CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers have decided to sponsor a bill that would increase fines for workplace violations to be in line with federal standards.

The proposal approved Thursday was promoted by legislation passed last fall by Congress to raise the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalties. Wyoming operates its own OSHA program, requiring it to have standards as strict as those imposed by the federal agency.

The state's current law caps penalties for serious violations at $7,000. The amount changes to between $5,000 and $70,000 if an employer is found to have "willfully and knowingly" violated state law.

Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Director John Cox says the federal fines increase is expected to raise the state's maximum penalties by 80 percent.