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Two high-profile bills never made it off the ground on the first day of Wyoming’s 2020 legislative session, failing to gain the two-thirds majority needed to introduce a bill during a budget session.

The first, House Bill 22, was a reincarnation of the bill that last year threatened to eliminate Teton County’s housing mitigation program, by which the town and county levy fees on development to pay for workforce housing or require developers to build it themselves.

However, Teton County isn’t necessarily free from this bill, which many have deemed an attack on local control. Many developers still argue that the mitigation rates pose an undue financial burden, and it’s likely lawmakers will push to prohibit such programs again next year.

In the meantime, local officials may tweak the policy based on forthcoming data about how many employees various kinds of businesses generate.

The other bill, House Bill 75, would have expanded Medicaid eligibility to anyone earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level. That would have granted health insurance coverage to an estimated 19,000 Wyoming residents.

The bill failed despite being sponsored by the Revenue Committee, an advantage that some hoped would draw more support from a Legislature that has consistently refused to expand Medicaid, even as most states in the country and all of Wyoming’s neighboring states have in recent years.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911 or town@jhnewsandguide.com.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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