Pinedale Online!

Pinedale on the Web!
Pinedale, Wyoming

Home | Calendar of Events | Photo Gallery | Local Businesses |

Pinedale Online > News > February 2015 > Wyoming Legislature update: Feb. 24, 2015
Wyoming Legislature update: Feb. 24, 2015
by Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
February 25, 2015

Hello Sublette County this is Albert Sommers reporting from Cheyenne on Tuesday, February 24th. Today in Committee of the Whole SF115, the antidiscrimination bill relating to sexual orientation was defeated. The Wyoming Business Alliance, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Mining Association all supported this bill. There were religious denominations on both sides of this issue, and I heard from clergy in Sublette County both supporting and opposing this bill. There were several elected officials in Sublette County who sent me e-mails supporting this bill. I had nearly an equal number of Sublette County citizens on either side of this issue, based upon the number of e-mails I received. This bill was amended to only relate to job discrimination, and did not involve most of the issues that concerned citizens in Sublette County. The issues revolving around use of restrooms, ability to choose who you can sell items to, and schools were all amended out of the bill. After the bill was amended, I decided to vote for this bill, even though I could tell it had died, and in spite of having voted against gay marriage twice in other sessions. I believe the passage of this bill would have sent a positive message to businesses looking to move to Wyoming, and its defeat flies in the face of our motto, "The Equality State". In my opinion, this class of individuals falls under the auspices of a protected class, which is what discrimination laws are defined for. Beginning with a 1938 Supreme Court case, court decisions have defined three characteristics for a protected class including, "immutable characteristics," "political powerlessness" and a "history of discrimination". The ultimate example is race. I heard real concern from citizens back home on this bill, and that is why I voted for the amendment to limit this bill to just job discrimination. Other amendments had carved out religious organizations and associations. I appreciate all of the very civil e-mails I received from citizens on both sides of this issue, in spite of the fact this is such an emotional issue.

SF29, the bill which will allow those classes of individuals exempt from the federal CDL requirements to operate heavy vehicles, those over 29,001lbs., with less restrictions than today, passed Third Reading in the House. This bill will allow ranchers to drive pickups and trailers up to 39,000 lbs. with a common Class C license, and will allow recreational drivers pulling heavy fifth wheels the same right. This bill took me two years to complete, and seems are virtual certainty at this stage, unless the governor vetoes the bill. Another bill of importance to Sublette County on Third Reading was SF42, which creates a task force to reevaluate the methods by which minerals are taxed in Wyoming. The idea behind the task force is to create a new revenue neutral taxation system that is more simplified, which would make it easier to administer. If done correctly, this could be very beneficial to the state and counties.

If you have any questions or comments please contact me at My updates are available on my website at

Pinedale Online > News > February 2015 > Wyoming Legislature update: Feb. 24, 2015

Pinedale Online!
Pinedale Online! PO Box 2250, Pinedale, WY 82941
Phone: (307) 360-7689 , Fax: (307) 367-2864

Office Outlet in Pinedale, 43 S. Sublette

Copyright © 2015 Pinedale Online. All rights reserved.
Pictures and content cannot be used in whole or part without permission.