April 9, 2021
Powerful grassroots momentum helped garner broad, historic support for a number of important bills at this year’s legislative session, including a bill to expand Medicaid eligibility and one to repeal the death penalty in the state.
Next week, policy experts and advocates from the ACLU of Wyoming, the Wyoming Outdoor Council, the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Wyoming Primary Care Association, and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers will discuss the fate of key bills and talk about what the public can expect in the upcoming special and interim sessions.
The roundtable discussion is part of the Equality State Policy Center’s People’s Review: LIVE! series, and will take place from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, via Zoom.
The event is free and open to the public. People can register online at https://equalitystate.org/the-peoples-review/ to receive an invitation to join live.
“It was a whirlwind session,” said Ana Marchese, acting director of the Equality State Policy Center. “More than 400 bills were filed, and tracking them from afar was not easy. But the people of Wyoming rose to the occasion. Even in a pandemic, even with a partly remote session, civic engagement was the name of the game. By any measure, that’s a win.”
Despite enjoying broad support, not all bipartisan bills moved forward. Some, like House Bill 162, which would have expanded Medicaid eligibility to roughly 25,000 additional hardworking Wyomingites, died by a single vote.
“We saw the influence of some out-of-state groups who don’t have Wyomingites’ best interest at heart,” said Marchese. “That’s unfortunate. But we also saw that the people of Wyoming are paying attention. When it comes to the future of our state and our communities, they know exactly what’s at stake. Because they’re already living it. And their calls and emails and testimony are what’s moving lawmakers. Those stories are changing minds and votes.”
The legislative wrap-up will feature Antonio Serrano of the ACLU of Wyoming; former Representative Stan Blake; Steff Kessler of the Wyoming Outdoor Council; Tara Muir of the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; and Jan Cartwright of the Wyoming Primary Care Association and the Healthy Wyoming coalition.
“The work doesn’t end at the end of the regular session,” said Marchese. “It’s just getting started.”