Gordon signs only bill to come from special session

WYOMING – Nearly two weeks after the special session of the Wyoming State Legislature ended, Gov. Mark Gordon officially signed the only bill that came out of that session – House Bill 1002.

Gordon’s office announced on Friday, Nov. 12, that he signed Federal COVID vaccine mandates-prohibition and remedies-2. That bill focused on allowing public entities from enforcing vaccine requirements. The governor’s office said in a release that it also supported ongoing efforts to fight government overreach.

House Bill 1002 provides $4,000,000 in funding for legal challenges to any COVID-19 vaccination mandates passed by the federal government. This comes months after the legislature failed to pass an amended education-funding bill amid a huge decline in revenue.

In a statement, Gordon wanted to stress his intentions to fight President Joe Biden’s administration and its various actions towards requiring vaccinations or weekly testing against COVID-19 before the special session was called. A statement also called into question the necessity of a special session, which is estimated to cost taxpayers over $233,000, according to a report from the Casper Star-Tribune. Gordon’s release stated he appreciated the legislature’s support but had concerns about the cost.

Over $233,000 was spent to create one bill, which eventually found the governor’s signature.

“This bill confirms the legislature’s support for the executive branch’s previously expressed determination to fight federal overreach in the courts,” Gov. Gordon said in a statement. “I thank the legislature for recognizing their distinct constitutional responsibility as appropriators in forwarding resources to support this endeavor. The people of Wyoming can rest assured that this governor will always be committed to protecting the constitutionality enumerated rights of Wyoming citizens.”

Gov. Gordon’s signature came days after it was announced that Wyoming would join a third lawsuit against the Biden administration and its various implementations of vaccine or weekly testing requirements. Gordon has publicly encouraged people to get vaccinated, sharing that he and first lady Jennie Gordon got vaccinated early this year. That came after lifting the mask requirements statewide in the midst of last winter, which led to a reduction in hospitalizations and active cases in Wyoming. When the Delta variant swept through Wyoming, Gordon said there would be no additional mask requirements or statewide orders issued in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus like the one implemented last winter.