Legislative Watch March 21, 2021
TOMORROW Monday, March 22, is a crucial procedural deadline in the Wyoming Legislature. If bills are not heard on the floors of their respective chambers, they’re done. Meaning, anyone wanting to reach out to their legislators to make their voice heard on legislation impacting women & girls in Wyoming needs to do so RIGHT NOW!
Please scroll to the bottom of the email for additional legislative engagement resources.
Urgent Legislative Action Alert:
Make your voice heard on HB0162 & SF0154!
Huge thank you to everyone who has spoken out on issues impacting women & girls in Wyoming! Another great win was felt when the House Revenue Committee voted to advance HB-162, which would extend Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of uninsured people in the state and bring hundreds of millions of dollars to support Wyoming’s healthcare system!

Medicaid expansion would provide much-needed access to healthcare for low-income women in Wyoming living on wages up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

Click here to read "Medicaid Expansion Bill Advances to House Floor with Strong Support"
 
Click here to watch a short video update from Healthy Wyoming. There’s been some confusion, because there are TWO BILLS currently before the Legislature—one in the House, and one in the Senate—and only one needs to pass. 

Monday is a crucial procedural deadline in the Legislature for both MedEx bills. If they’re not heard on the floors of their respective chambers, they’re done.

Will you make your voice heard on HB0162 & SF0154
and encourage your community to do the same RIGHT NOW?

Not sure who represents you? Click here to find your legislators by location
 
We will continue to provide legislative updates and action alerts as the bills proceed. Click here to review “How a bill becomes a law” courtesy of the Wyoming Outdoor Council. (Both bills are now on the fifth step in the chart.)

We encourage you to send this email with link to the Healthy Wyoming signup form to three of your friends in the state. Let them know we’re building a movement, and let them know we need their help.

Additional information on each bill and specific actions you can take now are below. Thank you for speaking out on issues impacting women and girls in Wyoming! Please reach out with any questions.
Good news! The HB0162 Medicaid Expansion passed the house revenue committee! They also amended the bill to make it mirror the Senate bill, which makes it even stronger.

Now it is going to the House floor! The most pressing thing you can do to help now is to reach out to your legislators and ask them to support the bill when it comes up Monday. HB0162 is scheduled behind bills that may take hours. It needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard! Not sure what to say? Click here for helpful tips for writing your Representative

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.4 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.5
LATEST ACTION 3/18/2021 House Revenue Committee: Passed Committee!
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House General File HB0162 is scheduled behind bills that may take hours. It needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard! 
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD RIGHT NOW!
Reach out to your legislators to express interest in this bill!
Click here to read "Medicaid expansion is right for Wyoming, women"
Click here to learn more about how the federal COVID-19 relief package will cover the entire cost of updating Wyoming’s outdated Medicaid program.
Join the movement to increase access to affordable healthcare in Wyoming.
Now might be your last chance to reach out to sponsoring legislators and Senate leadership to ask them to hear SF0154 Medicaid expansion with federal match requirements too! SF0154 is the last senate file scheduled and needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard! Click here if you need help crafting an email!

SF0154 Sponsors:
Chris.Rothfuss@wyoleg.gov; Cale.Case@wyoleg.gov; Dan.Furphy@wyoleg.gov; Mike.gierau@wyoleg.gov; Stephan.Pappas@wyoleg.gov; Wendy.Schuler@wyoleg.gov

Senate Leadership:
Dan.Dockstader@wyoleg.gov; Larry.Hicks@wyoleg.gov; Ogden.Driskill@wyoleg.gov; Chris.Rothfuss@wyoleg.gov; Mike.gierau@wyoleg.gov; Dave.Kinskey@wyoleg.gov

SPONSORED BY Senator(s) Rothfuss, Case, Furphy, Gierau, Pappas and Schuler and Representative(s) Brown, Connolly, Harshman, Schwartz, Sweeney, Yin and Zwonitzer
AN ACT relating to Medicaid; providing for expansion of coverage to low income persons as specified; imposing restrictions on continued waiver authorization; repealing a prior Medicaid expansion limitation; 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.4 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.5
LATEST ACTION 3/9/2021 Senate Placed on General File
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM Senate General File SF0154 is the last senate file scheduled and needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard!
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD RIGHT NOW!
Reach out to sponsoring legislators and Senate leaders to express interest in this bill! (Contact information above)
Click here to read "Medicaid expansion is right for Wyoming, women"
Click here to learn more about how the federal COVID-19 relief package will cover the entire cost of updating Wyoming’s outdated Medicaid program.
Join the movement to increase access to affordable healthcare in Wyoming.
House Bills
SPONSORED BY Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration
AN ACT relating to school finance; implementing recalibration modifications to the Wyoming education resource block grant model; codifying previously uncodified law; providing for additional sales and use taxes in amounts, if any, determined necessary to fulfill constitutional requirements; amending related provisions; repealing conflicting provisions; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS
This bill would cut funding to Wyoming education. To date, Wyoming schools and teachers have mostly been able to “protect the classroom” from previous budget reductions without severely impacting student learning. The prospect of an additional $250 million or more in cuts could result in lower quality education, especially in low-income communities, and the elimination of jobs.1 Women hold nearly 73% of the education positions across the state.2 This complex issue will benefit from community engagement, so we encourage you to follow the legislative discussion and weigh in on what aspects of public education are important to you.
LATEST ACTION 1/12/2021 H Introduced and Referred to H04 - Education Committee
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Reach out to the Education Committee to let them know you are concerned about funding K-12 education across the state!
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 3/18/2021 Senate Introduced and Referred to S07 - Corporations Committee (Passed House!)
WHAT CAN YOU DO? REACH OUT TO YOUR REPS!
Reach out to the Corporations Committee and encourage them to support this bill!
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.
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Yin, Connolly, Hallinan and Sweeney and Senator(s) Ellis and Schuler
AN ACT relating to welfare; repealing the Medicaid Fairness Act and related provisions; providing for the continuation of actions, rights and obligations as specified.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS
A law passed a few years ago aimed to recoup Medicaid birth costs, disproportionately impacting young and low-income mothers. Federal law prohibits the requirement that mothers must name fathers, yet Wyoming does not. This bill repeals the requirement.
LATEST ACTION 03/08/2021 House Placed on General File (down the list)
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House General File HB0137 is scheduled pretty far down the list, behind bills that may take hours. It needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard! 
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to your legislators to ask them to support the bill when it comes up Monday.
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.3 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 3/17/2021 House Placed on General File
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House General File HB0157 is scheduled far down the list, behind bills that may take hours. It needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard! 
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to your legislators to ask them to support the bill when it comes up Monday.
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.4 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.5
LATEST ACTION 3/18/2021 House Committee of the Whole: Passed Committee!
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House Third Reading Consent List
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to your legislators to ask them to support the bill when it comes up Monday.
SPONSORED BY Representative(s) Henderson, Duncan and Provenza
AN ACT relating to the youthful offender program; clarifying that male and female inmates are eligible for the youthful offender program; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS Wyoming state statute still demands that the only acceptable pronoun is the masculine pronoun, obscuring who the law is intended to protect or serve. This bill clarifies that women are eligible to access the youthful offender program. For the past 30 years, numerous women who would have been admitted into the boot camp program and released from prison after six months spent many years longer in prison due solely to their gender.6 This bill provides the opportunity for youthful offenders to rebuild their lives and attain economic self-sufficiency in the future.
LATEST ACTION 3/2/2021 House Introduced and Referred to H01 - Judiciary Committee
NOT YEY HEARD BY COMMITTEE
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to the Judiciary Committee to encourage them to hear this bill!
Click here to read "Women deserve to be equally recognized in our state statutes"
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 3/5/2021 House Introduced and Referred to H01 - Judiciary Committee
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House General File
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to your legislators to ask them to support the bill when it comes up Monday.
Senate Files
AN ACT relating to public health; creating the pandemic response review task force; specifying duties of the task force; requiring a report; providing a termination date for the task force; providing appropriations; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS
The early economic and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on women have been substantial, according to a survey conducted by The Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC).7 Women make important contributions to Wyoming’s economy. More data (disaggregated by sex) and analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 are needed to ensure an economic recovery that includes all Wyoming citizens and to increase Wyoming’s preparedness for future public health crises.
LATEST ACTION 3/19/2021 Passed out of H10 - Labor Committee
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to the Labor Committee to express interest in this bill!
Click here to read "The Impacts of COVID-19 on Wyoming Women"
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.7 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 3/19/2021Passed out of H10 - Labor Committee
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House General File
SF0052 is scheduled far down the list, behind bills that may take hours. It needs serious pressure from constituents to be heard! 
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to your legislators to ask them to support the bill when it comes up Monday.
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.8 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 3/18/2021 House Introduced and Referred to H02 - Appropriations Committee (Passed Senate!)
WHAT CAN YOU DO? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Reach out to the Appropriations Committee and encourage them to support this bill!
  1. Media, O. (2021, January 28). Wyoming School Districts Clap Back At Proposed Education Budget Cuts. Retrieved from https://betterwyo.org/2021/01/28/wyoming-school-districts-clap-back-at-proposed-education-budget-cuts/
  2. Stat 2 – School District Enrollment and Staffing Data. (2008 to present). Retrieved from https://edu.wyoming.gov/data/statisticalreportseries-2/
  3. 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
  4. Pearce, D. M., PhD. (2020, May). The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Wyoming 2020. Retrieved from https://wywf.org/economic-self-sufficiency-standard/
  5. 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
  6. Pearce, D. M., PhD. (2016, May). On the Road: Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Wyoming. Retrieved from https://wywf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/WY16_ESP-Web_051116.pdf
  7. Simon, J., & Burlingame, S. (2021, February 02). Women deserve to be EQUALLY recognized in our state statutes. Retrieved from https://trib.com/opinion/columns/simon-women-deserve-to-be-equally-recognized-in-our-state-statutes/article_26cfa7fc-58ed-51f0-a0bf-411bc072dcfb.html
  8. 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
  9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019). Household Data Annual Averages: Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.pdf
Additional Bills to Watch
Bills Up For Consideration Tomorrow
LATEST ACTION 3/4/2021 House Introduced and Referred to H10 - Labor Committee
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM House General File
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill!
LATEST ACTION 3/18/2021 Senate Placed on General File (unanimously passed the Senate Corporations Committee)
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM Senate General File
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill!
Click here to watch the last committee meeting. (Forward to about 24 minutes in if it's not already at that marker.) Click here to thank sponsor Rep. Duncan.
LATEST ACTION 3/17/2021 House Placed on General File
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 10:00 AM House General File
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill!
LATEST ACTION 3/1/2021 H Received for Introduction
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 10:00 AM House General File
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill!
LATEST ACTION 3/12/2021 House Introduced and Referred to Judiciary Committee (Passed Senate)
NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 8:00 AM House Judiciary Committee
LATEST ACTION 3/19/2021 House Placed on General File (Passed Senate)
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 10:00 AM House General File
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill!
LATEST ACTION 3/12/2021 House Introduced and Referred to Labor Committee
(Passed Senate)
NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 8:00 AM House Labor Committee
LATEST ACTION 3/18/2021 Senate Placed on General File
NEXT FLOOR SESSION TOMORROW 03/22/2021 at 10:00 AM Senate General File
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill!
LATEST ACTION 3/17/2021 Senate Introduced and Referred to S07 - Corporations Committee (Passed House)
LATEST ACTION 3/5/2021 H Introduced and Referred to H01 - Judiciary Committee
LATEST ACTION 3/5/2021 House Received for Introduction (Passed Senate)

LATEST ACTION 3/19/2021 House Received for Introduction (Passed Senate)
LATEST ACTION 3/18/2021 Senate 2nd Reading: Passed
Reach out to your legislators to make your voice heard on this bill ASAP!
Failed Bills Since Last Update
SPONSORED BY Senator(s) Salazar and Representative(s) Barlow, Connolly, Duncan, Provenza, Rodriguez-Williams and Sweeney
AN ACT relating to labor and employment; specifying employer actions which constitute an unfair employment practice; prohibiting an employer from barring an employee from disclosing wage information; prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee to waive wage disclosure rights; prohibiting an employer from seeking or relying on salary history information of a prospective employee as specified; prohibiting an employer from discriminating against an employee as specified; and providing for an effective date.
WHY IT MATTERS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS
This bill prohibits employers from requiring employees to be silent about their wages, or punishing the employee for speaking about it. Wage transparency has proven benefits for both employers and employees, but it is especially important for women. Opening discussion of salaries among peers and co-workers, experts say, is a powerful tool to fight pay inequity.
LATEST ACTION 3/19/2021 Senate: Died in Committee Returned Bill Pursuant to SR 5-4
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Reach out to your Legislators to express interest in bills that reduce structural barriers faced by women running for office and ask them to sponsor more next session!
Click here to read about HB0196 Workplace transparency act "House Committee Turns Down Wage Transparency Law"
How can the public participate in the
2021 General Session? 
There is still time to make your voice heard this legislative session by reaching out to legislators about issues that are important to you!

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.
Stay Engaged!
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
Feds will pay Wyo to expand Medicaid. Will lawmakers take the bait? For 18 months, Maggie McAllister had health insurance. Following a 2011 divorce, she secured affordable coverage for herself and her young son through Medicaid. Little did she know, she said, it would only be temporary.

Social workers: Legislators should fund program for at-risk youth This March, state lawmakers will decide the fate of vulnerable children and families across Wyoming as they vote on whether to defund the High Fidelity Wraparound program as part of a larger Department of Health budget cut.

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.

Women deserve to be equally recognized in our state statutes Women of Wyoming deserve to be equally recognized in our state statutes. Which means, ladies, it’s time to have a conversation with our representatives.

Our dismal minimum wage disproportionately hurts women In Wyoming, there are two problems related to minimum wage. The first is the minimum wage itself.
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.
Is this work important to you?
Wyoming Women's Foundation | 307-721-8300