Wyoming lawmakers to hold 2 swearing-in ceremonies

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Legislative leaders in Wyoming voted Tuesday to hold two swearing-in ceremonies for new lawmakers, one that will follow public health orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and one that won’t.

The 10-3 vote to hold separate ceremonies came as the Legislature’s Management Council met to set a timeline for the 2021 legislative session, which will be delayed until the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

However, lawmakers are constitutionally required to meet at the Wyoming Capitol on Jan. 12 to swear in new members, ratify leadership and hear a State of the State address by the governor.

An initial plan for the Jan. 12 events strongly recommended lawmakers and their families comply with active public health orders. House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, suggested Tuesday that lawmakers set an example and that those attending be required to comply with public health orders.

“Let’s not dictate to them how they should be there,” said incoming Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton. “This is a prime example for us to reach out and welcome them to the Legislature and not dictate them on how they’re sworn in,”

Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, said someone’s decision not to wear a mask could dissuade others from attending ceremonies that mark a milestone in their political careers.

Sen. Bill Landen, R-Casper, made a motion to hold two ceremonies and allow lawmakers to choose which one to attend.

More than half of Wyoming’s lawmakers are considered to be in an “at-risk” category for more serious impacts from the coronavirus because of their age, the Legislative Service Office said. Several lawmakers have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. Rep. Roy Edwards, R-Gillette, died on Nov. 2 after contracting the virus.

About The Author

The Associated Press

You May Also Like
COVID-19
Wyoming ranked 7th lowest in nation for COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes
Politics
Sen. Lummis introduces legislation addressing national debt
Associated Press
Bankers report strong growth in rural parts of 9 states and Wyoming
Associated Press
Report: Wyoming home to most vaccine-hesitant counties in US
COVID-19
Teton County extends local mask order to May 17
Associated Press
Trustees of Walt Disney’s grandson negotiate sale of ranch