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Governor signs Wyoming’s anti-federal vaccine mandate bill into law

Governor Mark Gordon, wearing a mask that inscribed with “service above self,” talks after a dedication of the CWCC’s new suicide prevention hotline on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s office announced on Friday that the governor has signed a bill that aims to support Wyoming’s fight against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates into law.

Gordon signed House Bill 1002 into law, legislation that was passed during the Wyoming Legislature’s recent anti-vaccine mandate focused special session. The legislation provides $4 million to help fund legal challenges to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Gordon’s office said in Friday’s press release that the governor had already committed to challenging COVID-19 vaccine mandates under the administration of President Joe Biden prior to signing the bill into law. Wyoming has joined three legal challenges to federal vaccine mandates.

“This bill confirms the Legislature’s support for the Executive branch’s previously-expressed determination to fight federal overreach in the courts,” Gordon said. “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 constitutionally enumerated rights of Wyoming citizens.”

While Gordon signed the bill, his office said that the governor has concerns about the cost to taxpayers of the Wyoming Legislature holding a special session. It costs an estimated $25,000 per day for the legislature to be in session.

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.