(The Center Square) — Wyoming lawmakers announced Wednesday that they will convene a hybrid remote and in-person legislative session starting March 1.
The announcement was made by Gov. Mark Gordon, Senate President Dan Dockstader, R–Afton, and House Speaker Eric Barlow, R–Gillette.
While specific details could change, the legislators agreed that executive branch employees will participate remotely while both branches continue the preference of virtual meetings. The legislature will also limit the number of non-legislator presentations on both the House and Senate the floors.
Legislators also agreed to additional safety precautions including wearing masks in legislative spaces, extra sanitation, and regular temperature checks. Public participation in in-person sessions will be limited to comply with public health orders as well.
“Our priority is keeping people safe and preventing COVID-19 infections while fulfilling the constitutional functions of the Wyoming Legislature,” the trio said in a combined statement.
The approach will allow lawmakers to carry out their official duties remotely without restricting public access, they said. To keep participants safe, lawmakers are required to social distance and wear masks in public spaces.
Legislators, the Legislative Service staff, Capitol building custodial staff, and certain credentialed journalists will be eligible to be vaccinated prior to the session.
In the event they do not have access to vaccinations before March, Gov. Gordon directed all executive branch staff, including the governor’s office, to participate in the March session remotely.
“In order for this session to proceed safely and successfully, it is important that all Wyoming legislators are able to fully and completely attend to their legislative responsibilities. Wyoming citizens expect nothing less,” Gordon said. “Committing these resources to this purpose is an important step to preserving equal representation for our citizens.”