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Wyoming legislative leaders commit to vaccine mandate-focused special session if majority want it

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Senate President Dan Dockstader and Speaker of the House Eric Barlow issued a joint statement on Tuesday in which they committed to holding a special session to address perceived overreach of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates if a majority of members of the Wyoming Legislature want to hold one.

“Today we have fulfilled our duty under the rules of the Wyoming Senate and House of Representative by sending a poll to all legislators to determine whether the Wyoming Legislature will call itself into special session to address COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” the joint statement said.

Members of the Wyoming Senate and House of Representatives have until 5 p.m. Thursday to vote in the special session poll. If a majority approves of holding the special session, it would likely convene on October 26, according to the statement.

The concept of the special session would be to consider legislation aimed at limiting the impact of Biden’s vaccine mandate that is expected to apply to employers with at least 100 workers. Employees in such workplaces will either be required to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

Dockstader and Barlow said that while the legislature is exploring holding a special session, Governor Mark Gordon is also working on issues surrounding vaccine mandates.

“As we stated jointly with Governor Gordon on Sept. 15, we support any resolution to the issues surrounding COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which ultimately benefits the people of Wyoming, however those resolutions can be achieved,” the statement said.

That September 15 statement said that Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill was working on legal action to oppose the Biden mandate.