Friday, January 14, 2011

Legislative Update

We will continue to add bills to our “watch” list as they are filed. Bills may be filed up to January 26. Here are the bills we are adding today:

HBO121 – PUBLIC RECORDS – AN ACT relating to public records; setting reasonable time for production of public records; clarifying reasonable fees for duplication of public records; and providing for an effective date.

The current public records law does not provide for a time limit for production – this bill would allow 3 days for production with an extension for extenuating circumstances of up to 7 days. This is a very important change to assure timely response to public records requests.

We support this bill.

HBOO95 – INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT EXAMINERS – AN ACT relating to hospitalization of mentally ill persons; amending the definition of examiner for purposes of involuntary detention; providing that involuntary detention and involuntary hospitalization hearings not be combined under specified circumstances; and providing for an effective date.

This bill refers to the hospitalization of mentally ill people and would allow a physicians assistant to evaluate the mental status of individuals and recommend that they be held against their will for treatment. The criteria for examiners for these situations have gotten looser and looser – there is no indication that a physician’s assistant has any but a cursory knowledge of psychiatric illness.

We oppose this bill.

HBO142 – DISCRIMINATION – AN ACT relating to discrimination; prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as specified; and providing for an effective date.


SF0059 – “SPICE” DRUGS – AN ACT relating to the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act; adding specified controlled substances to schedule I of the act; authorizing additional positions; providing an appropriation; and providing for an effective date.

We generally support the legalization of drugs; criminalization has simply poured billions of dollars into an ever widening pit and has not changed the use of drugs in our country in any perceptible manner. In addition we have incarcerated millions of non-violent persons costing additional billions.

We oppose this bill.

SF0096 – OPEN PRIMARIES – AN ACT relating to elections; providing for electors to request any single party or nonpartisan ballot at the primary election; providing that voting a single party or nonpartisan ballot at the primary election does not constitute a declaration of party affiliation; and providing for an effective date.

We support this bill.