A bill that would have changed the position of Wyoming Attorney General from an appointed position to an elected one has failed to win introduction in the Wyoming Senate.

Senate File 76 would have made the position of Attorney General the sixth statewide elected office in Wyoming, joining Governor, Secretary of State, State Superintendent, Auditor, and Treasurer.

The bill did specify that unlike the other five elected officials, however, the AG would not serve on the State Lands and Investment Board (SLIB). Under current state law, the attorney general is appointed by the governor, while in 43 states the position is an elected one.

The bill's primary sponsor, Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Laramie County) argued that the attorney general is currently too much under the power of the governor and that the state would be better served by having an attorney general who could offer independent opinions "in the service of the people."

He also said salaries in the attorney general's office went up by half a million dollars recently at a time when the state already faces budget challenges.

But those arguments were not enough to sway the Senate, with an 18-12 majority voting to reject the introduction of the bill.

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