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The closure of small businesses due to COVID-19 was widespread in 2020. Now, the Wyoming Legislature is holding a special session to discuss 20 bills aimed at countering President Joe Biden's proposed vaccine mandates. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce recently released a letter penned by the Government & Community Affairs Committee opposing HB1001 and HB1002 from the Wyoming State Legislature Special Session, “and any other bills that infringe on businesses right to operate within the state.”

The letter was released by the Chamber on Oct. 25, ahead of the special session which convened on Tuesday.

“Creating burdensome and litigious regulation is not the way to push back burdensome and
litigious regulation. Mandates from the state piled on mandates from the federal government will deeply harm Wyoming business,” the letter said.

The Chamber of Commerce Government & Community Affairs Committee criticized the special session saying, a three-day session with limited public input is not an appropriate approach to complex issues and cited the short time frame would not be adequate for business owners to truly understand the bills and the impacts.

“The past year and a half the Legislature has shown strong support for the businesses of Wyoming and we cannot impede on their ability to do business and provide employment within our communities, said the letter.”

The Wyoming Legislature began meeting for a special session on Tuesday, Oct. 26 to discuss 20 bills aimed at countering President Joe Biden’s plan to require vaccination for certain government and healthcare workers, as well as in the private sector.

Yesterday, the Wyoming Senate voted 18-10 on the first reading of Senate File 1003, a bill barring businesses from denying services and insurance companies from denying coverage to unvaccinated people. The bill will need to clear two more readings before heading to the House.

Wyoming has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country at about 43%, West Virginia is the only state ranked lower for COVID-19 vaccination. Unvaccinated people have accounted for 98% of all new cases in Wyoming since May 1, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

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Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.