Legislative Watch April 6, 2021
Thank you for continuing to make your voice heard on issues impacting the economic self-sufficiency of women and girl in Wyoming! The progress that has been made this session is thanks to advocates like YOU. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 6 is the last day for bills to pass the third (and final) reading in the second house. Click here to review “How a bill becomes a law” courtesy of the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

The 66th Wyoming Legislature is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean our work is done. Legislators will soon start working on interim committee topic and begin drafting bills for the next session. This means now is a great time to reach out to legislators to express your thoughts on issues impacting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls! Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions.

Please scroll to the bottom of this email for additional legislative engagement resources.
House Bills
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Yin, Clifford, Duncan and Zwonitzer and Senator(s) Case
AN ACT relating to elections; amending the use of pronouns on the ballot; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS This bill changes the language on election ballots from "his name" to "the person's name" increasing representation of women in elected roles.
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 Passed! Senate 3rd Reading: 26-2-2-0-0
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Click here to review the new report "Wyoming Women in Elected Roles" which looks at structural barriers faced by women and describes policy changes and best practices.
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
Senate Files
AN ACT relating to insurance; mandating equivalent benefits and reimbursement related to mental health and substance use services delivered remotely; specifying applicability; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS Data shows that COVID-19 has negatively affected the mental health of women in Wyoming.4 This bill would require insurance companies to cover telehealth (at home) services equally to in-person visits, helping to ensure access to affordable mental health care during the pandemic. Beyond the pandemic, this bill would help keep mental health services more accessible to women without the childcare or transportation necessary to receive in-person mental health care.
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Passed! House Speaker Signed SEA No. 0045 (Senate Concour Amendments: Passed 30-0-0-0-0)
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to the Joint Labor, Health & Social Services Interim Committee to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
AN ACT relating to administration of the government; providing funding for the Wyoming investment in nursing program from CARES Act funds; providing appropriations; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN 90% of registered nurses in the U.S. are women.1 In Wyoming, registered nurses earn self-sufficient wages, making nursing programs an effective path to self-sufficiency for women. This bill would provide support for those programs, which would primarily benefit women.
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Passed! House Speaker Signed SEA No. 0045 (Senate Concur Amendments: Passed 27-2-1-0-0)
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to the Joint Education Interim Committee to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
  1. Bonio, M et al. (2019, March). Gender equity in the health workforce: Analysis of 104 countries. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/311314/WHO-HIS-HWF-Gender-WP1-2019.1-eng.pdf
  2. Pearce, D. M., PhD. (2020, May). The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Wyoming 2020. Retrieved from https://wywf.org/economic-self-sufficiency-standard/
  3. Simon, J.(2020, February 5). Medicaid expansion is right for Wyoming, women. Retrieved from https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/opinion/columnists/equity_state/medicaid-expansion-is-right-for-wyoming-women/article_c25c3037-5646-509b-ad31-9d473805a8c6.html
  4. Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (2020). The Impacts of COVID-19 on Wyoming Women. Retrieved from https://wywf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Women-Covid-Fact-Sheet.pdf
Additional Bills to Watch
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Passed! Senate President Signed HEA No. 0057 (House Concur Amendments: Passed by Roll Call 38-21-1-0-0)
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 Senate President Signed HEA No. 0072 (House Concur Amendments: Passed 51-8-1-0-0)
Click here to read "Voter ID bill passes Wyoming Legislature"
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill.
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 Passed! Assigned Chapter Number 70 (House Concur Amendments: Passed 60-0-0-0-0)
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 House Speaker Signed SEA No. 0061 (H 3rd Reading: Passed 48-11-1-0-0)
Click here to read "Born Alive abortion bill moves forward in the Wyoming Legislature"
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill.
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 Passed! House Speaker Signed SEA No. 0056 (Senate Concur Amendments: Passed 29-1-0-0-0)
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Passed! House Appointed JCC01 Members (The last formal vote of the House today was on concurring with the Conference Committee that took the bill back to the version passed out of Judiciary Committee.)
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 House Speaker Signed SEA No. 0050 (Senate Concur Amendments: Passed 27-3-0-0-0)
Click here to read "Legislature takes aim at foundation of Wyo’s abortion law"
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill.
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Passed! House Speaker Signed SEA No. 0033 (House 3rd Reading: Passed 59-1-0-0-0)
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
LATEST ACTION 4/2/2021 Passed! House 3rd Reading: 41-18-1-0-0
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work!
Reach out to your legislators to encourage additional legislation benefiting the economic self-sufficiency of women & girls in Wyoming!
Failed Bills Since Last Update
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Harshman, Connolly, MacGuire, Walters, Washut and Zwonitzer and Senator(s) Furphy, Landen and Wasserburger
AN ACT relating to medical education; creating an inviolate health care education endowment fund; providing for investment of monies in the fund; providing for distribution of monies; providing for the use of earnings for the support of certain medical education programs at the University of Wyoming and Wyoming community colleges; authorizing the use of earnings for student support payments and administrative costs.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS Women form 70% of workers in the health and social sector nationwide.1 In Wyoming, many healthcare workers earn self-sufficient wages, making medical education programs an effective path to self-sufficiency for women. This bill would provide support for those programs, which would primarily benefit women.
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Failed: Senate did not report out of Education Committee prior to Committee of the Whole Procedural Deadline
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work.
Reach out to the Senate Education Committee to express interest in this bill.
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill and ask them to bring it back next session!
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Failed: Senate Did not consider for Committee of the Whole
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill.
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Romero-Martinez, Clifford, Connolly, Harshman, Provenza and Zwonitzer
AN ACT relating to Medicaid; requiring collaboration concerning the expansion of Medicaid eligibility; authorizing the expansion of Medicaid eligibility as specified; requiring reports and notice as specified; repealing prior authorizations; providing a sunset provision; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS Women with children are the most likely population to be living below the Self-Sufficiency Standard and are over-represented in low-wage jobs that do not provide health insurance.2 Data shows that women between the ages of 18 and 29 who work full-time would be nearly three times as likely as their male counterparts to enroll in an expanded Medicaid program. If passed, the population that would become eligible for access to healthcare was estimated to include about 36% younger working women.3
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Failed: Senate did not report out of Labor/Health Committee prior to Committee of the Whole Procedural Deadline
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work.
Reach out to the Senate Labor/Health Committee to express interest in this bill.
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill and ask them to bring it back next session!
Want to do more to support affordable healthcare? Click here to read our recent Medicaid Expansion Update email. Click here to read Healthy Wyoming's FAQs.
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Harshman, Connolly and Sommers and Senator(s) Rothfuss, Schuler and Wasserburger
AN ACT relating to higher education; creating the Wyoming's tomorrow scholarship program; providing eligibility requirements; providing for administration, including rulemaking authority; creating accounts and a permanent fund; requiring reports; providing for a continuous appropriation; amending a provision governing the Hathaway scholarship reserve account; amending a provision regarding permanent funds of the state; providing for a transfer of funds; providing when scholarships may first be awarded; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS Women with children are the most likely population to be living below the Self-Sufficiency Standard and are over-represented in low-wage jobs that do not provide health insurance. This bill increases access to postsecondary education, not only leading to wages well above the Self-Sufficiency level, but jobs that also provide benefits, increased stability, and have promotion and salary increase potential.2
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Failed: Senate did not report out of Education Committee prior to Committee of the Whole Procedural Deadline
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work.
Reach out to the Senate Education Committee to express interest in this bill.
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill and ask them to bring it back next session!
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Bear, Andrew, Barlow, Brown, Burt, Connolly, Duncan, Fortner, Hallinan, Haroldson, Jennings, Knapp, Laursen, Neiman and Ottman and Senator(s) Biteman, French and McKeown
AN ACT relating to human trafficking; prohibiting a minor who engages in any commercial sex act from being criminally charged; specifying that a minor who engages in any commercial sex act is a victim of human trafficking and is an abused child; amending a definition; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS
This bill provides the opportunity for victims of sex trafficking, who are overwhelmingly women and girls, to rebuild their lives and attain economic self-sufficiency in the future.
LATEST ACTION 4/1/2021 Failed: Senate did not report out of Judiciary Committee prior to Committee of the Whole Procedural Deadline
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to sponsoring Representatives and Senators to thank them for their work.
Reach out to the Senate Judiciary Committee to express interest in this bill.
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill and ask them to bring it back next session!
Want to do more to support victims & survivors? Click here to sign up for action alerts from the Wyoming Coalition of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (WCADVSA) Questions? Email WCADVSA Public Policy Director, Tara Muir, JD
LATEST ACTION 3/31/2021 Failed: House Did Not Consider for Introduction
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill.
How can the public participate in
Wyoming's Legislative Process?
Remember, your voice matters! You have the power to influence positive change for women and girls in Wyoming right now. You can shape legislation that benefits those in your community by reaching out to your legislators about the issues you care about.
Members of the public are encouraged to view legislative proceedings on the Legislature’s YouTube channel. The public may also contact members directly using legislator contact information available on the Legislature’s website here.

During the legislative session, you can also recommend support for or opposition to a particular piece of legislation by using the Online Hotline.

Additional civic engagement resources are available at wywf.org/legislative-watch.
Would you like more frequent emails about when to make your voice heard in the legislature about women's economic self-sufficiency? Join WYWF's Power Advocates!
Wyoming Women in the News
Proposal to expand Medicaid dies in Wyoming Legislature, despite apparent momentum The stars had seemed to align for Medicaid expansion in Wyoming this year, advocates said. Despite the apparent momentum, however, the bill to expand the federal insurance program beyond its currently limited eligibility never made it to the Senate floor.

How the Wyoming Senate killed Medicaid expansion, again The Wyoming Senate Committee on Labor, Health and Social Services voted Wednesday to kill a House-sponsored effort at Medicaid expansion. The 3-2 vote, which came after more than three hours of public testimony and debate, likely ends this year’s effort to close Wyoming’s “Medicaid gap.”

Wyoming Legislature advances voter identification bill The Wyoming Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would require residents to present valid forms of identification when voting in person, whether its during early voting or on Election Day.

"A Whirlwind:" Freshman Democrat On Her First Session In Wyoming Legislature The Wyoming Legislature's 2021 general session is wrapping up. It's been the first session for freshman Democrat Representative Karlee Provenza. Provenza represents Laramie and ran on her background with community organizing and her experience with criminal justice reform.

Women Under-Represented In Wyoming Politics, Structural Changes Could Diminish Disparity new report details the under-representation of women in Wyoming politics - both in Cheyenne and on local councils and commissions. But, the report argues, women are successful candidates when they do run, and both structural changes and individual action could encourage more women to run in the future.

‘We Need More.’ Wyoming Women Far from Equal Political Representation in the Equality State A new report found that structural barriers, including financial challenges, underlie women’s underrepresentation in elected roles across Wyoming.
About the Wyoming Women's Foundation
The Wyoming Women’s Foundation is a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation, which granted out over $11 million to nonprofits across the state in 2019, and over $85 million since its inception in 1989. The Women’s Foundation builds on a permanent endowment that will ensure funding to enhance the lives of women and girls in Wyoming for generations to come. It makes grants to organizations that help Wyoming women and girls attain economic self-sufficiency, creates statewide awareness of the barriers to economic self-sufficiency, and supports systems change to eliminate those barriers. Learn more at wywf.org.
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