A statue on the grounds of the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne with the newly rebuilt Herschler Building in the background. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — House District 44 Representative Sara Burlingame asked her colleagues in the Wyoming House of Representatives to support a bill which would have raised taxes on tobacco products in the state.

Burlingame said that raising taxes on tobacco products would be an effective way to reduce youth tobacco and vaping use. She said this would be more effective than education or other means of discouraging such use.

The proposal failed an introductory vote in the House on Thursday, Feb. 13. The vote was 28-32.

During a budget session, at least two-thirds of the House must vote to have a proposed bill introduced. Those bills which meet this threshold are then assigned to a committee.

Committees which have been assigned bills after approval on an introductory vote in the House will vote to “pass,” “do not pass” or “pass with amendments.”

Bills which make it out of committee then return to the full House for consideration. The House then must approve a bill on three readings before it is sent to the Senate.

If the Senate passes the bill with no amendments, the bill is sent to the governor’s desk for consideration. If they tack on amendments, then the bill is assigned to the Joint Conference Committee to reconcile differences.

If that committee can reach a consensus, the bill is sent to the governor who can sign or veto the bill. The House and Senate are able to override a veto with a two-thirds majority vote.

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