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Civic Literacy and Engagement: Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

As a citizen, it's important to stay informed about legislation and understand the impacts of bills for several reasons:

  • Representation and Democracy: Legislation directly affects the lives of citizens. By staying informed about proposed bills and their potential impacts, individuals can actively participate in the democratic process and ensure their voices are heard. It allows citizens to hold their elected officials accountable and shape policies aligning with their values and interests.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Understanding legislation and its implications enables citizens to make informed decisions about their lives. It allows them to anticipate how law changes affect their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities. This knowledge empowers individuals to plan and adapt accordingly, making choices that align with their best interests.
  • Social and Economic Impact: Legislation can have significant social and economic consequences. It can influence job opportunities, business regulations, taxation, consumer rights, and various aspects of community life. Understanding these impacts helps citizens participate in discussions about economic development, resource allocation, and the overall direction of their communities.
  • Public Welfare and Advocacy: Legislation often addresses issues that impact public welfare, such as healthcare, education, environment, and social justice. By paying attention to legislation, citizens can identify areas where improvements are needed and engage in advocacy efforts to support or oppose specific bills. Civic engagement ensures that the community's needs are considered and that legislation promotes the well-being of citizens.

Below, you will find several ways to follow and engage with legislative updates on a local, state and federal level. 

Albany County & Laramie Resources

Laramie City Council

  • Regular meetings occur at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month. 
    • Special meetings are held at the discretion of the City Council. They may occur at different times or dates following notification to the general public via the newspaper, the city website, and postings located within City Hall.
    • Meetings are open to the public and are available in person on a first come, first serve basis. 
    • Meetings can be streamed on YouTube
  • Stay informed about City Council Agendas

Albany County Government

Wyoming State Legislature

State of Wyoming Legislature

U.S. Government & Federal Resources

Congressional Resources

How a Bill Becomes A a Law in the State of Wyoming

How a Bill Becomes a Law with the Wyoming Legislature.

  1. Bill Introduction: A bill is typically introduced by a legislator in either the Wyoming House of Representatives or the Wyoming Senate. The legislator sponsoring the bill presents it to their respective chamber (first reading).

  2. Standing Committee Consideration: The bill is referred to a committee relevant to its subject matter. The committee reviews and analyzes the bill, holds hearings to gather public input, and may make amendments or recommendations.

  3. Floor Debate and Voting: If the committee approves the bill, it is scheduled for floor debate in the chamber where it was introduced. During the debate, legislators can discuss the bill's merits, propose amendments, and voice their support or opposition. Once the debate concludes, a vote is taken. If the bill receives a majority vote in the chamber where it was introduced, it advances to the other chamber.

    • During this process, the bill goes through the Committee of the Whole (debate), a second reading (the bill can be amended, moved, and voted on) and third reading - if the majority vote in favor, the bill passes to the other chamber.

  4. Committee Consideration in the Other Chamber: The bill goes through a similar committee review and consideration process in the other chamber. The committee may propose further amendments or modifications to the bill.

  5. Floor Debate and Voting in the Other Chamber: The bill is then debated and voted upon in the other chamber. If the bill receives a majority vote, it proceeds to the next step.

    • Note: This would have the same process outlined above - Committee of the whole (debate), second and third readings and a vote.

  6. Conference Committee (if necessary): If there are any differences between the versions of the bill passed by the two chambers, a conference committee consisting of members from both chambers is formed. The committee reconciles the differences and develops a compromise version of the bill.

  7. Final Approval: Once both chambers agree on the bill's language, it is presented for a final vote in each chamber. If the bill is approved by both chambers in its final form, it proceeds to the next step.

  8. Governor's Action: The bill is sent to the Governor of Wyoming. The Governor can sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. If the Governor signs the bill, it becomes law. If the Governor vetoes the bill, it can still become law if both chambers vote to override the veto by a two-thirds majority.

  9. Effective Date: Once signed into law, the bill becomes an official statute and takes effect according to the effective date or upon passage if no date is specified.

It's important to note that this is a simplified overview of the legislative process in Wyoming. The specific steps and procedures may vary depending on the circumstances and rules of the legislative session.