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Gordon signs bills to expand energy development, tourism, and combat invasive species

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon (Wyoming Legislature, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo — Governor Mark Gordon signed the first two bills of the eight-day virtual legislative session Monday, his office announced in a release.

“These bills reflect my commitment to strengthen and expand our energy industry and address the challenges posed by terrestrial invasive species,” Governor Gordon said. 

Senate File 43 adds geothermal and pumped hydro energy projects to the list of projects that can be supported by the Wyoming Energy Authority. It also expands WEA’s ability to support and issue bonds for projects involving rare earth minerals, critical materials, trona and other minerals.

The Governor also signed House Bill 53, which “allows local districts more latitude when implementing special management programs for invasive species,” the governor’s release said.

“Invasive species are a concern for our producers, managers and indeed our land,” the Governor said. “This bill gives Weed and Pest districts more ability to work with state, federal, and private managers and increase our impact on invasive plant species throughout the state.”

The legislation implements several of the recommendations made in the final report of the Governor’s Invasive Species Initiative.

Gordon also signed SF 37, HB 44, and HB 66, which include approval of large projects for wildlife conservation and water development.

“These projects bolster the economy through construction, and the long-term benefits will also support wildlife, tourism, agriculture and highway safety,” the release said.

“These bills improve the quality of life for all Wyoming citizens and directly support two of the pillars of our economy – tourism and agriculture,” Gordon said.

“In addition to the long-term benefits of improved habitat, water and irrigation infrastructure in the coming years, they use special revenue to provide additional economic stimulus to the communities where the work is being performed.”

Other bills the Governor signed today include:

  • HB0003 HEA0001 Certified addictions practitioners-certification amendments
  • HB0006 HEA0002 Trust company amendments
  • HB0034 HEA0003 Youthful offender program-amendments
  • HB0042 HEA0004 Chancery court vacancy amendments
  • HB0048 HEA0005 Community juvenile services block grant program
  • SF0063 SEA0001 PWMTF reserve account-distribution timing
  • SF0042 SEA0002 Out-of-state state bank charter conversions
  • SF0041 SEA0003 Tax lien enforcement-amendments