CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Sen. Bill Landen stood before his 28 fellow senators on Wednesday, Feb. 12 and told how a constituent helped him craft a bill.
“It’s always so fun to hear about how these bills come about,” Landen told the Wyoming Senate. “That’s the case with SF 106, too. I had a constituent who told me he qualified for a pioneer bird, fish and small game license. About a week later, he came back and told me he couldn’t get it.”
The man had lived in Wyoming for 25 years, but had to leave the state for five years for a job. Since returning, he’d been in Wyoming for another 12 years, totaling 37 years living in the state. But since they weren’t consecutive years, Landen’s constituent was unable to qualify for the state’s pioneer license.
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A pioneer license is currently open to Wyoming residents who are at least 65 years old and have continuously lived in Wyoming for at least 30 years.
SF 106 would change this, slightly. The bill would allow any Wyoming resident who is at least 65 to apply for a pioneer license, as long as they have lived in Wyoming for 30 years. However, these years don’t have to be consecutive.
Twelve senators and nine representatives co-sponsored the bill. The sponsors included Natrona County’s Sens. Landen and James Anderson, as well as Reps. Jerry Obermueller, Tom Walters and Art Washut.
“We thought it was appropriate to remove the ‘consecutive’ portion from the law,” Landen said. “There are times when Wyomingites have to leave for whatever reason for a certain amount of time.
Only Sen. Cale Case of Fremont County voted “no” on the bill, which meant that it will go to the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee, which will meet Thursday, Feb. 13.