Widely-Expected July Special Session Of Wyoming Legislature Off
A widely expected July special session of the Wyoming Legislature apparently won't be called after all.
That announcement came Friday in a joint news release issued by Governor Mark Gordon, Speaker of the House Eric Barlow, and Senate President Dan Dockstader
The session had been expected to be called to deal with the allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act money, which totals over $1 billion.
The state has already received $534 million of that money and will receive the same amount next year. The money was allocated to help offset the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic But unlike federal money allocated through the CARES act, the state has until the end of 2024 to allocate ARPA money and another two years to spend it.
The release quoted Dockstader as saying
“A product developed with months of deliberation will be significantly better than any legislation compiled in a few days of hearings and a week-long special session,” Dockstader said. “We can utilize our standard budget hearing and standing committee processes to allocate these funds in a conservative manner during the 2022 Budget Session.”
When the regular session of the legislature wrapped up in April, it was widely believed that a special session would be called. Rep. Dan Zwonitzer told Townsquare Media a month ago that lawmakers had been told to plan on coming to Cheyenne for a special session in mid-July. The Friday announcement came as a surprise to many.
A special session could still be called for later this summer, but that seems unlikely at this point. Assuming it doesn't happen, the next meeting of the full legislature will be the regularly scheduled 2022 Budget Session early next year.