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Legislative Session Ends [AUDIO]

Gov. Mead signs human trafficking bill (Amy Richards/TSM)

The gavel came down on the general session of the Wyoming Legislature Wednesday, but not before lawmakers tied up some loose ends. The Senate agreed with the house on the eminent domain bill.The Senate on Tuesday had voted not to agree with house amendments, but on Wednesday, the Senate reconsidered and voted to agree with the house. The bill that now heads to Governor Matt Mead, would require the entity seeking to condemn land to pay the landowner’s legal fees and other costs if a judge determined that the fair market value of the land was at least 15 percent higher than the entity’s final offer.

Several lawmakers reflect on the general session including Senate Minority Whip, Senator Bernadine Craft. She says her biggest disappointment of the session so far is the failure of the legislature to approve the voluntary medicaid expansion. She says some of the highlights include the passage of the lottery bill and the human trafficking bill, which Governor Matt Mead signed Tuesday afternoon.

 We are the last state in the union to enact that, and people wanted to know why we needed to do it….

House Minority Caucus Chairman, Laramie Representative Cathy Connolly says she was disappointed about how the supplemental budget that came out of the legislature, but was pleased that the governor used his line item veto pen to eliminate a provision that called for state agencies to profile budget cuts for the next biennium.

 In all honesty the legislative branch should not be micro-managing to the extend that we are attempting to do that…

She says successes include the resurrection of a bill that will require employees to increase their contributions by 0.25 percent and the state to pay 0.75 percent more a year for three years. Lawmakers considered the bill dead last week after representatives of both chambers failed to reach a compromise. Republican Sen. Phil Nicholas of Laramie said lawmakers later reconsidered and set out to reach a compromise.

Freshman legislator Cheyenne Representative Lee Filer, says it was an exciting session and he learned a lot.

Of course my own bill, House Bill 152, the vehicle accident reporting…getting a lot of studies done…

The Wyoming House voted to accept a Senate amendment that shoehorned an appropriation of money to fight any possible federal gun ban into a bill originally intended to encourage bison hunting. The bill would lift the current restriction that limits hunters to one cow bison license in their lifetime. The senate on Tuesday added a $250,000 appropriation to the state attorney general’s office for possible legal action to protect gun rights. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Keith Gingery said he didn’t like the amendment but didn’t want to kill the bill. Some lawmakers question the constitutionality of the bill.

Complete Audio

Senator Craft on human trafficking bill

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Rep. Cathy Connolly on session

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Rep. Lee Filer on session

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