward a solution that protects the integrity of our Wyoming public records act while allowing the Game and Fish Department to keep confidential a very narrow set of data in order to protect wildlife, fair chase, and public safety. This new version should be heard in committee later this week.
We have worked with partners and gathered input from legislators to suggest an idea for a proactive bill regarding public access on public lands and hope to see this formally introduced soon. We’ve also monitored the budget work of the Joint Appropriations Committee regarding agency funding and will have more to report on expected changes with Game and Fish.
The radioactive waste storage facilities bill we shared about last week passed the Senate without any amendments and thus keeps that state law strong, but we will watch carefully as it progresses through the house.
A bill we are concerned about, HB 115 – attorney fees, will be discussed in committee today. We believe this bill could chill enforcement actions by our regulatory agencies such as the Department of Equality and thus limit court actions against polluters. We’ll keep you apprised.
A bill that has garnered a lot of concern and attention, SF 71 – electricity production standards, has been assigned to committee but is not expected to have a hearing this week. This bill would mandate only a limited list of acceptable energy sources in Wyoming and excludes wind and solar energy. Count on seeing a future alert from us if this bill moves forward.
Thank you again for your interest and civic engagement—it makes all the difference!
Stephanie Kessler, director of external relations