2013 Legislative Session Wraps Up

by Jeff Schuman, jschuman@k2tv.com 
    K2 News Desk, info@k2tv.com 
This year's Wyoming Legislative session has adjourned. Lawmakers lowered the final gavel around 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. 
The session included intense debates on everything from gun control and education, to creating a state lottery. Out of 429 bills that were numbered for introduction at the start of the session, lawmakers passed a total of 206 bills. The Senate introduced 161 bills and 87 of those bills passed. The House introduced 263 bills and 119 of those passed both houses of the Legislature.
Though many legislators are veterans of the process, there were 17 new members in the House and Senate, who faced a steep learning curve on how to survive and thrive under pressure. 
Freshman representative Lee Filer of Laramie got a bill passed that involved vehicle accident reporting. But, he says he was disappointed that more wasn't done on the issue of expanding medicaid. "It gets heated out there," said Filer, "but we always leave the bill on the floor. Outside of [the Legislature] we're personal, we're friends. We are always going to get along. Filer added that he is extremely greatful to senior house members who showed him the ropes.
With the 2013 general session over, many lawmakers are already focusing on the issues they will tackle next year. 
A four hour meeting Tuesday night looked at topics suggested by committee chairmen to be worked on before next year's session. Most committees will meet three times between now and then to hear testimony and draft potential bills. 
"We get involved year-round," said Representative Dave Zwonitzer. "We don't work down here in the Capitol day in and day out, but we speak with constituents, we go to organizational meetings." 
Legislators will also have the opportunity to meet with constituents over the next several months.