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Wee Hours at the Finish Line

The General Session of the 65th Wyoming Legislature came to a close just before 2:00am Thursday, 28 February. As has become the norm, the House was slow to start while the Senate only had confirmations and actions on messages from the House. Throughout the day, various conference committees met to hash out differences between bill versions between roll call votes on the eight bills carried over on third reading. Twenty-eight bills were disposed of during the day. Eight had been laid back multiple times for third reading in the House, seven passed in the House on Tuesday and had been sent to Senate for concurrence while thirteen had previously been assigned to conference. Of the 28, five failed on roll call vote.

Of the 29 line item vetoes by Governor Mark Gordon on the Appropriations Bill (HB0001), only four were challenged in the House where they all passed with the required 2/3 of the elected members. The Senate, however, voted only to override two of those.

By early evening, the House was finishing up action on the bills and the sporadic process of taking action in one chamber, sending messages, waiting on action from the other and waiting the results of conference committees continued. At midnight with two bills still in final stages, each chamber had to adjourn then reconvene for the next day, extending the session to 36 days. The Governor was escorted first to the Senate for finalizing the session and then to the House.

Blue light bulb tags were seen on the Senators as they celebrated the "blue light special" of completing the last day in what used to be the K-Mart building. The capitol renovation is scheduled to be completed and the grand re-opening held in July when the legislature will be briefly reconvened.

The final disposition of all bills as of adjournment on 28 February have been updated on the Bill Tracker available under File Share. While the legislature is in session, the Governor has three days, excluding Sunday, to either sign approving or veto by returning with his objections to the originating house. On the appropriations/budget bill, the Governor may line item veto. Any bill enrolled and forwarded to the Governor within the last three days of the session can be veto by filing the objections with the Secretary of State within 15 days after adjournment. If not signed or filed with objections, the enrolled acts become law without signature.

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