Banks, Laursen sought special session

Nathan Oster

Rep. Dalton Banks, R-Cowley, and Sen. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, were among the state lawmakers pushing for a special session to address bills and budget line items that were stricken by the veto pen of Gov. Mark Gordon.  
The governor’s actions, which included a rejection of new abortion restrictions, a repeal of gun-free zones and a property tax bill, will stand — for now.  The effort to convene the special session failed.  A simple majority of the House and Senate was needed. While it passed 16-15 in the Senate, the question failed in the House with 27 voting in favor and 35 against.
Neither Laursen nor Banks was pleased.
“We needed to go back and undo some of the vetoes the governor made — he was out of line and ruling like a king,” said Laursen.  “There were several bills that passed with super majority votes in both houses — especially Senate File 54 which gave property owners a 25-percent tax break on property up to $2 million in value.”
Banks agreed, citing the need among his constituents for the tax relief that SF 54 would have provided.
“Rep. Andrew, Sen. Boner and I drafted an agreement to address concerns other members had regarding the special session to limit our scope of bills, the number of days, and make our time effective by putting parameters on it,” he said, calling it “an honest effort to reach a compromise between the two factions.”
Laursen said he, too, supported that agreement. Ultimately, though, it failed.
“Going forward I feel confident we can work these bills, get the concerns addressed, and get them back on behalf of the people of Wyoming,” Banks said. “It will just be much later than we needed.”